Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Day 15

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I opened Starbucks.

I had a sinking suspicion my Dad wanted time alone with Mom. For the last week, a plethora of family and friends have come in and out of her hospice room so I trekked home last night.


But I had to be back bright and early so Dad could go to work. Work is our "normal" these days.

So I stalked the Starbucks at 5:28 a.m. until the barista let me in and handed me my Venti non-fat vanilla latte. Coffee is another constant.

I arrived at hospice and Mom was awake. She saw my Starbucks and asked what I was drinking. I retorted, "Why, do you want your mocha frappucino?" That's the only coffee she'll drink. To which Mom responded, "I know, you would get me one. You'd get anything for me."

I wanted to tell my Mom, yes, I'd get anything for you. I'd take away the tumor. I'd find a cure for cancer. I'd do anything for you.

But I can't.

I quietly sat down. And that's when it happened.

My Mom looked to her left side and told someone to sit down. Her left side. The side opposite her tumor. The side the hospice doctor said would remain paralyzed as a result of her decline. The side where her vision is most affected.

My Mom then spoke to this person. She commented on his collar being turned up and how handsome he looked.

She then pointed at the foot of the bed and announced, "that's my dad!"

My grandfather died in the Philippines when I was three.

Mom sat up and clasped her hands. Both tasks were nearly impossible just hours before.

Now many emotions fill my head. Are her visions a sign of the end?

Her doctor explained to me earlier in the week how glioblastoma patients are the most difficult when it comes to prognosis. He did not believe Mom's constant sleep was a result of the methadone. He saw the deep sleep as part of her decline.

He described the journey of the final weeks of life as a roller coaster. the doctor says some days the patient will appear "well." Talking. Maybe walking. Eating.

Then the doctor said you go down the hill where you can stay for days. He even said we may mistake it for near-death. On Monday he was guessing we may be days from Mom's death. Trying starting your week with news like that.

And now she's having visions.

Maybe the doctor is right. I'm so scared that he is.

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