Never-ending lockdown has made time meaningless to me (whatever happened to 2021?). I realized my dates were off in the previous post about my mother. She actually went into the hospital on Tuesday, January 25, and had surgery on Wednesday, January 26.
Since then, it feels like it’s been six long, stressful months, not one.
The surgery removed part of her colon around a large tumor. Because it had spread to only four lymph nodes, the surgeon held out the possibility that she “may” have gotten it all, although it was labeled stage 3.
Two days post-op in the hospital, my mother couldn’t/wouldn’t do what was expected; namely, walk, use the toilet, take a shower or eat. After several more days, she did sit in a chair and brush her teeth into a cup.
On Friday, February 4, my father went to visit and found the nurses kicking her out without notifying us she was being discharged. I think they’d had enough of her (and Medicare reimbursement was probably exhausted). I dashed over to help and we got her home.
Our biggest family challenge now is my mother’s no-can-do attitude. Before this, she was playing tennis, driving, shopping and generally doing her thing, although eating suspiciously little and losing a lot of weight.
She hates doctors, has never been seriously ill before (I know, amazing at 84, right?), nor ever had surgery that wasn’t elective. If she ever suspected her plumbing was wonky, she wasn’t talking.
Nearly four weeks post-op, she still eats only a few hundred calories a day, if that. She’s afraid she’ll vomit, but she doesn’t. An appetite prescription isn’t helping much.
She’s too weak and unsteady to get around without a walker. She reacts to touches like she’s been hit with a baseball bat. She should be well on the mend, but says she feels worse every day and we just “don’t understand.”
She’s probably a candidate for chemo (maybe even in convenient pill form), but not as long as she’s so weak from starvation.
My father, sister and I are doing all we can, but the best intentions are useless without cooperation.
On a lighter note, things around Cats Working are fine (although the kitchen faucet is dripping and driving me crazy). Tony says, “Hi!” from his favorite perch…
Max was grouchy because I woke him for a photo op from his mid-morning siesta…
And Roc is his usual crazy self…