back to the start

My mom is back in the palliative care unit at the hospital again. After days of arguing with her, she finally admitted that no, her pain is not controlled, and now that she can’t walk, it was time to go back into the hospital where hopefully her pain can be managed. Perhaps she’ll be able to go home again. But perhaps not. When it was time to go, she asked my dad to wheel her around the house, possibly for the last time. She said goodbye to things – goodbye chair, goodbye kitchen, goodbye chandelier. I turned away so she wouldn’t see me get all choked up.

It’s not all about the pain, however. Her abdomen is huge again. One doctor said it was mostly solid tumour. The rind of cancer that had been left during her surgery had regrown – doubling and tripling before their eyes, the oncologist said, saddened and amazed as only a health professional could. Another said maybe it is ascites and can be drained – at least temporarily. She will be going for an ultrasound soon – hopefully it will help figure out what it happening to her and what can be done before something gives way. I was afraid of her dying screaming in pain should something have ruptured at home. That is her worst fear, and I will do anything to prevent it.

She let me massage her legs today. They were a bit swollen from dangling down while she sat in a wheelchair for most of the day – one of the only positions that doesn’t cause her excruciating pain. It was strange to be giving comfort to my mother who had been the provider of safety and comfort for my whole life. I rambled on about something silly that Teapot had done while I worked on her legs. Go away, edema, I thought. And take the fucking cancer with you.



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