19 November 2009

Another week zooms by - warning this is a shitty post

I get by with a little help from my friends (and my wonderful family)

Another week has just zoomed by -

On Saturday the 14th
my Mum ended up back in the hospital. It was another problem on top of all the cancer problems. My Mum has been relatively healthy most of her life, apart from a couple of small problems that were fixable years ago. The one thing that has caused her some woe is 'diverticulitis' which had her in hospital 4 years ago. It's a really shitty thing (Literally!!) So we took Mum back into hospital because she was totally blocked up.

I can't explain here on my blog how bad things were, or what we tried to do to help on the Friday night - until 3.30am.

Several over the counter relief tablets and liquids had not helped. Suppositories did not help, enemas did not help.

The emergency Dr's at the hospital actually tried to 'manually evacuate' - not nice, in fact I can't imagine what it was like for her and no family was allowed to stay with her while they did it.
It didn't work!!

Mum was put into a ward and given 3 daily doses of different 'liquids' to help clear her bowel, she was also given tablets 2 x daily. 2 more days and still no movement!

Tuesday: The Drs then decided it was time to try another 'manually evacuation' - sigh.........
This time they managed to clear something - positive, yet extremely painful for Mum. They did this while Mum was in the ward (with 3 other patients)
The ladies in the ward advised me when I went in, that Mum had been through a horrible time. They told me she was screaming in pain, then crying and sobbing afterwards!!!
My gut turned :(
Mum was quite out of it, very dopey (without medication for that) probably total exhaustion as she is not sleeping well with the pain. I found out that the Dr's had ordered her pain medication to be cut in half - as they were worried the meds were creating or exacerbating the bowel problem. So Mum is now having to deal with the cancer pain - which wasn't completely being kept at bay in the first place!

Mum is beside herself, fed up, completely exhausted and it is horrible to see that. We are all trying to keep her spirits up - but with what she is going through, we understand how difficult it is.

Wednesday: I visited Mum and spent most of the day with her, some good news - In the early hours of the morning Mum finally managed to clear some of her bowels on her own after 17 days!!!!!!

This was a cause for celebration. Woo Hoo.

We now have to wait and see if Mum will continue to empty herself, as there is some concern over whether her body is working properly now. Her bladder wasn't, so that's a concern too.
Along with all this Mums legs are now BOTH affected by the cancer/nerves or whatever.... nobody seems to know exactly what is causing it.

Thursday: Today Mum was supposed to be seeing the Oncologist for a regular appointment, apparantly he will visit Mum in hospital seeing as she is there already.
Also, today is the first day for the radiation treatments to begin - if Mum is still in hospital, they will wheel her bed down for the radiation treatment.

I'm about to get ready and go visit her - please continue to send Mum your love and prayers.


The art card I chose to commence this post describes how I feel - and I would like to say a big thank you to those that have sent well wishes, cards for mum and the positive caring comments here on my blog.


12 November 2009

So much to deal with

Before I start this long post I want to share a piece of art that Bec created for me, it's totally beautiful. It has so many meanings for me - I need to let go - to let go of the things that tie me down, those bad thoughts and feelings, the past hurts that grip me so tightly.

I need to let go - do you?

Click on the picture to see the gorgeous detail.
It has shimmer (hard to see here),
sparkly gold leafing, and lovely texture.

Where did the last 2 weeks go........?

It was full of hospital appointments and hospital stays for my Mum :(

Last wednesday (4th November) we took Mum into RPH as we could not get her pain manageable for her. We did have an appointment the next day at RPH with the Oncologist to find out more about the cancer - like some details of where, what, when etc etc so many questions.

So going into hospital actually sped up the process a little.

I have watched my Mum struggle with so many tests this last week - all whilst she was still in pain! Seeing her suffering, while I too am suffering with my own aches and pains has been totally exhausting. We had to get wheelchairs at all the appointments as Mum's left leg is so weak and keeps collapsing on her. She now has a walking frame.
During the hospital stay, Mum had a fall in the middle of the night while trying to find the toilet - she has bruised the back of her right arm and is now black and blue, along with bruising on her back. The week before she fell in her 'granny flat' and bruised her backside......

Mum had more CT scans on pelvis, chest and brain along with more blood tests.

After being in hospital, we now know the facts. Even though we are not happy with them, at least we all know what we are dealing with.

The 'main' cancer is in her lungs - inoperable, chemo not an option either.
The bone cancer is quite progressed in her - thoracic 4 & 5 spinal vertebrae, several ribs, the femur bone, collar bone & hip.

There are also 5 tumours in her brain!!!! - this shocked us all - again!

Tomorrow I take Mum to be tattooed - ready for radiotherapy treatments next week.
Mum will have radiotherapy on her brain x 5 times (one for each tumour) & on her rib (one rib has a large cancer)

It's been a very tough week or so for us all.

