I wanted to let you know what was happening here. As you know, it’s been a long year in terms of caring for my 85- year- old parents. My father is in the late stages of Alzheimer’s and needs 24 hour care and my mother has been worn down physically and emotionally by her role as caregiver. They have been living in Southern California, my father in a care facility and my mother in an apartment in Santa Monica. But recently, it’s become obvious that my mother can no longer live independently. My sister Julie in Dallas offered her home for my mother with its close proximity to an excellent nursing home for my dad. It was a good solution, even though moving them to another state was not going to be easy.
Last Sunday, my dad got on the plane to Dallas and successfully transitioned to his new facility after an emotional good-bye here in Southern Cal. At the same time as my dad was headed to LAX with my brother, my sister Liz was headed to the ER with my mother. My mother was having trouble breathing. For several months, she was being treated for a pulled muscle in her back, an infection, and a possible a rotator cuff injury. She’s been in pain and exhausted, the stress of my father’s situation visible on her face. She was immediately admitted to the ER and after two hours of x-rays and blood tests, she was diagnosed with lung cancer.
The diagnosis of lung cancer was shocking and the timing was stunning. Prior to the last few months, my mother was a strong, robust woman who hadn’t had a cigarette in 40 years. But the tumors certainly explained the pain and the flu-like symptoms. Like many patients and their families who hear the word “cancer,” there were a lot of decisions to make in a short period of time. As last week progressed, the diagnosis was confirmed and the gravity of her condition sunk in. She is stage IV and her cancer is not curable. We are working with her doctors to keep her pain-free and abide by her wishes for palliative care. Our goal over the next few weeks is to get her medically stable to fly so that she can go to Dallas to be with my father.
Thank you in advance for your thoughts and prayers. Your kind words have been a source of comfort in the past.
Embrace your Chaos, Lian
Please note, due to this medical emergency, my talk for the Arizona Author’s Series has been cancelled. I apologize for the inconvenience. There is a full refund available. Please see this website for details.