The Waiting Game

Mom went in for a CT scan this morning. She’s been having increasing pain in her abdomen, so the doctor ordered one to compare to the one she had at UCSF in March.

To help ease the pain, she takes Tylenol, but is stubbornly avoiding anything stronger even when the physician presses her on it. Granted, there are other issues that come up with drugs like vicodein, but pain killers have been so demonized, considered a “weakness” among some people (who have never suffered real pain), that there is a stigma. The doctor and the nurses have been adamant regarding aggressive pain management. I hope she listens to them.

In any case, we now wait for the results. Unfortunately, her appointment is on Friday and I’m working in San Diego that day (a previously committed engagement). Sometimes I just can’t be here for everything, and the guilt weighs on me.

The results will, of course, provide information to determine the next course of action.

It’s easy to fixate on this one symptom, which is obviously worrying. That said, she’s had a little energy (took a broom outside today to swat some cobwebs away from the window). Her abdomen doesn’t seem to be swelling (ascites). No nausea (chemo day was yesterday). Her mouth has healed from the cisplatin assault. She’s back down to her pre-cancer medication regimen. Her weight has stabilized.

Sadly, she’s lost a lot of hair in the last few weeks, so we’re moving to the head scarves. The hair loss and gauntness make her look really sick so we’re faced with it visually now.

But we get through each day. We visit the garden and count the tomatoes. We admire the hummingbirds that come to her feeder outside the kitchen window. We watch the cooking shows on TV.

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