Friday, April 15, 2016

On the Topic of Grace

Grace Walsh - April 15, 2016

My birth mother has been in a sub-acute care facility for close to 2 months.  She seems to go back and forth to the Stanford Hospital Emergency Room every 2 weeks to have a blood transfusion and most recently, had 'fluid' drained at a different hospital.  Her health has been on a serious decline since last July, when she was diagnosed with liver cancer. She had tumors treated with radiation, has been on various medications, and, that is all I know.  The 'story' is always hard to get - in terms what she wants us to know, and what is truly happening.  Last  week we were told she has liver cirrhosis and that she knew this last summer and chose not to have a liver transplant.  Seriously?  She could have had a liver transplant and prevented all the crap that has been going on lately? 

However, it was her decision and we have to respect that.  Interestingly, I was recently thinking 'what would I do if I had cancer'?  I watched my dad die a over a three month period from his cancer and some hard core chemo therapy treatments.  I would never do chemo. 

The photo above was taken by my Aunt Alice, today, and was sent with the following message:



A miracle, prayers do get answered.  She's lost 50 lbs of water and looks great, even skinny.   Mentally pretty sharp and well spoken.  She's made friends there too.  Says Dr Marcus at El Camino hospital was the catalyst for her improvement.  Pls fwd this to Paula, I don't have her on this phone.  Had a great, happy, long visit with her.
Keep up the great work, girls, love you Much.

The 'great work' is due to my sister Avis, who has taken the lead as Grace's health advocate.  Not an easy job.  On the physical side, she has a two-hour drive to get to Grace, and has to juggle her own full-time job. Grace did not have any releases of information signed with any of her doctors. She doesn't have a power of attorney.  I doubt she even has a will.  It has been a very frustrating process.  You read about this stuff all this time.  But, for whatever reason, people like to keep their private affairs, private.  Until the day you get a call from another relative that 'it's an emergency'.   On the emotional side, my mother is a handful on her 'best' days.  Our own relationship has been strained for over 20 years.  Seeing her this last January was the best visit we have had in a very long time.

The photo?  I love seeing the smile on my mom's face.  My goodness.  I don't recognize her at all. 

1 comment:

Elise said...

Thinking of you, sweet friend. Mom/daughter relationships are complex, even when they are healthy and easy, add toxicity to the mix... Well, all I can say is that my heart aches for what does not exist and the angst you must feel. Glad to know the news is good, at least for now. You are all in my prayers <3