Sorry I'm MIA...

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Tannaidhe's picture
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Joined: 2013-02-25

Sorry I've been so long absent...  I've been missing all you guys!

 

A little over two weeks ago, my grandmother - who has always been the one person in my family I've been closest to, like a second mother - was taken to the hospital with what we thought was a stroke.  Needless to say, I dropped everything and was up there (two hours away) before they even got her out of the ER.  To make a long, exhausting story short, as she recovered, things weren't adding up for a stroke.  Eventually, they figured it out...  it was not a stroke, it was a massive sodium level drop...  due to highly advanced lung cancer.

She and my grandfather didn't even really consider treating it aggressively...  she's almost 92, and she's been 'ready' for quite a while now.  They chose to go with in-home hospice care - don't try to 'fix' her, just make her as comfortable as possible until the end comes.  Because of that decision, they didn't do a biopsy or anything, so they can't tell us anything real exactly, but she has at best a couple of months, but more likely a few weeks.  The doctor originally estimated about 2-3 weeks, but we're nearing the 2 week mark and she seems to be doing really well, all things considered.  The other result of choosing to just go with hospice care instead of trying to treat it, is that most likely she will go as kindly as one could hope with cancer... she will just continue to grow more and more tired, sleep more and more, until one day she just won't wake up.  Minimal pain and agony.  

I'm home for a few days to recharge myself, but tomorrow or the day after I'll be going back up for at least another week or two, or the duration if she starts to decline.

She is actually in a really good mood.  Both daughters and all four grandkids (and two grandkid-spouses) have been buzzing around her nonstop...  she is eating all her favorite foods...  her pain is minimal and well-medicated... all pleasure, no stress.  She even has a personal "beautician" (hospice assistant) three times a week!  If it weren't for the extreme, pronounced mental decline because of the sodium level decline, you would hardly know she was sick.

elisabooth's picture
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Joined: 2013-03-14

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Sending warm thoughts your way.  Seems like they chose the best option with the hospice care, surrounded by loved ones, in one's own home, it's how I want to go.  

HarleyBear's picture
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Joined: 2011-08-16

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We certainly missed you.  

It does seem like she is very blessed to be surrounded by so many loved ones.  I totally agree with Elisabooth, at 92 that's exactly how I would want to go too.  

Keep her close and don't hold anything back.  

Sending my thoughts and prayers,

~Lilian

Lady Kate's picture
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Joined: 2009-10-28

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Sending the best thoughts and prayers.

Hospice is a wonderful organization and dedicated to helping not only their terminal patients, but those in need of comfort and a bit of a break at times during the day.

Take care of yourself and be assured that your dear Grandmother is at peace. ( I was a Hospice volunteer when I lived in Pensacola FL and the awareness and acceptance never ceased to amaze me.)

Loving thoughts and warm hugs

Katie

Hi , my darling grandmother passed away 2 years ago aged 91 .... I had just lost my beloved Mimi my dog  in the November ..she was 16 ! Then my other Mimi went to heaven in the January . Go easy on yourself ...sounds like the hospice will and is taking perfect care of your grandmother ...god bless  love Paola and Mina xxx

Joined: 2012-10-28

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Missed you Alot!

 Our best wishes for your family in this difficult and sad time. Big Hugs,,

 Julia Michael and Bella

Does Koko get to go visiting, or is he in the "Just Tooo Much" stage?

Tannaidhe's picture
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Joined: 2013-02-25

When Jess comes up on the weekends Koko comes, too.  He doesn't care much for it, though.  :-/  And he's much too much to actually have in proximity to my grandmother lol...  she was unsteady on her feet before all this started! 

Thanks all for the warm wishes.  It's been really rough.  I'm trying desperately to keep myself 'intact' until this is all over, but it comes out in the strangest ways.  I nearly killed our parrot just now because she wouldn't be quiet...  my nerves are completely nonexistant.  My first big breakdown was last Saturday when I was gathering up stuff at home to go up long-term... I was wandering around the house looking for what else I needed to take with me, and saw a bag of yarn I got on sale at JoAnn's that I was going to make a Christmas gift for her out of, and I just -lost- it.  Over $20 of yarn.  XD

Now my family is trying to talk me out of coming back up, because they are worried about "the strain on our marriage"...  nevermind that Jess is very adamant that I go back up, that I spend every minute I can with my grandmother...  we will have our whole lives together, but I will only have my grandmother for a short while.

