Today was beautiful.
My parents got a great night's sleep, thanks to our amazing nurse, G, who orchestrated the night nurse's rounds and made sure no one was interrupted. Radiation was quicker than planned, with the long mapping procedure postponed until tomorrow, and Mom came out of it with an appetite and a smile on her face. We had a great shower and shampoo; I didn't flood the entire bathroom and took my pants of prior to getting in. Mom's oldest friend (in years of friendship, not age) arrived from AZ, bringing Mom such joy, blessings and amazing apple bread. And Mom was presented with a gorgeous healing quilt, knitted by a whole host of visitors in the waiting room. Gary dubbed them "The Sisterhood of the Traveling Wool." Though she can't see the beautiful colors, she can feel the warmth and softness and prayers that have been woven into it by the 19 people helped bring it into existence. The first time I've seen Mom cry since this whole ordeal began was today when being wrapped in the quilt, and they definitely weren't tears of sadness.
I arrived at the hospital at 9am just as my parents were heading down to radiation; my dad was elated with the night. They slept all the way through until about 5am when Mom needed to go to the bathroom. They spent the next two hours talking about their life together and the neighbors and friends who all raised their children together. They feel asleep again until 9 when they got up for radiation. I walked downstairs to treatment with them and we all had a great breakfast afterwards. Mom ate the most today that I've seen her eat. She had about a quarter of a bagel with cream cheese, capers and lox for breakfast and about 4 ounces of pumpkin and lentil soup for lunch. Claudia brought her a mango smoothie that she lovedand had for dinner with a few bites of chips and a bite of bread. After breakfast, Mom still had high spirits and energy so we decided to do the shower. It was great-she felt so refreshed, so clean, so human again. Since her surgery incision still hasn't healed, G wisely wouldn't let me wash her hair in the shower. So we moved to the sink and I shampooed/massaged her head for a while. If she were a cat, she'd have purred. It helps that she also didn't see the large knot of hair that came off her head and settled in the sink. Or the pile of strands on her pillow.
We had a visit from the hospitalist today. We actually have two hospitalists-they work 7 days on and 7 days off. Our first one is really great but the second guy is ridiculous. Today was second guy's last day, thank goodness. As he was leaving, I said to Mom, "I'm going to describe your doctor: he has a long ponytail, a mouthful of braces, glasses that don't fit his face, a slouch, a huge peace sign belt buckle and one of his shoes has white shoelaces and the other has brown." Not that any of those things have anything to do with his ability to practice medicine, but when your mother has a fatal disease, you don't want the doctor who'd rather be at Phish than at your bedside. After discussing getting Mom off the IV pain killers by administering an oral morphine every 12 hours, he left and said #1 will be back tomorrow. I very thinly veiled my glee. The idiot then put in the order for the pain killer every 12 hours, but gave it to her at 2pm. We're in the process of moving it to 9s or 10s instead of needing to wake up at 2am to do this.
After a super eventful morning and early afternoon, Mom napped on and off until about 5:30pm. Ross arrived and my dad and I rotated to the waiting room to visit with aunts, uncles, cousins and friends. At one point, Dad went back to the room, then immediately came out to the waiting room with a big grin saying that Mom and Ross were napping together. The rest of the evening is a blur: Mom's friend arrived, the oncologist came in to do chemo treatment #2, Ross played guitar for Mom, Claudia brought smoothie and soup, my dad went home for the night, everyone else went home for the night, I brushed Mom's teeth and did my best to get her comfortable in bed lying on her side.
It's another slumber party tonight-my dad is going to work tomorrow for the first time in over two weeks. I'm looking forward to the 5am conversation.