I know y’all are waiting anxiously on the Rafters entry, and I’ve missed my self-imposed deadline for the Biggie post. The good news is you still have time to go back to the Biggie post and contribute your questions, if you have any.
Here’s what’s been going on:
Seven weeks ago, my mother had an MRI and was told it was fine – no sign of brain tumour regrowth. Hurray! There’s that pesky nausea they can’t seem to control, but from a statistical point of view, this is a win!
This week, her MRI indicated… something. Maybe it’s scar tissue from the radiation, maybe it’s a re-growth. If it’s a re-growth, they want to sign my mother up for a new trial with something they’re calling a “cyber knife” which is an experimental new technology.
Here’s where I’m coming from: if they can’t control the nausea, and my mother’s quality of life really hasn’t been what they told her it would be once she got through the radiation, why on earth are we considering more ways of prolonging life?
And has anyone actually sat down with my mother to talk about what *she wants*?
Some kind friends from the hospital have referred me to some advance care planning tools, and I’ve sent those along to my sister, and we both agree that it’s time to broach this topic with my parents. My sister had planned to do this earlier, but then my father’s mother got sick and well… there have been a lot of funerals in my family in the past couple of years.
So this is the tone my upcoming visit to Ontario is taking: let’s do a care plan. Let’s talk about all the difficult things that we, a good WASPy family, would never feel comfortable discussing. Let’s somehow engage my mother, who is a master at shutting down conversation, in a difficult discussion about this illness and the possible turns it could take.
With all this on my mind, I just haven’t felt like doing the Rafter or the Biggie entry the past couple of days. Instead, I just took the day off.
If anyone’s had experience in starting these difficult discussions with their family members, please email me your suggestions on conversation starters. The best I’ve got right now is straight out of the Simpsons when Homer ate the poison sushi and the doctor handed Marge a brochure that said, So you’re going to die…
Love you all.