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Second guesses

April 30th, 2012

It’s been 4 weeks since I left mom and came back to Toronto.

And 4 more weeks since her stem cell transplant.

She’s now 64 days post-transplant. I realize, in the grand scheme of recovery, she’s got 4 to 10 more months to go, for her system to fully rebuild, for her strength to fully return.

I call her every morning on my way to work, and every evening on the way home, and I’m good at being encouraging, of reminding her of the big picture. With mom, I find it easy to congratulate her on the small (but oh-so-big) victories. Yesterday, it was managing to keep down all of her food, all day, for the first time in ages.

And yet, privately… just between you and I… can I admit that I’m absolutely terrified I encouraged her into the wrong decision?

Neither of us understands why every day is getting harder, rather than easier. When I left St. Charles, she could walk for 20 or 30 minutes. Now? She can’t make it one lap around the indoor mall. When I left, she was getting down 1500 calories a day, and keeping them down. Now? She’s throwing up (mostly) daily, despite additional medications. She’s weak, shaky, and ‘walks like a drunk’ (to quote what she said this morning).

I called the doctors last week to find out if this was a normal thing at this point in her recovery. They could just tell me her blood counts look good, give her an additional anti-nausea medication, and put her on something to stimulate her appetite. And of course, reiterate that everyone’s recovery is unique.

All reassurance aside, I’m at the point where I’ve accepted that if mom’s not in a full remission next week when she gets those results, that I can’t ask her to go through any more chemo. And perhaps, undergoing a stem cell transplant at age 67, as healthy as she was going into it, was a bad idea.

What if she doesn’t fully recover? What if this is what the rest of her life will be for her? This treatment was so much more brutal than I’d imagined… and I’d prepared myself for all of the side effects and complications. I just wasn’t prepared to see her still struggling with basic tasks, so long post-transplant. And I wasn’t prepared to have to leave her in the care of good neighbors and friends, while she’s still so weak.

Don’t get me wrong. I fully realize that Mom’s decision to do the transplant was, in the end, her decision. But I do know that I encouraged her, and that most of her motivation was to have more time to spend with me. But can you blame me for second guessing that now?

When do things start to turn around?

Recipe: Bacon Wrapped Marlin with Mushroom Risotto

April 17th, 2012

Yesterday was a rough day for me. Mom is slipping back a bit, and has had increasing problems keeping food down. It’s impossible to not worry, and it’s impossible for me to do anything to help from here, aside from providing what emotional support I can offer. By the time I got home, I was […]

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When packing to move to Chicago for those 7 weeks, I was a wee bit over-zealous with the amount of stash yarn that travelled along. I had enough for several sweaters, many accessories, and even a sweater in progress (that still isn’t complete). I did, however, choose wisely when packing the swatch and ball of […]

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