Friday, October 14, 2011

The Old Guard is Slowing Down

A few months ago, my Mom had some blood work done, and the docs were afraid she had leukemia. So they set her up for a bone marrow biopsy.
Needless to say this news got us all worried and in a tizzy.
She had to have the test done in a hospital in The Hague, as opposed to the one next door to her.
The biopsy went well, they extracted some marrow from her hip as well as some bone. It was an uncomfortable procedure, but she did well, and had no after pain.
Then the waiting started.
On October 4th they went back to the hospital to get the results and discuss her options.
It was my brother's turn to take her.

It turns out she doesn't have leukemia. She has Myelodysplastic Syndrome, which is a bone marrow disease. In some cases this will turn into acute leukemia however.
So now they are going to check her blood every four weeks, to see if the situation is getting worse, or will turn out to be more of a chronic nature.
She might need regular blood transfusions in the future.

It really is a bit too much for her. She is 88, has heart failure, and her kidneys are working at only 40%. And now this.
She is also depressed and anxious, and is still grieving deeply for my father.
I feel rather helpless, being so far away, and considering the situation at home, not much of a chance to visit in the near future.

Then there is her older sister in Australia. 93 Years old. Vascular dementia. Heart problems, and history of strokes.
She has been having a few episodes where she needed to be hospitalized for various reasons. But she seems to pop up again after every crisis.

The girls in this family are tough old birds I tell ya. The oldest passed away a few years ago at the age of 94. Then the next one to 'go' was the auntie I took care of here. She was 90 when she died.
There is a brother, who turned 90. Then my Mom and then another sister who is 85.
They all have their health problems, but somehow they stick it out.

Here at home things are steady. Wheelie is depending on me more and more to assist him. We've started talking about the future, how we will handle things once he becomes to difficult for me to handle.
It will take me a while to start the ball rolling. I need to call the state's Council for Seniors, see if I can get someone to assess the situation and get some advice.

But right now I am still adjusting to being on Prozac. It seems to be working. My anxiety attacks are becoming less and less. My whole attitude is changing. I seem to have a lot more patience, and have more kind feelings.

It's also becoming much easier to say "no" as well.

And that's a good thing.

Fall is here. I love the temperatures. I even love the occasional rain.