Saturday, December 03, 2005

The latest

The view from our car, on our way home, the other day. Winter is here.

My mother is still waiting for the blockage/tumor, in her bile duct, to be fixed. She was set to have a stint put in over a week ago, but they discovered at the last minute that her blood was dangerously thin and they couldn't go forward. It was rescheduled for yesterday. Her levels were checked on Thursday and everything was fine. So, for the second time in a week, she fasted for the day and then went to the hospital thinking she was going to have a tube inserted down her throat all the way to her liver. Mentally, this was taking its toll. She easily gags normally, and lately she's been losing her swallowing reflex, so she was nervous about this to say the least. Also, for the second time, she was in the gown - on the table - ready to go when a problem was found. Her potassium levels were low. This comes as no surprise to me and Dad. She hasn't been taking her potassium pills. She hates them. They are large and she can't swallow them without chopping them up. One of the reasons that I call her daily is to check on this. Sometimes it works - sometimes it doesn't. Obviously it wasn't working well enough. I feel like I've caught one of my students cheating. She's been nailed and her punishment was pretty harsh. They started her on a potassium IV infusion and checked her into the hospital for the night. She got home this afternoon, exhausted and wiser, with her procedure re-scheduled for Monday.

She's had a severe stomach since yesterday. I'm afraid that the blockage is really starting to affect her digestive system. The doctor has informed her that they may not be able to put a stint in after all. They don't know if the blockage is actually a tumor, but they assume so. If they can't open the duct, she will have to wear a bag on the outside of her body for the rest of her life. Once her liver is functioning properly, she can go back on chemo. She's been off for about 7 weeks now. That is too long.

Understandably, my father is tired and dejected. This is my mother's third or fourth stay in a hospital this year. From his perspective, things are just getting worse every day. His recovery is going well, but he still can't drive. - not until Dec. 8th (6 weeks post surgery). I have a sense that he's having trouble staying hopeful. He's where I was last week. This week, I feel better. More positive and confident with modern medicine. I just want her to get back on chemo.

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