Thursday, February 11, 2016

Are You Really LIVING

My mother isn't doing well with her leukemia. On a different note, she is doing better with her memory and infections. On another different note, she has been on antibiotics for 40 of the last 50 days and still can't hear out of her right ear and has congestion. 

I am not sure what to do with her. Her white count has gone up each week but with her serious set of infections, that could be expected. Her platelets have gone down causing a worry for bleeding. She finished up her antibiotics and has still been blowing out lots of "not clear" stuff from her nose and coughing it up from her lungs. 

I guess with no immune system, it is hard to heal. I am grateful that I was able to heal her toe, neck, abscess on the roof of her mouth and much of the infection in her sinus and lungs. I am sad that I haven't been able to clean out her sinus completely or her ear pressure and clogging on the inside of the inner ear. 

We still have a Dr. apt with the ear specialist next week and with her cancer Dr. in two weeks. I know if I send her somewhere, she will probably end up with the same confusion and infection in her head as we haven't been able to get rid of it all.

It is a hard place to be knowing she is draining me physically and taking time away from my family and home but on the other hand, I have gotten to have some time with her and hear a few new stories I hadn't heard before. 

I asked her tonight, "Since I saved your life a few years back, what have you done with your life?" and we came to the conclusion that she has mostly watched movies and eaten. She is tired and has had a VERY full life but as she is so tired, she really hasn't done much other than sing in a few choirs these past ten years or so.

When I talked with her Cancer Dr.'s office yesterday, they told me she can either take a pill once a day and see if it will help her in the time she has left (it may be too late for that) or we need to look at Hospice options. 

I asked my mother tonight if she wanted to die and be done with the "being tired" or if she wanted to try taking the "one a day" pill which will probably make things worse for two months before it starts to work (if it works) in most patients and I couldn't get her to make a choice. 

I feel like she has climbed on a rail on a tall bridge. She wants to die as she is tired and lonely as she has lived alone for 20+ years. On the other hand, I know she has some regrets of things she felt she should do with her life and has chosen not to do (or avoided) for one reason or another. 

I asked my mother if she wanted to jump off the rail and in which direction she wanted to jump, onto the bridge or into the water? She really couldn't choose. I don't want you to think I am abusing someone who is out of her mind. In the past week, she has been completely clear in her memory. The antibiotics cleared her head and memory enough that she remembers the days now and what we did, conversations with family and people she met at my church on Sunday. She really is good but with everything medical science, specialists and my alternative health knowledge, she isn't really healing completely and when I asked her about her thoughts, she oscillated to wanting to die to see her sister, wanting to meet a man before she dies but in the end, is scared to die. 

I have thought the past few days, as I have discussed her life and situations in her life with her for HOURS and HOURS, that perhaps she is just afraid to let go and die. I think that could be a VERY scary thought for someone who hates being alone. 

I didn't realize how much she hates being alone until last time she got blood at the hospital. I asked if she needed anything and she would say "no" so I would get up to get a drink or go to the bathroom and I couldn't get two steps out the curtain before she would call to me in a PANIC "needing" something. I didn't even dare to leave today while she got another 2 units of blood.

It is a hard conversation to have with someone you care about and love. "Do you want to fight or die?"  She said, "I would like to find a man." or "I would like to know my grandchildren better." but she refused to say, "I CHOOSE to live." "I choose to find a man and get to know my grandchildren better." Nor would she say, "I want to "die" or "go" or any other word you can insert for "passing on.." I told her "I would like to marry superman but "liking" something isn't doing or getting something!

I have saved her life once and since that time of me being away from my children for four months, she has mostly just laid in bed all day watching movies. She ate in bed, slept half the day and watched movies half the night. She would only go to activities that someone would "take" her to for the most part other than singing in her choirs, she really hasn't done much living. 

I LOVE my mother and she has raised 8 amazing children but I finally realized tonight that she has already died in many ways and is just afraid to really die. I asked her if she felt like she has been "living" life for the past 15 - 20 years and she said she really hasn't. She got upset that I have all her newspaper articles and she doesn't "have" them. I told her she had a house full of that stuff and asked her "In the past ten years has she sorted through the two storage units she rents in her building and all the boxes in her apartment?" She said "no." 

It was a hard conclusion for me to come to and for her to realize that she really hasn't "LIVED" for many years now as she is just existing because she is afraid to "live" alone and she is afraid to "die" and be "alone" once dead.

I know I am not really "LIVING" my life to its fullest as I got bogged down with taking care of her "stuff" which is bins and many boxes in my garage, I have video boxes in my closet. I have two small bins by the side of my bed, I have cd's of pictures scanned which I haven't uploaded sitting on the corner of my desk. I have videos of recordings I just made and LOTS of my backup drive memory is of the many full and long days scanning her Beauty pageant photos, news articles etc. I have bags of cassette tapes which still need to be listened to for family history stuff. There are over 200 still that haven't been listened to along with two cases of reel-to-reel tapes. The list goes on with about 12 bins of news articles that haven't been sorted except by month and haven't been scanned. Here is a post about some of that.

She could die tomorrow and I would have another 20 years of work to organize and sort and that isn't including the two storage closets she rents or her apartment. In a way, I can see why she is afraid to live and why she is afraid to die. I myself, am overwhelmed by the "stuff" she has left for me to do. I put off my family scanning etc and spent months of my life sorting her stuff, cleaning out houses etc. 

It makes me ask myself, "What am I LIVING for? and What will I leave when I Die?" I don't want to leave my children in the position I am in with all that stuff and I don't want to live just because I am afraid to die. I truly didn't plan on writing this post as it is such a deep thing but it has shocked me into realization that there are worse things than dying. Feeling like I have wasted some of my life to me would be worse than dying. So, with that, I ask myself, "Am I LIVING?" and if not, What do I need to change in my life to "LIVE?"Another good questions to ask is, "Am I ready to die? Have I done in my life what I wanted to do?" If the answers are not in harmony with what you want for yourself, now is the time to do something about that. 

Ready to get started? Pray for me to know what to do to help my mother and pray for her to be able to be at peace with whichever decision she chooses to make for herself. Thank you for your prayers!

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