I'm not sure how much sense this post is going to make. There's so much in my head that needs to get out, so I'm probably going to ramble. Where to start? Let's see...
Mom was allergic to the oxycontin, so she couldn't take that. Instead, they put her on methadone - you know, the stuff they give people who are getting off heroin. Yeah, THAT stuff. At any rate, it seems to be working pretty well. The first day she was fuzzy as all fuck, but after that she sounded better than she has in weeks.
Two days ago she woke up very dizzy and unstable. She had to use her walker all day, because she just couldn't walk. It cleared up a bit after she ate, which indicates it was a blood sugar issue. Mom said "I have the feeling that I'll end up with some form of diabetes before this is over. I think my pancreas is giving out due to all the pressure on it." It's times like this when I think mom really doesn't get what's happening. She'll have a complete system shutdown as the cancer spreads to each of her organs. Anything that can go wrong when an organ fails, will. Diabetes will be the LEAST of her problems as this thing snowballs...but I'm not sure she gets that. Maybe she just can't think about it.
Yesterday she couldn't breath. She called me, sounding really out of it, and it took me a few minutes to figure out what she was trying to tell me. (Apparently my father was trying to lose at his online Omaha Poker game, in case he had to take her to the hospital, but he just couldn't lose!) Hospice finally came to the house to check on her and call the hospital to see if they could get her in for a CAT and a periocentesis. I was very proud of my father - the man who can't pronounce c'est la vie no matter how often he sees it managed to correctly pronounce periocentesis AND tell me what it was. Anyways, I called last night to see if they fit her in...nope. As a matter of fact, they can't get her in until MONDAY. My mother can't take more than a few steps without puffing like an asthmatic, she hurts pretty bad, sounds like shit...and they can't manage to squeeze her in for a CAT until Monday. I hope she doesn't asphyxiate...
When I was talking to mom last night, she suggested that I might skip this semester of school. Talk about being blindsided! Mom has refused to even let me think of missing a day to come and see her, or dropping out to take care of her...until now. I don't know what to do with this. I've already got an application for the FMLA leave that I'm working on, just in case I have to go take care of her. Dad needs a break sometimes, you know? There are so many ups and downs to taking a semester off. I tried to list them, but I can't seem to find all of them this morning. I blame the lack of sleep. I managed to remember these:
The lead TA at one of our offices quit, so I'd have more time to pick up the slack, which means more hours for me.
I would be available to take care of mom whenever I was needed - no working around school.
I"m feeling burnt out as it is.
I would also be able to take care of dad for a while, without having to worry about school and work.
We have been planning on me going full-time in January - all the finances are set up that way. If I take time off, we may have to use savings...and then we wouldn't have any for while I was in school, which means finances could get royally fucked.
Mom may NOT die while I'm out of school, which means I'd still have to deal with it all when I go back anyways and it would have all been for naught.
I'm currently on a special dispensation for my financial aid - they weren't going to give it to me because I have too many credits, but if I promise to graduate in december they'll let me have it. If I don't, none for the following semester. (I will talk to them about extenuating circumstances...)
I'm going to my parent's house tonight, as is my sister. Tomorrow mom is having a hospice/social worker come to the house to talk to us, answer any questions we have and tell us what we can expect. (I hope we don't get the "Cancer affects everyone differently so we don't really know what to expect" stock line that they give - I may strangle someone.) Aaron and I will decide after that what I'm going to do about school. If it were him, he'd just do it and get it out of the way, and if mom dies during the school year, he'd deal with the special dispensation then. Part of me thinks that's a good idea, part of me thinks that I really don't want to battle the college at the same time I'm trying to deal with everything else. He says that he promises not to think any less of me for whatever way I decide to go - he knows what he would probably do, but this is a very personal decision that he can't really help me with. I know this...but I also know that it could very well screw things up for both of us, so there's a lot riding on me making the right decision.
I think I'm also going to make an appt to see my old counselor from the beginning of the year. I am ill-equipped to make these decisions on my own, and being paralyzed because of options doesn't do any of us any good. Ok - I have to go to work. I'll probably update again after the weekend, assuming I have the energy to get my thoughts out.