Monday, June 29, 2009

Z Leaves the Hospital Today

Monday AM
I'm leaving shortly to go pick up Z from the hospital. She was going to stay with a friend who lives alone in a two bedroom condo near the hospital, but her friend is fussy about noise and traffic. Z's worried that her coughing will be a problem. Her fussy friend seems to have reservations about sharing her space with someone who might need something. I have never liked this woman, so this just caps it. Now Z goes back to her house where her youngest son, his paramour and her toddler and their baby are living. Z will reside in a basement room. I worry that this will not be a terribly peaceful place for her to go through radiation and chemotherapy. The toddler will want max attention, and any attention Z gets will seem to the boy to be attention he's not getting.

Monday 1:00 PM
I'm now home from picking her up. I took her to her home and was appalled that all the cloths we pulled from her closets are now bagged and pilled up in front of the washer and dryer. Her room is tiny and is packed with things that are stored down there. There is barely room for her bed, and there were no pillows on her bed. She keeps making excuses for the kids for not getting things ready for her. I want to strangle someone.

We talk about her diet. I told her Ms M and I had discussed cooking for her and putting pre-made meals in bags or containers and freezing them. But Z wants to come to my house for dinner. That's fine with me, but I worry about her driving by herself. She insists this is no problem. I have promised myself that I will not argue with her. So, I say "fine, whatever you're comfortable with." I'll fix organic tomato soup, a grilled cheese sandwich, and salad for her. I have some poppy seed cake--it's a couple of days old, but is great heated in the microwave and topped with vanilla ice cream. I have both cantaloupe and watermelon sliced and in separate containers in the fridge. I can feed her this evening without going to the grocery store, but tomorrow I'll shop for things my vegetarian friend can eat. I am determined to fatten her up.

She starts her radiation treatments Wednesday. I begged to take her, but she wants to drive herself. I will work on her about this issue. Her blood pressure is very low. She's on Coumadin. She hates all real medications but it willing and happy to take all manor of bizarre supplements which have been prohibited by the doctor who will be overseeing her radiation therapy. I bite my tongue. I'm on Warfarin which is another name for Coumadin. I love Warfarin. Yes I bruise, but I'm not likely to end up with my mother's vascular dementia while I'm on blood thinners. Yes, I have to work on eating a healthy diet too, but since I have no problem getting enough protein, I don't have the dietary problems she has.


Mauigirl said...

I totally understand the frustration of trying to help a person who doesn't trust regular medicine but does trust supplements. A friend of mine's mother had lung cancer and although she did treat her mom with some supplements (shark cartilage and a chemical called hydrazine sulfate) her mom also had radiation and chemo - and survived stage 3B lung cancer. I've never known whether it was the hydrazine sulfate or the regular treatments that did it but something did. (Of course there are a small percentage of survivors of lung cancer who only have standard treatment anyway). But if your friend is digging into alternative therapies there are worse things to try than hydrazine sulfate. It also has antidepressant activity which doesn't hurt. There are some dietary restrictions but since she's a vegetarian anyway they won't be that strict for her (aged cheeses, fava beans being the biggies in her diet that she'd have to cut out if she even eats them).

Here's a website to go to written by the proponent of hydrazine sulfate himself - it is rather controversial so don't be surprised if you google it and find negative stuff too. I just know my friend's mom lived. Maybe it might help. Maybe it might not. But I don't think it would harm. Just a thought.

As for her diet, good for you trying to fatten her up - it is so important to keep their strength up. Like you, I pat myself on the back on my extra 40 lbs. whenever I hear of someone who may not have enough weight to fall back on!

Best wishes to Z and hope she is feeling better by the time she has radiation. She may find that she is very tired after the treatments once she's had a few so perhaps she'll be more amenable to getting driven to and from treatments then. The first couple of times she may feel OK.

Utah Savage said...

Oh Mauigirl, thank you so much for the advise and suggestions. This is going to be tricky. I wish I could make her stay with me. I want to take her on like a baby I can feed, bath, dress in clean cloths and drive to and fro. Pick out books and DVD's for her to read or watch when she's tired but not sleepy. I'm a very good caregiver and have plenty of experience with a difficult patient.