June 2, 2011

Here We Go Again

It was my intention to post an update on my mom's last surgery so you could all understand the details of what happened. That never happened. Instead, life happened!

Johnathon came home the Sunday that my mom's tube was removed. She then spent 8 more days in the hospital only to be discharged the day that Johnathon flew back to California. Having him here was a huge blessing. She had two fractured ribs and a scratchy throat, but appeared to be fine and strong. She also came home on oxygen for a little extra help. She was doing great.

Over the next week and half we had numerous lunch dates and she even attended my little sisters graduation. We shared many long talks about what could have happened that day and the possibilities of what the future could bring. We were emotional babies and cried at the drop of a hat, but we also learned to keep our sense of humor and do our best to make each other laugh.

They scheduled my mom's second surgery for Wednesday, June 1st. It was another early morning followed by the same tests and needle pokes. This time, however, they inserted a central line in her neck and an art line in her wrist. The art line would be her lifesaver in surgery as it was able to inform the doctors that her blood pressure was dropping before it was too late. Unlike last time, they were able to fix the problem before she coded, resulting in no additional cracked ribs...the silver lining? The art line is able to record a persons blood pressure with every beat of the heart. It is also able to show how wet or dry her vessels are...a dialysis thing. All of these factors are they assumed was the problem last time.

Being informed that the doctor wants a consult is now my number one fear. So many thoughts run around your head and you can't help but think of all the possibilities. It's hard.

I found that this time around was much harder than the last for the simple fact that I don't feel like I fully recovered emotionally from the last surgery. Just seeing her laying on the bed fully sedated with a breathing tube was enough to put me over the edge. I guess the fact that I had been sick with the stomach flu the 24 hours leading up to the surgery didn't help either. I wanted to scream when I saw her. I wanted to get mad and throw a fit. Instead all I could do was remain numb. Numb to all feelings.

I've said it before, but I often feel like I am on the verge of a serious mental breakdown. It's like the tears are just waiting to be let out of the flood gates. My emotions are sky high and I simply can't take one more second. You see, that's how I feel on the inside, but instead everyone sees a strong and even mannered face on the outside; someone who can handle anything and make things happen. I hear it all the time, 'you are so strong' or 'I don't know how you do it'. Well, I don't know how I do it either and I am not nearly as strong as everything thinks. It's just as if how I am feeling and how I am acting aren't the same. My only option is to be strong. I have to be strong for my mom who can't be right now. She needs to rest and focus on getting better so I will be her strength. I hold all of her information in my head and act like a computer spitting out details of her medical history to anyone who needs to know. I will make the phone calls to her loved ones and keep them updated. I will be at her bedside when she opens her eyes. And I will be there to answer any and all of her questions when she is ready to ask. Most importantly, I will be there to support her when the doctors say it's time to go at it again. I will be her rock!

We aren't 100% sure what our next step will be with the cancer. The bottom line is that we need to get it out of her, and soon. Now we just have the problem of how to do it. A lot of options have been floating around. Do we give her chemo before surgery hoping that it will shrink them enough to do a lumpectomy on all three spots? Will she then also have to do a series of radiation just to be on the safe side? Or will she even need a second dose of chemo? What if the cancer has spread? What then? There are just so many unknowns.

To make matters worse, we found out today that her dialysis graft has clotted and she will be receiving a temporary catheter until a new graft can be put in. The only problem with that is I am not sure where they will put it. We also learned that she has pneumonia. :( *sigh*

Sometimes I just sit back and wonder why? Why would God put her through all of this? Is there a reason? I would sure like to know what that is. Are we supposed to be learning something from all of this? Then what? Because all I feel is fear. All I know is that every time my mom goes into a hospital for a routine surgery, it ends in a few week stay and many other problems than before. I can't help but feel angry and I know I shouldn't feel that way. It's just I feel like I pray every second of every day and things like this still happen. I know there is a reason for everything, but when is enough, enough? I guess I am just dealing with a little bit of doubt here. Don't get me wrong, I believe in God with all of my heart. However, it's only after someone goes through everything that I have experienced with my mom over the years that I start to ask 'why'?

I guess in a twisted way I should be thankful that she made it through, right? I suppose she could have died, but instead He let her live. Am I then selfish to say that I would rather Him do this to her a million more time than to take her from me? It is selfish, right?

All I do know is that this has been very hard on me and I'm not sure how much more I can take emotionally. If that is how I feel, imagine how my mom will feel when they wake her up and take out her breathing tube this afternoon.

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