Step one: Get out of the hospital


Mom went home today. I went by to see her at lunch and found out the doctor was about to come visit her, so I stuck around. He said we would be meeting with him next Monday to find out the results of the biopsy that should come back later this week and to discuss how the treatment will unfold.

Once we finally got her discharged a couple of hours later, we headed home. First stop was the Salvation Army to see if they had any walkers. I scored a great one for $15 – much better deal than this, which is almost exactly what I got. Sweet, huh?

We ran by Walgreens for her prescriptions next, a steroid for swelling and an anti-seizure medication. Then on to KFC for a three-piece combo meal. Then home.

She’s pissed. Thanks for asking.

It was a revelation to me today when I put myself in her shoes. As she tried to balance herself with her walker, as she thought out loud “how will I carry water to my bedroom if I have to use both hands to move with this thing?” She was ill, she went to the hospital and spent a week there, and she isn’t better. She can’t walk without help, she can’t use her left hand well, and she has a list as long as the Golden Gate Bridge of things she wants to get done. Most of us go to the doctor to get better – but she just found out that she may have something worse to go through before the “better” part comes around. As she said – it’s the shits. It was the pits the other day, but now it’s the shits. At least she’s getting comfortable using language that actually fits the situation.

I reminded her that people will be asking how they can help, and that she needs to accept that help. Not just because she needs it, but because they want to give it. When my friend was diagnosed with breast cancer I didn’t offer to help just because I’m a good person, I wanted to be able to do something. I wanted to take action against the illness that I knew was hurting my friend. Mom needs to be able to give that to her friends; the feeling that they are doing something. I think in opening herself up to the love and support others have to offer, she will be allowing their shared healing in as well. It will help.

We’re on our way now. The path is ahead, and next week we’ll get a road map. Hopefully it will be one of those really detailed ones with lots of colors and maybe even it will come with pushpins.


4 responses »

  1. I can see Brian now rigging up drink holders, laptop trays, and GPSs for the walker. Speaking of helping, Please let me know whatever I can do. I am doing work now for an area cancer center and will work any connection you want or need. Or try to answer questions etc. Whatever, whenever, whyever. Just say the word.

  2. Will the pushpins be shaped like a brain? I only think that appropriate. I’m quite apprehensive about the visit with the Doctor on Monday. A friend of mine in Austin said not to worry myself to death in the meantime, there isn’t anything I can do about the outcome that can be handled now.

    I think that put me at ease a bit. Like you said, we’ll get a roadmap to deal with whatever comes mom’s way.

    We’re a hearty bunch – we can deal with it 🙂

  3. I’ve had your post queued up on my computer for a full day now, trying to figure out what to say in response other than, yeah that sounds like the shits. No other way around it. Just know that I’m sending prayers up for you every day.

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