Joined: 2012-10-28

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I get the feeling that Jess is very understanding and knows how much it will mean to you to spend more time with your Grandma.

Best wishes again Tanna, to you and all.

Tannaidhe's picture
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Joined: 2013-02-25

Heh.  Very.  I'm so very lucky.  When I shared that my family was saying I ought to stay here longer, I got this: "Don't let anyone argue out of spending time with Babi (Slovenian for grandmother) though.  That woman is very plainly your closest family connection and I don't want anyone trying to make you second guess your way out of making the most of the time you have left."

Wednesday before last, when we first heard "She has cancer", I called Jess up immediately after the doctor left, and without missing a beat, said "I'm on my way."  At 2 in the afternoon; took a day's vacation to come up and be with me that night and went back midday Thursday, so I wasn't alone and wouldn't try to drive two hours in that kind of shock.

gingersmommy's picture
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Joined: 2010-05-04

Tannaidhe, I'm so sorry about your grandmother.  She must be a wonderful person for you to love her so much and to be loved by so many. Peace and love to you and your grandmother.

talisin's picture
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Joined: 2011-02-25

Oh my I am so sorry to hear this, we never know who will go or when, follow your heart, it's your journey not those other people, hugs to Koko from Ben and it's ok it wasn't the money or the yarn that upset you it is the knowing that you might not be able to give it to her, it's the grief of future loss and that is ok and expected, let it out, love and hugs keep us posted

Tannaidhe's picture
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Joined: 2013-02-25

She's actually doing quite well still, all things considered.  She oddly seems more willing to accept things if I tell her it's a good idea, more than anyone else (including doctors or even my grandfather!)  She honestly thinks I know everything.  >.>  I got her to use her oxygen machine three times over the last two days, and even convinced her to take a Lortab yesterday - first time for both things.  I hate that she needs them, but she was much more comfortable with them.  She even crocheted with me for a while today, first time since she went in the hospital she was both strong and alert enough to manage it properly.  "We" are making a granny-square afghan "together" (ie, I am making it out of her yarn while she watches and comments and 'advises'.)

She's tired a lot, she takes at least two naps a day now, and is sleeping a full 8 or more hours a night (used to take one short nap and sleep maybe 5 hours tops).  I can tell that she's weak and having trouble breathing and concentrating and all that, but it just doesn't seem like she's dying.  She just seems like...  well, like a 92 year old woman.

My mother has been spending more time away, and as much as I hate to say it, it's been a real relief.  I seem to understand both of my grandparents better than she does.  How can she have known them her whole life, yet not understand them at all?  And it's also good for her...  she was trying to take too much on herself, and hurting herself, and causing stress to everyone else as well, both because we all want to help as well, and because she would complain about being the only one helping even while she wouldn't LET us help.  -.-  The whole atmosphere is much more positive and pleasant, even when she is there now.

talisin's picture
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Joined: 2011-02-25

Oh dear I understand, my mom was not close with her mom (my grandmother) and I was, I knew my grandmother better than my mom, seems that I spent more time just doing things with my grandmother where my mom spent time advising her so their relationship was strained. And mom was an only child and for some reason it appears my grandmother didn't get the maternal bug until my mom had me and my brother. Even today over 20 years after my grandmother died my mom and I will talk and she will say "Mother never did that with me" or "mother never taught ME that" it happens for whatever reason.

and yes it sounds like a 92 year old woman. Can't wait for pics of the afghan!! Give her a hug from me and Ben and enjoy this time and try to let everyone know that you don't think she is dying just aging......hang in there...

Joined: 2012-10-28

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Hi Tanna,

 Its been a month now and we miss you and we hope things are ok and we send lotsa love your way and to your family.

 

xxx

 Julia and Bella and Michael