it pours

Sorry to be so quiet. For my mom, we are still waiting for Mililani to confirm cremation and request the death certificates. A lot waits in limbo until then. Hawaii National Bank did get in touch about her accounts. I put money in her DDA (no access until paperwork) to cover this month’s payments.

The real challenge has been Jen, who for lack of a better phrase has taken a turn lately, pretty much just as my mom passed.

Jen has been sleeping almost constantly, which is not that new, but also frequently disoriented and confused. She’s unsteady on her feet and has fallen a number of times. Sometimes she’s lucid but sometimes she’s in a daze, like she’s heavily medicated.

I think I mentioned this started as her reaction to her chemo being so poor — neuropathy and other symptoms. The doctor has adjusted her meds, and now they’re ordering a number of body/bone/CT/cat scans as well.

I took her in for a bandage change that takes 15 minutes today and we were there 5 hours. Unscheduled X-ray because they thought her PICC line was pulled out a bit (it was fine), but once they got going they kept taking blood and giving her stuff by IV. Dehydrated, low sodium, low magnesium. Though she was lucid in the morning, in the hospital she was groggy and wobbly. Couldn’t name the day, month, or year. Needed help to get out of the hospital bathroom.

Doctor will call me tomorrow. Moving up her scheduled scans now because they really want to know what’s going on inside. Though now I’m thinking dehydration could maybe have been the main issue. I hope so.

Then! She fell in the driveway and I couldn’t help her up! I had to get all three kids out to pull her to her feet, to keep her from trying to crawl to the door. Ugh. They were all totally great though. We got her upstairs and hydrated and medicated. Sleeping now. Whew.

To backtrack a bit…

After her initial diagnosis and treatment (surgery, radiation, chemo) ten years ago, she was actually declared cancer free, and had an almost indefinite amount of time, apart from average estimates. When she was rediagnosed and became metastatic that started the timer again, I think I was given ten years as a possibility. But MBC is not curable and treatment from then has been about slowing cancer spread and maintaining comfort.

Since mid last year they’ve been trying different chemo mixes as her numbers vary as well as her comfort and pain level. I think we are on number four. This one was very aggressive. She was very uncomfortable, her extremities were numb, her nails falling out. So around the time my mom passed we hit pause for her to recover before trying something else.

It is in this period that she started to get lethargic, but that wasn’t a surprise. But we kept waiting for a rebound but instead it’s been up and down. Lucid sometimes, disoriented sometimes. I think she’d been pretty lucid at the hospital up until now, but I emailed the doctor my observations and they ordered scans of all kinds and dialed back her medication. Definitely this time they saw her in her groggy state and want to speed things up.

They thought it may have been her anxiety med and took that out. Her anti-nauseal was also switched. This was only Monday. And her low appetite and dehydration was also seen as a factor. So I’m hopeful we’re just going through an adjustment.

If this is something long term it definitely gets very hard.

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