Friday, June 28, 2013

Road Ahead

It has been a crazy month for me, ever since mum was diagnosed with lung cancer on 31st May it has been non-stop doctors appointments. I've had to take a fair bit of time off work to take mum to her appointments and help out at home. So then the days I am at work it has been long hours trying to catch up on all the work I have neglected.

I am actually doing really well with everything. After the initial shock wore off I have just kept myself busy getting the house set up for mum, doing the garden and sorting out things like mum's will and power of attorney. Plus we have only been in the new house for 2 months so there has been a lot to set up and get organised with internet, pay TV, fencing, lighting... and about a billion other small things.

We found out yesterday that mum is going to start 6 weeks of radiotherapy in 2 weeks. They hope that the radiotherapy will shrink some of the tumors on her lungs and make it easier for her to breath and talk. They are concerned that she may not be strong enough to get through the treatment, but it is worth the risk. Mum is only 51 years old, but she has lost a lot of weight and has been very fatigued over the past couple of months. She has been through a lot in her life, so I feel like she has a good chance of making it through.

I'll be staying with mum for the duration of the treatment and taking her to the radiotherapy appointments. The treatment only goes for about 30 minutes every day so I will try and work from home as much as I can in between looking after mum. Thank goodness for working for flexible and kind hearted bosses!!!

I am so lucky that I have had so much support during this time. The doctors and nurses have been beyond amazing, everyone at work has been generous with their support and with picking up my slack, not to mention my lovely friends (including online friends, most whom I have never met) who are just so sweet and have reached out to let me know that I am not alone.

Oh, one little problem... I stupidly fell down the stairs in my apartment yesterday morning and tore some ligaments in my ankle. I managed to crawl to the car and drive the 90 minutes to my mum's house so I could take her to her appointment (thankfully it is my left ankle and I can still drive) and then it was straight to the ER for me to get X-rayed. I am still in a lot of pain today and have about 6 weeks of rehab ahead of me, but at least I can hobble around on crutches to look after mum. I honestly couldn't be more frustrated at myself for being so clumsy and doing this to myself right when mum needs me more than ever. What a freaking idiot.

I obviously tempted fate by letting myself go a month without a pedicure... of course this would happen when my feet look gross!

Thursday, June 13, 2013

It's Not Good News

Things don't look great for my mum and her lung cancer diagnosis. Her surgeon found that the cancer isn't treatable in surgery, but they can hope to extend her time by giving her chemo and radiotherapy. They estimate she has between 6 months to a year of life left. She is only 51 years old. So unfair.

It has taken me a while to write this, I tend to find denial works best for me, so having to say that was really hard. Anytime that I do think about it I feel a bit lightheaded and like I could pass out. So I guess that is why I am trying to ignore it for now.

Instead, I have completely thrown myself into getting my mum's new house comfortable for her. She didn't have much furniture so I went shopping and burned a hole in my credit card getting all new furniture to try and fill up the house. I also bought a new bed for me because I am getting too old and fat to sleep on the couch and I will be there quite a bit over the next little while. The most time and money was spent planting a front and back garden because it was basically a mud pit.

As you can see, I have a bad habit of trying fix problems by throwing money at them. It's especially bad because I don't have any money and I just get myself into all sorts of debt. I guess I just don't really care right now. I just want my mum to be happy and comfortable now she finally has a place to live. I am so thankful that I have been able to give her a home, it means the world to me that she can feel secure at a time like this.

I mostly wanted to write this post so I could thank those of you who left me lovely comments. I haven't really told anyone about my mum's illness yet, so your messages have been a great source of comfort to me. People can be so amazingly kind and I am so grateful for my blog friends.

Mum and I at my brother's wedding last year

Monday, June 03, 2013

Sad Sad Sad

I had some awful news on Friday that has left me shell shocked. I took my mum to a follow up appointment at the hospital for her pneumonia and we were told that she doesn't have pneumonia, she has lung cancer.

I am taking her back to this hospital tomorrow morning for surgery and we will hopefully know more then. The only thing the surgeon told us is that he believes it is 'advanced'. That word makes me feel sick to my stomach.

The thing about this is that I feel like I have brought this on somehow. When I started building mum a house to live in a year ago I started to get anxious that something bad was going to happen. My mum has had a very tough life and she hasn't had a stable home for the past 17 years. She has battled a lot of illnesses and all she has ever wanted is her own home where she can feel safe and comfortable. Where she can cook dinner for us kids and build a home we can all enjoy as a family. She moved in a month ago and now this happens. This just feels so unfair.

I don't know what else to say about this except I am devastated and when I think about it my eyes well with tears and I can't breathe. The thought of my mum going through this pain hurts me so much. I just can't believe this is happening.

My two sister-in-laws and me (green antlers) and mum (red antlers) at Christmas last year