Mom’s Decline, and A Little Psychological Sewing

I thought maybe I should spare you an update this week, because I’m in a crappy, crappy mood (a friend asked Sunday how Mom was doing, and do you know what I said? “Oh, she’s totally dying.” The poor guy looked like I’d slapped him in the face). Mom has been declining again–no sooner did we pull her off hospice than she started acting like, well, maybe that wasn’t the best idea. She’s grown progressively weaker, and has become just sort of older-seeming. (This cancer of Mom’s likes to keep us on our toes, but I much prefer the happier surprises, you know?) On Saturday, David and I had made plans to take the kids to see Mom in the afternoon and have a movie day. The kids were excited–they’d settled on Jumanji, because “cake makes me explode!”–and Mom had been looking forward to it. We went tumbling into her house around 2:15, a big bowl of freshly-popped buttered popcorn in hand, but Mom was nowhere to be seen. The house was quiet…

See You on the Flip (Phone?) Side: Leah’s Doing a Digital Detox

Hiya, friends. Life in Brain Cancer Land has been frustrating this week. Mom is declining again, but we’ve been forced to revoke her hospice benefits in order to allow her to keep receiving the every-three-week Avastin infusions that help keep brain swelling down. We’d signed on with hospice with the understanding that she could keep receiving Avastin, but the provider’s pharmacists raised the red flag a couple weeks ago: even though the treatment is only palliative at this point, our buddies in the office recognized it as a chemo and refused to allow it because it’s still considered a life-preserving treatment. I get it, I suppose, but it’s hard not to get the impression that Mom’s not dying enough for them: her hospital bed was removed from the house within four hours of me submitting the revocation form. But this post isn’t about my mom. It’s about, well, me. It’s no surprise that the past year and a half has been a struggle. But a lot of it is my own doing. Let’s start with this: many…

It was the Girls Novice Championship, and We Talkin’ about the Game (with apologies to Allen)*

* Because you know this was running through my head the entire time I was writing this post. To say my mom has rebounded from the flu nicely is like saying an ice cream sundae is best made with hot fudge: holy understatement, Batman. She is sharp, and stronger than she’s been in months, thanks to a heady dose of new steroids that reduced brain swelling we didn’t even realize was still bad. Her synapses must have gotten some incredible kind of all-clear, because she is zip-zip-ziping around her house like her walker is made of rocket fuel. I joked that we all have whiplash: one week we’re all convinced that This is It, and the next, well: in the next week she’s drinking a glass of white wine in a restaurant and using chopsticks to eat her sushi. It’s pretty fantastic. We didn’t see her either day of this past weekend. Quinlan was playing in the end-of-the-season CYO novice girls’ basketball tournament, with David as her head coach, and since there were 18 teams in the bracket, we played four games…