Hospice care & keeping things normal

Vintage wallpaper in my parents' front hall.
It seems I always post the same update. I don't mean for my posts to be cryptic, but I don't like to bring people down. Mom is very peaceful and, I think, not in pain (unless she tries to move in bed, in which case she grimaces as if she's doing CrossFit). Her body is tired, but strong, and it is taking a long time to shut down. Hospice has said she is in the "hours to days" part -- though, because she is so strong, she's been in this phase for two weeks. Pancreatic cancer is a beast, and it is hard to watch.

If you haven't dealt with Hospice care, you may not know how amazing they are. It angers me that such good one-on-one home care isn't really available here (and certainly not for free) until you are dying, but I'm grateful for the caring nurses, social workers, and bath aides who have made the past month easier on our family.

Patsy has mostly been asleep since the 17th of August. She's had visitors in and out, and we've had conversations here and there. For the past week, however, she's mostly been unable to speak or move on her own. We hold her hand and snuggle her and tell her how amazing she is and how great she's doing and how much we love her.

Visitors are still welcome, but I'd request that no one try to wake her or engage her too much. Just hold her hand or speak quietly. Hearing and touch, I am told, are the last senses to go.

Dad is feeling much better physically, though of course he is very sad. He has surgery scheduled for the 18th of September to remove the tumor from his sinus, and my family will take care of him post-op.

I am all-business -- trying to be a daughter, but also taking care of bank affairs and arguing with creditors who charged late fees because Mom hadn't opened mail, etc. David has been taking great care of me, and you all have been incredible, allowing my family a bit of normalcy by making family dinner a regular and easy affair. I spend all night and most of the days at my parents' house, unless I'm gigging or teaching, but I always try to go home in the evening to have dinner with the boys or do bedtime if I can. And then back to Mom, to sleep in the same room as her, administer her overnight medications and make sure she's comfortable -- and that Dad can get the rest he needs to fight his own cancer.

Of course I will keep people updated on everyone's status and arrangements when they are made.


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