Good news. Mom has perked up. She’s still not eating much, but she’s not throwing up and engages in conversation. Today she worked on her word search puzzles again for the first time in two weeks. And now she’s watching the Portuguese soap opera, also the first time she’s watched TV in nearly two weeks.

She still spends most of her day reclining, but has made more attempts to get herself up and around the house.

Smells have started to bother her. Solution: wrap the top of the Odwalla bottle in plastic wrap and secure tightly with a rubber band. Poke a hole for the straw. Voila.

Eating, or at least taking in sufficient fluids and nutrition, continue to be issue #1 for me. We started Megace today, a drug that is supposed to help with appetite. We are going to try a ravioli later. The first solid food she’s had in a couple weeks.

I’m well-stocked with Spiz protein powder (thanks, Jenn!!) and am looking for ways to sneak it into her food. Milkshakes may be my best trojan horse. But she’ll only drink about 1/4 cup at a time. Try making a 1/4-cup milkshake. I dare ya.

My original plan had been to stay in SF this week, given that it’s mom’s week off from chemo. It’s the week for her to concentrate on building strength and gear up for Cycle Two (carpolatin + gemzar) next Monday. But her meltdown last week had me so worried I decided to come up for a couple nights. Add the additional wrinkle: two out of the three “respite” caregivers that were to be checking on her have fallen down with the flu. My mom’s neighbor and dear friend was kind enough to stay a couple nights here while I re-grouped at home over the weekend. And she came by during the day when she could. The two others were MIA.

My carefully constructed plan to have others pitch in fell apart, and here I am again. The driving factor in deciding to have her receive care in Napa (aside from her being in her own home) vs. in SF was so that she’d have access to this alleged army of people to help.

A future post will discuss two themes of late: accepting imperfection and receiving help.

But for now, a glimmer.

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