Tuesday, May 15, 2007


So I lost 10 pounds.... in about 5 days - though I've already gained like 4 back. Not from dieting or exercising or anything healthy like that... I was sick last week... Tuesday afternoon through Friday morning. It was really weird... I only had a fever Tuesday evening, but after that I couldn't eat anything, or drink anything... everything sounded repulsive. I got really dizzy when I stood up, and was really tired - slept all but about 5 hours on Thursday.

I left a little early from work on Tuesday, and I called the house on the way. I had been warned a few weeks ago to be really careful about getting sick. Gma's immune system is very weak, and if she gets sick, she'll die. I wanted to ask my mom what I should do - I'm sick, if I don't go home, where should I go? But I don't want to bring something home that kills Gma. She and Dad told me to just come home and stay away from Gma. I started crying when I got off the phone. I had tried so hard to stay away from everyone at the office that was coming in sick - which was a lot of people; one of the interns even had strep throat - and here I was, bringing it home anyway, really afraid I was bringing it to Gma. When I got in the house I went right to my room and went to bed.

She's really fragile now. It's so strange. She was only diagnosed in February of '06, and they were just starting treatment around this time last year. You would have thought she was fine. She's always been a bit quirky, but she was lucid and made sense and I would joke that she was in better shape than me - going to the gym at least 3 times a week. Now most of the things she says make no sense at all - like there are 3 or 4 trains of thought that were somehow jumbled, or if she is making sense, it's something she told me 5 or 10 minutes ago. And when she walks more than 6 feet, she's bracing herself on a chair or the couch or the wall. Getting out of bed has become an ordeal that leaves her panting, sitting there trying to catch her breath so she can put her shoes on.

It's amazing how exponentially worse she's getting. Just a month ago my aunt Lisa was still picking her up on Saturday mornings to go to the farmer's market and walk around the rose garden in Santa Monica. Life expectancy for someone with her type of cancer is 2-5 years after diagnosis, and for her age, it's much closer to the 2 year mark. Now they've qualified her for hospice care, meaning they estimate she has less than 6 months to live.

My mom has told her siblings that Gma can't be left alone anymore, and until they decide to sign her up for adult day care or hospice care, they are taking turns staying at the house. So far Mom has really carried the majority of the load, taking off large amounts of time or trying to work remotely. Wednesday was my uncle Kevin's first day shift. He has normally come by on weekends or for an hour or so in the evenings, and I don't think he'd been by in 2 weeks or so. Wednesday he realized how bad she is... I could see it hit him. My aunt Marie and her husband are coming out today and staying until Saturday... she hasn't been out for a few years and couldn't really afford it, but Mom used some frequent flyer miles to bring them out.

Last night Mom, Gma, and I played a game of Scrabble on the back patio, and after the first game Gma went to bed. Mom pulled out Gma's lab results and a Do Not Rececitate Gma had signed. They took her off all her meds, and now are just waiting it out. Mom had to try to explain it to Gma, and discuss with her the DNR and what it means. Gma signed it, but Mom said she's sure Gma doesn't even remember, and isn't sure if she knew what she was signing. Mom's pretty torn up about the whole thing; started crying when she was telling me.. And then she has to put on a hard face to inform her siblings and handle their reactions.

We've been letting Lucas (our cat) snif and lie about the back yard the last few days. It's been so lovely out that we've been hanging out on the porch (I slept in one of the sky chairs out there a good chunk of Wednesday), so we caved to his whining and let him wander. We know there is a hole in the fence, but he pretty much sticks to the yard. Well, last night Mom let him out because we were sitting playing Scrabble on the patio... he took off. Brat. I told Mom that Lucas is no longer allowed outside when it is dark out - it's harder to keep an eye on him, and I think he's more likely to want to explore outside the yard at that time.

I knew he'd come back... he always does, but Mom felt really bad and was really worried about him (kinda like I was the first time he left on me). I was just hoping he didn't get into too much trouble or bring back some fleas. This morning Bobby got up at 6am, and there he was at the back door. He came in, climbed up on our bed, and looked all depressed and tired. We think he might have gotten himself into a fight - he has little spots of blood on his fur and when we were petting him this morning some of his hair was falling out. Definitely not to where he needs to go to the vet or anything, but a little traumatized.

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