Tuesday, January 26, 2016

My life is gray

I am not having a lot of "I can't stand another second more" moments these days. I am just having my moments of wondering how much longer I have to put up with going on living. There seems to be nothing that I want. I can't even figure out what to eat for breakfast- there is nothing that I want to eat. But it is my late day at work, I will be starving by lunch (and then eat something bad).

I have a problem with initiation and with keeping going through difficulty and I don't know how much of it is depression, meds, or my underlying personality. But perhaps it doesn't matter. The answer is the same- I have to treat initiation as a muscle and see if I can strengthen it.

There is this catch-22 about depression. If you are depressed, in part because your life is empty and miserable- then the answer, at least in part- is action. But the thought of action seems very unpleasant, and it is all that I can do just to keep going in the basics of my life- how can I do more? And so the thought of doing more makes me more depressed, and yet not doing more makes me more depressed because it does nothing to make my life better.

There are many reasons why I am so devastated by my mother's cancer. But a part of it is that I have so few people in my life. My brother has a wife, kids, even in-laws. I still can't figure out how he turned out so normal! I think his wife has a lot to do with it. Plus he has always made connections with people, wherever he went.

In two and a half weeks I go to see my mother, who is now on oxygen. I'll see if a week is the right amount of time to go for. My plan is to go every month until I use up my PTO, and then to start using family leave. I don't know how much time she has left. A doctor in July told her she had less than a year (and he made it sound like quite a bit less) if she did not do chemo or surgery. But that is just an average, and I don't know if any of the alternative things that she did bought her some time.

Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Faster and faster

My mother was in the hospital again. They called 911 when she felt like she couldn't breath Tuesday night. She just got released. They sent her home on oxygen. This is going to be a big adjustment.

I think the hospice discussion is going to happen soon, but I don't know if I need to be there in person to bring it up. She seemed to frazzled today to talk about it on the phone, I wasn't sure the timing was right. I wish I was going to visit them earlier than I am- I don't know if it can wait a month.

I'm glad that she had a good Thanksgiving with her children and grandchildren. It has been downhill from there. Somehow I didn't think it would be so fast. When they said under a year without chemo, I thought somehow she'd get the full year. And I thought that there would be time during which she would still have some health and not be so focused on finding a cure that we could do something together. But that was my wish, and it is her cancer. She will spend it doing what she wants.

I want her to find acceptance. What else is there at this stage? I want her to have peace. And I want to be able to really talk to her- but maybe that is my fault for treating her like a child and not telling her what I think the truth is more often. And I want to be there. But I don't want to quit my job here.

I want, I want. I need to accept. At least today I am not crying. Amazing what an increase in Effexor can do. That was what stopped the tears. I'd like to say it was radical acceptance or inner strength or something. It was drugs. But drugs that let me do my work. There have been tears, and there will be a time for tears again. But when I am crying at work- that is what is unacceptable- because then I can't do my job.

Monday, January 18, 2016

And so it begins

My mother was in the hospital last week for two nights. Of course no one told me until I called. She got a blood transfusion for anemia, potassium, fluids, and vitamin K because her INR was so high. Of course no one bothered to call me, I didn't find out until the second night when I called. They also did a chest x-ray because of her constant cough. The last MRI found a spot on her lungs- and pancreatic cancer can spread to the lungs. Now there are more spots, and she has fluid in her lungs.

I have been a total wreck since then. I feel like I am falling apart. It is not that I didn't know my mother was dying, but somehow perhaps I didn't have a timeline for it. And I feel terrible for being so far away. And my mother and my aunt are continuing to fight so horribly, neither makes sense. My mother is less and less rational and my aunt is drinking more and more. And they both still talk as though they can beat this. Maybe they will go to Mexico to a clinic. Or somewhere else. I again made my offer to my mother- come here and I'll get a two bedroom apartment and maybe you can have some peace. But she won't leave her mother. Even though, eventually, she will be and my aunt will be the one responsible for her.

I spent the weekend kind of medicated myself. Zyprexa and klonopin. I slept a lot and cried a lot. And somehow got myself into work to do paperwork on Sunday, although not nearly as long as I needed to. This morning I am feeling somewhat better.

If my mom's life was chaos, I suppose it is only fitting that her death would be too.

Partially it is the chaos and conflict that is getting to me. I can't handle it. And partially it is the increasing realization that I will never have the good times with her that I had hoped to have. I really hoped that, after her mother died, she would come live near me. Not with me, but near me. And maybe now that she is not drinking and neither of us is too mental at the moment, we could have some kind of a good relationship. But it is not going to happen.

And it is all the more of a loss in my life because I don't have that many people in my life. My brother has a wife, kids, even in-laws. I think it is different.

There was a time when I thought that 75 was old. It doesn't seem so old anymore. Especially when my dad is 85 and my grandmother is 95. My mom will probably be outlived by her mother.