I have spoken to so many people on the phone, organising appointments, checking things and then there was the horrible task of helping Mum get through a list of 'people to call' to advise them of the situation - not a pleasant thing to do. The emotions have been flowing all around, so many teary moments.

We set up a web-cam with Mum's sister Sheila in the UK, and that was fabulous - Mum's family are all in the UK, as Mum emigrated to Australia in 1964 with me and my Dad.

Bec and Amy have been alternating a couple of nights per week staying with us to help their Nana - it's great to have them home for a while, and also relieves me after some tiring days!!

I feel quite useless :( - I'm not very capable physically of doing much to help Mum. I can be there for her, wash the dishes and do the little things. Mum and I have had a lot of little talks, some cries, some laughs and some nice quality time together. We have done a few crosswords together - although Mum has struggled with concentration quite a lot.

We smoke!! - although we are all cutting down - and I have every intention of quitting, but it is SO hard right now!

Mum broke down and cried the other day and she said to me "I'm so sorry that I'm putting you through all this, you have enough to deal with already with your own pain. I don't want to see you suffer, Nor do I want Bec & Amy to see you suffering, so please go see someone and get more help." We cried together, and I told her that I loved her.

The sad thing to see is that Mum is so worried about everyone else, like me, the girls and how we will all cope.

I can't imagine my life without her - The thought of it alone is heartbreaking.

I too am worrying about everyone will cope.
I'm trying to prepare myself for something that I know NO amount of preparation is going to help!!

It's the little things I think about too - those moments when we used to just sit together doing a puzzle, or when she sits playing 'farkle' on Craigs computer, while I'm on mine - and I listen to her frustration at the game and giggle to myself. Mum hasn't played 'farkle' (a facebook game) for over a week now.
Mum said to me today...... 'do you think I will ever drive again?' - I had to answer truthfully, that I didn't... explaining that the 'drugs' she is now on can impair things and that it wouldn't bne a good idea.
Mum is losing some motor control, the little things I see - like her hand trembling when she is trying to address an envelope or sign her name - they hurt me so much.

I see a little fear in her eyes, I see a sadness deep inside - and my heart aches from that.
Mum want's me to feel good, has asked me to go for some pain management and is telling me to do whatever I have to do to get myself feeling better. Since all of this has happened I feel that she 'understands' my pain more.

I hurt in so many places right now - physically and emotionally.

There are moments when I even want my Mum's drugs for my own pain relief........ I struggle within myself and I see that the pain medication is working for her most of the time, which is a god-send and I'm so grateful for that.

My own housework is being neglected, and I don't seem to have much time for my art. I am feeling so unmotivated physically - yet I want to do so many artful things!!
Today I managed to scan a few things that I had in progress - and I messed around with some painty backgrounds with Bec late last night. On wednesday I still did the 'atc class' in my store and that was nice to get out of the house and keep things as 'normal' as possible.

I have also been cooking a lot of nice meals for us all - and have enjoyed being able to bring some enjoyment to us.

There is so much more I could say, but for today I'm done - tired and teary.

4 November 2009

RAK Request

Tonight I had a thought....

I know you are all such caring and generous souls, and I was wondering if you could please help me - by sending a little love my Mum's way.

As you probably already know, my Mum is not well. Today the family took her into hospital to see if we can get her pain under control. We are hoping she will come home tomorrow after they perform a biopsy to see where her main cancer is that has caused the bone cancer.

I receive gorgeous cards & atc's in the mail from my private swaps and group swaps, so I thought it would be really nice if my Mum was to receive some nice mail too. Mum lives in a granny flat at the back of our house.

It would be really wonderful if anyone could send a little card or something, with 'sending you a hug' or something sweet & simple - Please don't say 'get well soon'

You can send any mail to -

Marjorie Winn
13 Ivanhoe Place

2 November 2009

Guest ATC Designer - November

The wonderful Chriss Rollins who is also a part of The Paper Girls has invited me to be their guest ATC designer for the month of November.

I'm thrilled to have been asked, Chriss has been wonderfully supportive as she knows my time is pre-occupied with my Mum's health care at the moment. So I gave Chriss permission to grab any of my images she liked to include on the relevant blogs. These can now be seen live on her blog. I always find it interesting to see which cards appeal to different people. Chriss chose my " Shift Lock" Card above, as the Monthly Trade image - a personal favourite of mine.

Chriss has been so friendly and helplful in sorting out the images, my bio etc and I'm delighted to be involved with these amazing ladies!

My ATC's are yet to be made, and hopefully I am going to get to them this week. The theme is "Keys" - and I love keys!!

Pop by Chriss's blog and say hello (wow so many s's's I'm glad I don't lisp!!) xo