whatever is on my mind….

on hold….

As some of you already know my mother has cancer, she is 82 and suffers from some age related dementia which is exacerbated by chemo therapy, commonly referred to as ‘chemo brain’.  Her daily treatments involve taking her to the cancer center Monday through Friday, a 160 mile round trip.  Between the chemo and radiation treatments as well as traveling to and from them, she is becoming weaker by the day in body and mind.  One of my biggest challenges is getting her to eat and drink enough to keep up her strength.  The nutritionist at the cancer center told me yesterday that if she continues to lose weight and looses normal body functions, she will be put on a feeding tube.  When the doctors and nurses talk to her about the necessity of sufficient nutrition she agrees with them and tells them that I take good care of her.  It is another story when she is back home and I remind her what they told her.  She just tells me she doesn’t feel like eating and refuses the nutritional supplement drinks.  She needs at least 4 of them daily, I am lucky if I can get her to drink one and it has to be diluted with 2% milk or she won’t drink it at all.  Her meds are set up in a daily pill-box with large letters marked clearly for the morning, noon, evening and bedtime, problem is she may take them or she may not depending on whether or not she notices the box sitting on the kitchen counter.  I constantly worry whether she has taken too much or none of her meds.  When I ask why her meds are still in the box, she says she doesn’t know and that she did take them.  Then I have to decide whether or not to take the chance that she got them from the bottle or have her take the ones that she clearly did not take from the box.  Either way if I make the wrong decision it could be really bad for her.

I know some of you may be wondering why I find it necessary to go into so much detail (be a whiny butt).  The reason is simple, I am venting my frustration for my own benefit.  I am both physically and emotionally drained and this blog makes it possible for me to stay sane enough to continue.  In other words I get to complain without having to look you in the eye.  It is Christmastime and for the first time in 45 years we don’t have a Christmas treeLife as we knew it, is on hold.  I don’t want my mother to suffer and I don’t like neglecting the rest of my family but it appears that for now my choice has to be doing the best I can for her and being thankful for the blessing of a family that understands and fills the gaps that I am leaving undone and faith that I can do all things through Christ.  I must constantly remind myself of the 15 minute rule and just do it!




  1. Linda

    Hi Lura,
    I’m so sorry for her and all the things that you are having to go through right now. I hate all disease. I wish God would just come get us so that we wouldn’t have to suffer disease.

    You all are in my prayers. Let me know if there is anything else that I can do for you. I know it is so hard right now.

    I had a absolute flood of emotions everyday while taking care of my mom. It was a roller coaster of deep love and deep sorrow. And sometimes the treatment for the disease is worse than the disease. I cried more that I had ever cried in my life.

    I know that you are hanging on to God and his mercy. I pray that her illness will be short. I pray for her strength and your strength.

    The women of that era are tough and resilient. I’m praying that God will bless you and her. You are being of service to your Mom and taking care of her in her worst moment of need. God will bless you for that.

    Love you Lura,

    • Linda thank you so much for your prayers and for your understanding. I hope you have a Merry Christmas! Lura

  2. I send love and light to you and your mother. I know how hard it is to watch a loved one slowly get sick from cancer, my heart goes out to you. Reflecting back, those are some of the most bittersweet memories I hold, and I cherish them all. God bless you.

    • Thank you for your kind words. Although time is precious right now I read some of your blog and look forward to seeing more of your posts.

  3. Doc

    Lost my mother to cancer and I know what you are going through. I will pray as hard for yours and your family who is going through it.
    Love Doc and Family.

    “For those who have fought for it freedom has a sweet taste the protected will never know”

  4. I am sorry for all you are going with. I am grateful that you have a family that will back you up. I am also grateful that you have found this safe place to share your pain. Praying for you, your mom and your situation.

    • Kind word help a lot. Thanks queensrules!

  5. FOH,

    I went through this with my Dad. When he stopped eating Hospice told us to let it alone. They said it’s the body’s way of shutting down. I know that is not helpful in the least for your grief. However, it’s very possible your Mom’s body is shutting down. In a way it is almost a blessing. Her suffering would be diminished.

    I pray for you and your Mother as you go through this most difficult time especially at Christmas. The Hawk and I do not put up a tree at Christmas because my son died in Dec.
    We can’t face it yet and we’re into our 3rd year.

    My Dad tried to stay alive even while his body shut down. He was not demented, his mind was just as sharp as ever at 80. He even went to the bathroom by himself. But, when he fell Hospice took him in. He tried to keep alive because his wife was going nuts and faking heart attacks. My brother and I had to tell him one night it was OK to let go, that all was taken care of and the next morning he died.

    When he wouldn’t eat Hospice said don’t feed him any food. It will just upset his stomach and make things worse.

