Big leap forward; little stumble back

For a couple weeks now my mom has been like a teenager, anxious to start driving again. She has not driven a car in nine months. I had told her that I’d feel more comfortable if she were to drive again for the first time with someone as a passenger, either myself or a friend, who could drive her back in case she was too fatigued. And for weeks, we’ve gone back and forth on this.

This afternoon I called to see how her opthalmology appointment went (she has dry eye, probably from chemo, and is taking eye drops to alleviate them), and she told me she had driven herself, alone, to the appointment. She said she didn’t want to tell me because I’d get mad.

Strange how roles are reversed in this stage of life…how often I did something that I never confessed for fear that she would “get mad.” And now she is doing the same thing. Her overprotectiveness has rubbed off and I’m doing the same to her.

But she was very proud of herself, and of course I wasn’t mad…I was proud of her. She is nothing if she is not independent, and nothing motivates her more than being told she can not do something. I believe I have inherited this same quality, responding strongly when I feel “held back.”

So while there is a small army of people who care about her, and are ready to help her, she insists on doing as much as possible on her own.

In other news, she met with her oncologist yesterday to review the results of CT scan from last week. Mixed news. The tumors have definitely decreased, but there was a new “little one” in her liver. This is perplexing…why would chemo work on the other tumors, yet we see new growth in the liver? The pain under her rib comes from fluids (ascites) that have accumulated there and are pressing against organs. So she is taking a medication to reduce that.

This is her week off chemo, and her energy level is returning (obviously, since she drove!).

This holiday season is especially blessed, as there have been several moments over this last year when I did not have much hope of us reaching this point. I am focusing on the gift that is TIME, and the gift of my friends who have given me (and us) such enormous support and love.

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