Wednesday, March 31, 2010


It occurs to me that the last couple times I have called the house, no one has answered. Then within minutes, Mom calls me back on her cell phone. I haven't talked to Dad on the phone in a while. Hmmm.

Specialist Report

I didn't hear from Mom yesterday after her appointment. I waited today until I couldn't stand it any longer, then I called her around 4:00 under the pretext of talking about Easter dinner. (She and Dad agreed to come!) Mom said she liked the specialist. He told her he "usually doesn't do colonoscopies on 90 year old patients." Evidently, his thinking is that if they found cancer, they would treat for cancer...and nobody wants that. He didn't even want to do a physical exam. He did send her for blood work and wants her to have a draw every couple of months to make sure she is not losing blood. Mom said she would report back to Ves and see what he thinks.

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Sad, Sad Call

I made my Monday call to Mom last night. She was still talking about a possible visit from Aunt Helen. She had not heard from Cousin M. So I told her. What a sad, sad phone call. I assured her that we were trying to figure out how to get the sisters together. I suggested that she fly to CO to visit Helen. She said it wouldn't be the same. She said, "I think we've had our last visit."

Then, Mom told me that she had been to see her GP yesterday about blood in her stool. He told her she shouldn't just assume that her cancer (from 19 years ago) is back. It could be a combination of some intestinal irritation and being on blood thinner. And then he got her an appointment with a GI specialist for today. She doesn't want me to go with her.

Still tough as nails.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Foreboding Confirmed

I got a call today from Cousin M, Aunt Helen's daughter. M was concerned about Mom's invitation to have Helen come for three weeks. She let me know how Aunt Helen's health has deteriorated over the past year to the point that she has full-time caregivers. M did not feel that they could put Aunt Helen on a plane by herself and she was concerned about Mom providing the care needed during her stay. I told her about my concerns as well. (She was not aware of Mom and Dad's struggles, but had thought Mom didn't sound good on the phone.)

The thing is, we both really want to get Mom and Aunt Helen together. M even suggested she could fly down with Aunt Helen for a week and care for her so that she and Mom could have a visit. I wondered if we could coordinate Helen's visit with a sibling visit, maybe Gayle?

Cousin M is planning to call Mom and share the hard facts of Aunt Helen's health. I'm hoping we can work something out to reunite the sisters.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Sister Time

I made my Monday call to the folks yesterday and Mom answered the phone. She said she had called her sister and was pleased that Helen remembered her. I wonder if we will be like that one day.

Mom: I invited Helen to come for a visit if her daughters approve. So I'm going to call them and see.

Gwen: So, your energy is back?

Mom: Oh, yes. I enjoy her company so and she enjoys it here. Plus, this might be the last visit.

Gwen: Well, you know I am on call. Please call me if things get hairy.

Mom: (laughs) I told Dad we could all three end up in Emergency.

I'm really glad for Mom to see her sister again. And I'm really appalled that Mom would try to host her. And I'm really scared at what the outcome could be.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Dinner with the Folks

Mom has been saving a gift of smoked salmon to share with our family. She wanted to wait until it was warm outside. Last week she said, "It's warm." :) We went over tonight and enjoyed a lovely dinner of chili and salmon. Mom and Dad seemed really good, but Mom intimated it was time for us to leave even before the two hour mark. I hope we didn't wear them out.

Friday, March 12, 2010


Mom is still tired. I saw her Wednesday and she did not look good. She is in touch with her cardiologist. (Way to go, Mom!) She said Dr. Nish upped her BP medication and she is to call him today. She will give him her numbers and he will let her know if she should come into the office.

Friday, March 5, 2010

Tired Update

I called today to check on Mom and talked with Dad. He said she was gone to an appointment with Ves. So I called later and she sounded like she had a good visit. Evidently Ves told her that her beta blocker was useful in preventing intestinal blockage. She said she asked him again about cancer and he again assured her that cancer was very unlikely. Then she asked him if she should have her sister come visit...and he said he could not answer that question. Can't you just hear it?

Mom had not called the cardiologist, but said she would when we got off the phone. I wish I could help her with some of that. When I'm there and Mom is in a cooperative mood, she seems relieved to let me make the calls. But of course, I'm not there (honoring her wishes) and she's not very often in a cooperative mood.

It seems to me that Mom is getting worn down. And worried.


Mom sounds tired. She is going to call Ves for an appointment. She is concerned about her energy level and worried that the intestinal blockage could return. So much that she is wavering on inviting Aunt Helen for her annual spring visit. As requested, I faxed the cardiologist Mom's blood pressure readings from the last two weeks on Monday. She has not heard back from him.

Dad sounds good. Blissfully clueless, but good.