    I don’t know whether this help or not. I guess I’m telling you not to worry about your Mom getting food. If the hospital wants to tube feed her, then I’d just let them do so. There is only so much you can do and you are doing your best. And of course you are physically and emotionally drained. That goes with the territory and hopefully everyone around you understands. My advice to you is get plenty of rest for yourself and don’t worry about anyone else right now. You barely have enough in your emotional bank to care of yourself and you can’t do any more than that right now.

    It’s very common for we women to want to make things good for everyone no matter what we ourselves are suffering. But, sometimes it’s not possible. Some things are too overwhelming like what you are going through.

    I’m glad you write this on your blog as venting is very healthy and we can help you vent. At least we can relate to you and your suffering. Remember you are not alone. You have us and God to turn to. God bless you and help you through this. I feel for you in every way.

    • Thanks a lot pepper. Mom seemed a little more with it today and she did eat some scrambled eggs for breakfast. Thanks for understanding the ‘whiny me’.

  6. Linda Phelan

    Just had to have a little cry when I read this… We go way back girlfriend. I have such wonderful memories of sitting at your mom and dad’s kitchen table eating pork chops!! Lol. I can still hear your mother’s voice and laugh. I loved your family and being a part of all of your lives. I was remembering all those car pool years my dad and your mom drove to Memphis to work, and when they returned back to Hedley there was a pot of coffee and a good visit to be had at Mollie’s Owl Cafe.
    I thought you were more talented than Liberachie the way you played the spinning wheel song on the piano with your little crookedy fingers going so fast. You were the only big sister I had, and I will always think the world of you. I don’t keep up with things up that way very well nowdays, but I am so saddened to hear that Odell’s health is failing. I know how you feel…It seemed so unfair that my mom and dad planned and looked so forward to their retirement, and worked so hard to achieve those times in their late life to have them taken away by mom’s cancer and illnesses that were related to her chemo. It is so hard to let them go. Your strong faith will lead you and you know in your heart that she goes to that better place that we grew up hearing about and believing in. You will know when it is time, and you will be able to give her permission and assure her that it is ok.
    You will meet again and you will feel her spirit near you often after she goes on. It is amazing how my mother’s spirit will show me that it is near. You may remember that she loved cardinals, and I can’t tell you over the last ten years how many I have seen…more than I had ever seen before in my life. It is such a comfort how a song that she loved will just come on the radio or the television. God knows that we still need their spirit around, and I believe that He allows them to come near and comfort us.
    I will always remember your mother’s flashing dark eyes and the family bible (the old one) that was in your living room. I felt the love your parents had one for another, and the deep love that they both had for you. She may not remember me, but I will always remember her. Tell her that I said hi, and ask her if she remembers when Lake Creek washed out all the way to yall’s house. Tell her I send my love and just remember all of the wonderful friends and family that will be celebrating in heaven every day until we get there to join in. Next time I come up that way to see Daddy, I will look you up. Remember the good times and the wonderful promises we have to look forward to. I will keep you all in my thoughts and prayers! Love to you all. Tell Larry hello.

    • Linda, thanks for the memories. As I was reading your post it brought to mind one of your Mom’s favorite songs on the jute box at Mollie’s. It was Earth Angel and they had special quarters marked with nail polish for us to use to play songs and she always requested that one. Those were good times and hold many good memories. Thanks for you thoughts and your prayers. We are about half way through the treatments so time will tell the outcome.

  7. I am sorry to hear about your grandmother. Very sorry.

    My father, a big man at 6’3″ and about 220 pounds died of cancer. One of the concerns was appetite and eating. He truly wanted to eat more, but wasn’t hungry. All the medicines and chemotherapy made it worse. It got to the point that myself and one of my siblings talked to each other and were going to go buy pot for my dad, just so he could get the munchies. Neither of us smoke pot but have been around long enough to know the effects it has on appetite and we do have friends who did smoke pot in younger days. We told my dad, asked him if he wanted us to. I was willing to go to jail if need be to do this. We found out tho, there is a pill that has something to do with pot in it and it stimulates the appetite. It helped my dad some. His cancer was pretty bad. Please don’t be upset by me suggesting it, I truly believed it helped my dad some. His cancer tho was inoperable because his was in the area between the lungs which holds the lungs together, can’t remove any of that. 😦 Anyway, maybe it might help??

    • Thanks for your concern, I am so sorry about your Dad.

  8. Trust you know I have not stopped praying despite my absence in the blogosphere of late. I don’t see you “whining” and as for Christmas, it is still Christmas and we will celebrate the birth of Christ no matter what else is happening around us.

    I have no words of wisdom or comfort, but the Lord knows how to comfort you, foh. In addition, you are a shining example (as are others who have posted) to the rest of us out here as to what it means to live through this devastating adversity and persevere in the Lord. Thank you.

    A Merry Christmas to you, your family and friends, foh.

    • and a very Merry Christmas to you and yours Mrs AL!

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