Well, how about a little update from the spin-out a couple months ago? It's hard to forget that this is a public place and anything I write is out there for everybody to read. Thanks to those that do and for all of your heartfelt responses.
My mom is no longer on chemo or any other treatment for the cancer. She is now home, on hospice care. She still deals with pain and nausea but they keep her as comfortable as possible. I have come to realize there is a fine line between comfort and being spun-out on pain meds.
She has THE.BEST attitude you could possibly imagine, given her circumstances. She is joyful (for the most part *wink*) and strong. When I feel particularly down her presence makes me feel better. She is fighting. My dad continues to amaze me also. I would have never imagined him in this caretaker role but he is wonderful at it! It is clear that Mom is his top priority and the love they have for each other is inspiring. There are, of course good days and bad days but I try to focus on the good ones.
Ryan and Mom's relationship has blossomed during this trying time. Maybe it's always been this strong but it is so nice to see my big, tough brother kneeling beside my Mom, warming her hands or holding her or being held by her.
The grand babies are like a ray of sunshine. I try to bring them over at least a couple times a week and it is wonderful to see the joy they bring with them.
The job front worked out as well. I stayed with the family business and am loving working in the office.The girls are in daycare part time and Jake has been helping tremendously. We are still adjusting to the schedule change and financial pinch of it all but we're sorting it out.
Cancer seems to affect everybody and it's really very terrifying. I accept that everybody processes differently and follows their own path through it all; Jake and I have made some pretty extreme changes in our life recently. We try to get out hands on as much information as we can because in this helpless situation information feels like power. One documentary we watched recently made a huge impact on us (Forks Over Knives) and basically since the night we watched it, about a month ago, we have been following a whole grain, plant-based diet... at the risk of sounding douchey: Vegan. I really believe that cancers can thrive on animal proteins in our system and I'm hoping that by monitoring the things I put into my body I can save my daughters from the type of pain I am experiencing with my mom. There are, of course, no guarantees in life but again it gives me a sense of control in this crazy, whirlwind of a shit storm.
Taking it all a day at a time and feeling overwhelming blessed with wonderful family and friends.
Thank you, thank you, thank you all!
10 months ago