Monday, December 04, 2017

Visiting Mom in Oregon

I am going to be back posting about a month worth of posts - from this date until mid-January. The tenses may get mixed up, you may read yesterday and it happened a month ago, bear with me. I'll try. 

Early on Sunday Morning, the 3rd of December my brother called. I could hear Mom moaning and talking incoherently in the background. Stacia and I had planned the first of three winter trips for 4 December.  Mom and I had talked daily. We'd texted and shared Polo's on Marco Polo, but shortly after Thanksgiving this all changed. I suspected she'd taken a turn for the worse. She had just had a biopsy earlier in the week. She hadn't seen the doctor to discuss the results.  I only talked to her twice between Thanksgiving and December 3rd and both times she wasn't herself. This was attributed to drugs and pain. 

Will called because he wanted me to be prepared. Earlier in the week we'd talked about a tea party with Stacia, Me, Mom, Sherri and Lorri. Mom had planned to move back home for the week I was there. She insisted we have a "normal" visit this time. There was no way this was happening. 

It was apparent Mom needed to go to the hospital. She didn't want to go, but we all made the decision to take her. Her pain was out of control and there was just no way to keep her comfortable or safe at home. She had been staying at Will and Sherri's since Thanksgiving. I think we suspected they'd get her pain under control and come up with new a new med cocktail and we'd take her home. Mom seemed to know if she went to the hospital, this would be it. She had quit eating on Saturday and we hoped she'd begin to eat as they got her pain under control. 

We had been told Mom had 7 months - 2 years to live. I didn't really think this was "it." This was to be the first of several visits to see her in the upcoming year(s). Michael and Will had both warned they didn't think it would be years. I'm not sure any of us envisioned how quickly she would go - she passed away just 6 weeks and 1 day after being told her cancer had returned. 

Tired and worried - in  a hurry to get to Oregon and River Bend Hospital....
Stacia is wearing our 2017 Family Shirt - Strong.Courageous. 

A word of thanks to Josiah, our eldest son. When he heard I was going to visit Mom, he paid for Stacia to come along. We all wanted her to get to see Mom while Mom was still in a good place. This is one of the things I worried about. We debated about Stacia staying in Alaska - but in the end, Lorri, my cousin, agreed to make sure Stacia was busy,  had a good trip, and visited Mom when she wanted to, while having an escape when she needed it. It worked well and Stacia is glad to have been able to see Mom when Mom still recognized who she was.
Seats together - SCORE 
 I am glad Will called to be sure I understood how much mom had failed in the week before we arrived. She recognized us. She held us, cried, kissed us over and over...and it's been a long time since I've been called, "My baby," so lovingly.   It was good to be with family.
Will, Dad, Stacia and Sherri 
 This turns out to be the last photo the three of us have. I know some wouldn't share it - but it's priceless to us.
Stacia, Mom, Me

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