Thursday, October 09, 2014
We are leaving for our month-long vacation in Nepal and India on Sunday.
Earlier this week my mother fainted and called my brother to come stay with her. He lives 2.5 hours away.
My brother drove Mom to her oncologist appointment and the doc agreed Mom's fainting was probably due to not eating or drinking enough, which is due to the effects of the radiation. She has incurable, inoperable lung cancer (although she's never smoked a cigarette in her life). Mom did 2.5 weeks of radiation and the doctor wanted her to do 2.5 more. The side effects are horrific; tremendous pain and burning in her esophagus, fatigue, chronic constipation and no appetite. She's refused any more treatment. She's DONE, both with the radiation and the chemo.
I'm very sad about this, but respect her decision. In 2013 she saw my dad spend a horrific three months doing radiation that destroyed the nerves in his face and left him unable to eat or speak normally and caused him to go blind. Did it buy him more time? Perhaps, but it added days to his life, not life to his days.
I can't tell you how guilty I feel leaving on one of the longest (and most expensive) overseas trips we've ever taken while my mother is going through this fresh hell and my two in-state siblings are the only ones there to cope.
I offered to cancel the trip and go up to be with my mother but Mom (predictably) said "ABSOLUTELY NOT!" In her mother-tone. That made me feel less guilty but I still know the burden will fall on my SISTER, the one with the 80-hour a week job working with health care providers trying to implement the Affordable Health Care Act (Obamacare).
I can't say my eating has been good. I know it's no excuse, but I just feel really stressed and scared right now, which means I eat more than I should. I know what I'm doing to myself, I know it's not rational, but still I can't seem to stop. Overseas trips are stressful for me by themselves, but with my mother's health thrown in I'm sort of a hot mess.
I just wanted to update you on where I'm at. I'm hoping once we get in mid-November I'll do better with my eating and get back on track.