Advent reflection

On the last day of November, I had a medical procedure (nothing serious) we walked into MyMichigan Midland Hospital and my mind remembered as of last January I had never been at MyMichigan Midland Hospital.  My first trip was when Dana was admitted for her pancreatitis.  Since then, we have been there many times.  They don’t have to tell us where the elevators are anymore.  With that thought my mind wondered back over the past year and what I could share with this group about parenting an adult cancer patient. 

Our goal as we raised our daughters was for them to become independent women, who could stand on their own two feet.  I guess you could say we were successful. But with that comes the new role of stepping back and allowing them their independence with support.  We (Dale, Denise, and I) each took turns being with her with each procedure and infusion.  My infusions were the first two and the final one. In the middle it was hard for me to not be there all the time, but this was a family thing.  It became more difficult for me when I got sick with a bug then bronchitis and finally an asthma flare up for the entire month of October.  My doctor said stay away from your daughter.  So, I did and talked on the phone and Dale was great texting and keeping me up to date.

I did get the doctor’s permission to be there for her final one, which reminded me of the hardest part of all.  Leaving on Friday after the infusion now knowing that the next 4-6 days were going to be her worst.  From day one she did not want us there for these difficult days, the prednisone crash and fatigue.  But we had to allow her independence. We reminded her we could drop everything and be there within a couple hours.

 I did catch glimpses from listening to her conversions over the past months that she was not letting us know how bad it was. When she had a constipation issue, she waited too long to address it.  Miss Independence was doing it on her own and made it worse.  She finally called from the hospital emergency room when it was all over.  She said something to the effect of I know Mom if you had been here, you would have made me go sooner.   During this last time, she called and told us the day before had been her worst. She said she was nauseous and had gone to get Chili from Wendy’s.  As a mom I thought chili and your nauseous. When she got home, she couldn’t eat it (Surprise) and was worried she couldn’t eat that day. At which I said how about Chicken Noodle Soup?  She called back later and said that was a good idea.  I wonder how much else she went through that I wasn’t there to take care of her.   This last time was the worst and she told me she was glad there wasn’t a 7 as she was not sure she would do another one. 

So, we are now in Advent.  It is a time of waiting.  This year our family is not only waiting for our Saviors birth but the results of a Pet Scan and praying it shows we are done.  I know the waiting is wearing on her.  She is calling more often and trying hard to keep busy.  A note, I’ve learned about Dana while she doesn’t always let us know what is going on or call frequently but if she starts calling frequently it’s because there is something she is struggling with.  

This year we are celebrating Christmas here at the cabin. I have not fully decorated since the flood.  First, it was the flood, then Christmas moved to the weekend and with Dana’s work schedule it is easier to celebrate at her house.  That was the plan last Christmas - at Dana’s again.  She won’t be back to work as she does not get her results with the Doctor until after Christmas so we will be here.  For the first time in a long time, I get to be at my home church for Christmas Eve with both (church and biological) families. [ Side note : we just spent Thanksgiving with my brother which is a first for us as we were worried. His cancer started spreading again but Good News the scan showed much improvement. Chemo is working again] Today we start getting tubs that have not been opened in 3 years, it will be an adventure.  We’ll see what I have forgotten. I, too, am keeping my mind busy much like Dana is doing.

As the Christmas season begins keep your loved ones close and let them know what they mean to you.   This Advent we wait and pray for two Good News.

2 responses to “Advent reflection”

  1. Billie Plouff Avatar
    Billie Plouff

    Thank you for sharing with others. It means so much to me to know what Dana and your family are feeling and doing. We pray for good news and strength to encourage you. God loves you and chose you as his own ~

  2. Patricia Premo Avatar
    Patricia Premo

    I continue to keep you all in my prayers as you go these most difficult times in your family. Thank you for sharing them with us. Love and hugs to all.

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