Friday, June 24, 2011

Don't Stop Now!

Assuming that Life had thrown all the crap at me it was going to - at least until I was through chemo - I was totally unprepared for the news last night that my mother needs "immediate" heart surgery to fix damaged valves.  So damaged that they cannot do the surgery via the femoral artery - which I am assuming means open heart surgery - unless there has been some technological advance I haven't heard about.

On an 86 year old.  With diabetes.  In a hospital 450 miles away.

In an emotional tail spin I thrashed most of the night wondering what on earth was going to happen until around 3 am when I finally remembered that as a cancer patient I have access to the clinic social workers.  If ever I needed to talk to one, now would be it.

After gathering myself to the point of reasonable functionality this morning I phoned and left a message for one of them to call me back.  Which she did not long thereafter.

She affirmed that, with a compromised immune system, sitting in a distant hospital was pretty much the last thing I ought to be doing and even though the information wasn't for me personally, gave a list of resources for someone in mom's condition.  I knew about most of them, but had no idea how to make contact, so she will print out the contact list and give it to me once we have a surgical date and find out things like whether or not mom will even be able to fly or if she will have to endure the 10 hour road trip via the health bus.  How long she will be in Vancouver for recovery after surgery.  Whether they will kick her to the curb and let her make her own way home or if they will discharge her to the local hospital, which I'm hoping would mean a flight home via air ambulance and follow up care at the cardiac unit here.

Right now we are in a state of stunned disbelief, but at least I have some resources to offer mom.  Now to find someone to accompany her for the trip down and the immediate aftermath.

A couple of hours before I got the above news a friend gave me a piece of wisdom penned by St. Theresa of Lisieux.   Little did I know how much I would need it, and how quickly.

"May today there be peace within.  May you trust that you are exactly where you are meant to be.  May you not forget the infinite possibilities that are born of faith in yourself and others.  May you use the gifts that you have received, and pass on the love that has been given to you.   May you be content with yourself just the way you are.  Let this knowledge settle into your bones, and allow your soul the freedom to sing, dance, praise and love.  It is there for each and every one of us."

Thanks Karen.  That was so much needed and so much appreciated.  Your timing was impeccable.


Claudia Rizzi said...

Laura, I´m so sorry about your mom. I will be praying for you and your mom. You´ll see, this tornado will go away. Please receive my hug.


Sandra Rude said...

Hang in there, Laura! Help will be found, and your mom will be okay.

Peg Cherre said...

Life seems to be following the "never hit a woman when she's down; kick her, it's easier" mode. Believe that this, too, shall pass, because it will.

Margreet said...

Sorry to read your news. Hoping all goes well and that the sun will start shining again for you very soon.

MarthaVA said...

Keeping you and your mom in prayer and healing thoughts.
That piece from St. Theresa is amazing, and for me, very timely. Thank you for sharing it.

Anonymous said...

The prayer from St Theresa is perfect, thank you for sharing. I wish you strength and peace to deal not only with your own health but the health issues of your Mother. Peace be with you.

joanlvh said...

i don't know, thoughts like this "May you trust that you are exactly where you are meant to be" drive me a little crazy, who would think to be a person with cancer with a mother with heart disease is a place you are meant to be??

It is what it is and we must deal with it or choose an opposite path.

I wish you and your mother the very best. joanlvh

buster said...

Hi Laura..My 86 year old mum is having major problems right now's not easy and there's not much you can do but be by her emotionally and in your heart. She'll know.
Take care of yourself,

Rhonda from Baddeck said...

Oh, Laura, what a shock this must have been. Thank goodness you thought to call the clinic staff and you have a place to start. Wishing you and your mom good luck with the challenges ahead - I hope you find sympathetic and kind people who will help you through.