Mom's wondering when she can have a beer. Not so much that she'll get "snookered" but a couple of sips. Though, after a moment's reflection, she figured that a few sips is all it would really take to get snookered.
Today was a constant stream of visitors-one of her besties in the early morning, whom Mom begged for world news and who told her about a mother who got her 5 year old daughter's eye brows waxed and a cat who got called up for jury duty. Mom mused that she still has no idea about what's going on in the world. Then another friend, who fed her a delicious lunch while Mom sat up in the chair. Then more friends and relatives-all bearing gifts of food, massage, music and funny stories. Gary's parents sent a beautiful letter, hilarious card and sweet book and both of my parents were so touched. I just got off the phone with Mom and she was about to dig in to mushroom soup made with love from a book club buddy. She kept listing off the names of visitors-it seemed endless. But her energy was great and she had a wonderful time with them all.
Today she had radiation, physical therapy and, for the first time, occupational therapy. She really enjoyed OT-she worked with bands to help build her upper body strength. In addition to the PT and OT sessions provided through the hospital, she also did some more exercises on her own. And sat in the chair. When I was in Seattle last, a day with half as much going on would have exhausted her. She's so much stronger than she was two weeks ago. She said it's still difficult and uncomfortable to eat, but she's making such an effort and really forcing herself to do it.
Her radiation therapy will end in less than a week, and then the hospital can't keep her. So now begins the search for the next place she should be. Maybe a rehab facility or a nursing home-we're very hopeful that we can find a suitable place that's close to home. We aren't sure what the next treatment steps are after radiation, either; I'm assuming she'll continue the chemo that she's already doing and the oncologist has mentioned other treatments, too. In any case, she will most likely be celebrating her birthday in a new place. I really wish she could just go home, at least for the weekend, but the house isn't able to accommodate-there are stairs everywhere and no shower or bath on the main level. And no one there to help us with medication, physical and occupational therapy, meal prep, safety-proofing the house while she can't see, etc. Again, we're just confronted with a new version of normal life. It will take time, but we will figure everything out.
I feel so fortunate that we have friends and family who have all jumped to help without any hesitation; the amount of love that has enveloped all of us is overwhelming. My email inbox humbles me every day. Each morning I wake up to another stranger writing to tell me a beautiful story about how my mom touched their life, how they are sending strong healing energy to our entire family. Each day I get an email from a long lost classmate or a facebook message from member at the Y who takes my class and is sending healing energy to me. This experience has so dramatically changed my entire family. It has brought out the best version of each of us. Rather, I should say, Mom brings out the best version of ourselves. We can't show up for her in any other way.