Thanks for the T&P: An update from Pasadena

by Lian on October 22, 2012

Hi, Chaos Crew…

I can’t thank you enough for all the messages and well-wishing. It has really boosted  my spirits over the last week. There have been some long days and logging in and knowing that there are so many extra prayers, thoughts and good vibes out there on behalf of my mother is very energizing. Thank you all.

My mother is now at my sister Liz’s place in Santa Monica. I won’t kid you, she’s very sick. But with the help of her doctors and my sister Monica, a nurse, she’s hanging in there.  This week, Sheila is the primary caregiver with Liz as back-up. There will also be additional home nursing care. My sister  Monica headed back to Portland, but we’ll get another RN in. Hopefully, my mother’s strength and appetite will improve. In the meantime, I can report that my mother’s spirit is in tact. Yesterday, she looked over at my sister’s dining room table and said, “Elizabeth, straighten those candlesticks.” Way to go, Edna.

On the of the strangest aspect of having a full-scale medical emergency is that life goes on here in Pasadena. For those of you who’ve been through something life this, I know you understand that sensation of being removed from the real world by medical issues but forced to connect with the real world because that’s the way it goes. My friend Patty described the feeling as “fogginess.” It’s tempting to pour out the whole story when someone asks, ‘How’s it going?”   I’m trying to compartmentalize as best as I can to care for the kids, nag my son about college applications, write my book and hold it all together. Some days, it’s tougher than other not to focus on what’s happening to my mother, even if I’m not in Santa Monica. I’m grateful to have a terrific support system here in Pasadena, great Satellite Sisters like my friend Dana who dropped off a delicious meatloaf and pasta salad at just the right time. It’s hard to put into words how meaningful gestures like that can be.

This week, I’m on stand-by for duty in Santa Monica, so I’ll be carrying on here with a new show, more College Bound Chronicles and writing. Thanks for your patience, support, T&P and meatloaf.

Embracing my Chaos, Lian






Ann in Huntsville October 25, 2012 at 6:20 PM

What a blessing to have the support of siblings and friends. Continued prayers for the whole Dolan family.

CLSD OPEN October 25, 2012 at 12:27 PM

Your kids are learning a lot about how to care for people you love, most especially aging parents. The example you are providing to your boys will come back to you years from now when you’re the aging parent. Just know that your kids are taking all the good from this bad situation. Hang in there Dolans, and know that we’re all pulling for you. xo, Chris P.S. Your mom is really something…like others above, I too feel like I’ve benefitted greatly from Edna’s advice and spirit all these years. ;-)

Ann Isom October 24, 2012 at 3:10 PM

Thoughts and prayers for all of you Lian.

Cynthia October 24, 2012 at 8:08 AM

Such hard work sending prayers for your family.

Jane Christensen October 23, 2012 at 8:01 PM

Praying for you and your family. In case it could help, there is a non-profit web site called CARINGBRIDGE.ORG that offers private or public journal updates to families facing a health crisis and also has a CARE CALENDAR that helps in the scheduling of the ground crew and meals.

Michelle October 23, 2012 at 10:25 AM

Blessed is the woman who can bend for she cannot be broken. Keep bending, Lian…one day at a time.

Susan in Iowa October 23, 2012 at 5:49 AM

Dear Lian and all… I have thought of you and your family so many times over the past week…my thoughts and prayers continue to be with you and your loved ones.

gilles October 22, 2012 at 9:06 PM

My best to Edna and her crew. Courage, all.

carol w in IL October 22, 2012 at 7:44 PM

Bill is right; you’re going above and beyond the call keeping us updated, but we truly care and appreciate the effort. I hope you can put the book writing aside and just spend time with mom. How is Julie doing with ‘dad’ and the relocation? I’m sure she’s very anxious to see ‘mom’. Wish I could drop off some dinner for you but I guess ‘t & p’ will have to do. Sending strength and hugs girls…..xoxo.

PegS October 22, 2012 at 2:52 PM

I will keep you, your family and your mum & dad in my prayers!

Cyndi October 22, 2012 at 12:53 PM

Glad to hear your mother is in true form dispensing decorating advice even when bigger issues are being faced … that’s the spirit Edna! I’ve learned a lot of good advice from her through your stories Lian – she’s quite a remarkable woman in many ways. And so are you.

Martha C October 22, 2012 at 12:44 PM

Thank you for taking the time to let us know how you and your family are doing. You’ve all been in my thoughts. When my family has been in the medical emergency mode, we just try to think about getting through one day at a time, otherwise it’s overwhelming. Hang in there!

Marcia October 22, 2012 at 12:04 PM

Lian – I’ve been ExaCtLy where you are (Dad with Alzheimers and Mom with Lung Cancer simulaneously). I read your updates with such empathy and true understanding of what you are dealing with. Please know you are not alone and that you are doing a GREAT job keeping all those balls in the air. Thanks for keeping us informed.

sandy October 22, 2012 at 11:09 AM

Dear Dolans…I have thought of you so often. I’m so glad that you have each other…

marycatherine October 22, 2012 at 10:46 AM

I am keeping you and your family in my thoughts and prayers. I am glad to hear that you have wonderful friends to cook for you. My friends and I were able to cook for another friend while she was going through an illness and it really helped her and us. Sometimes you feel so unable to make a difference in the lives of others. Food always helps especially when there are teenage boys involved which she had also. They are always hungry and force us to remain in the real world even when things are falling apart. Best wishes to your mom. She seems like and incredible woman!

Lian October 22, 2012 at 10:28 AM

Thanks, all. Really.

Sonita, love the term ground crew. Very apt. Lian

Kristin October 22, 2012 at 9:48 AM

Thanks for the update, Lian. It is heartbreaking to hear, but at the same time a relief to know that you are doing your level best to keep the rest of life moving. Hang in there; know that I am on the journey with you .

William J. October 22, 2012 at 9:48 AM


Thanks for keeping us updated. That really is above and beyond the call of duty. My prayers are always with you and your family. All the Dolans and the surrounding families. Bless your Mom and Dad. They raised one damn outstanding family.


Kathy in Atlanta October 22, 2012 at 9:09 AM

Lian, you are a role model to me, even though I’m older! You demonstrate true courage to carry on in Pasadena knowing the situation over in Santa Monica. It must be like parallel universes. Your Mom has real spirit – and so do you.

Sonita October 22, 2012 at 9:00 AM

Lian, when coordinating our caregiving teams, we referred to our primary as the Ground Crew because, even if you’re not there, you’re all ‘on board, so to speak. Best wishes…squeeze as much love into and out of it as possible!

Jennifer October 22, 2012 at 8:29 AM

Thanks for the update Lian. You all have been in my thoughts and I’m glad you are all hanging in there, while using your particular strengths. I will keep sending you good vibes during the day and long prayers at bedtime.


Michele October 22, 2012 at 8:17 AM

We love you, Lian! Continuing with thoughts, prayers, and good vibes (at least better vibes) will shine over the Dolans:_)

Marge October 22, 2012 at 8:07 AM

We’ll continue to pray for all of you! I know how hard it is to keep all the balls in the air!

Molly October 22, 2012 at 7:54 AM

In our prayers.

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