but my much-loved mommy died on April 15th from her cancer. She never quite recovered from the bodily damage done to her by the radiation. After the radiation course was finished, she went back to her house for a couple of weeks to recoup and be with her beloved dogs and near her dad, whom she missed greatly while she was here with me. However, during that time she lost practically 20 lbs, despite all the docs did to deal with her side-effects. At her next oncology appointment, it was decided that she wasn’t strong enough to move on to the chemotherapy necessary for the lung cancer.

Side note: During her radiation treatments, we got to spend a lot of time together. And I am so thankful for that. At that point, she felt good enough that after each appointment, we’d go to lunch and then either to Target or if she were tired, we’d head home and watch some TV together and just chit-chat. Now that’s time I will cherish forever.

We decided that she would come live with me for a couple of weeks so that I could cook for her and entice her with yummy food and protein shakes and lots of whole milk and fat and calories. By her third day here, she began to have issues being able to move around by herself. on Thursday April 1st, she had two bad falls, one where she hit her head pretty hard, but she didn’t want to go to the emergency room. By this time, she could not get up from a sitting position to standing without being lifted up by me or Rob. Once she stood up, walking was ok for her.

Friday the 2nd we decided because of the falls and the quick physical decline to take her to the ER after a discussion with the VICC nurse on duty. So off we went. They admitted her and she stayed in until Monday the 5th. That’s when we found out that the cancer was much more aggressive than we thought and the oncology gaggle of docs who came to see her every day privately (after I asked) told me that it was probably going to be weeks rather than months and that we should consider hospice care. By the end of the hospital stay, she could no longer stand up from a sitting position at all, unless she had someone on each side of her.

So mommy and I talked about it and decided that we both wanted her to come to my house for the hospice care. I was glad that she wanted to come home with me and for me to be the one to take care of her.

So, that Monday, Alive Hospice of Middle Tennessee took my mom on as a patient. By the time we got home from the hospital, Alive had already had a hospital bed, bedside table, oxygen machine, bedside potty and shower bench delivered to our house. They were absolutely amazing at every turn.

I had quit my job in March in order to take my mom to all her appointments and spend time with her. So that Monday our hospice journey began.

She ate well at the beginning, but after about 4 or 5 days, she started to drink less and eat less. I did my very best to entice her with her favorites…chocolate ice cream, ice cream slushies from Sonic, etc. She started to refuse entirely the Ensure we tried to give her. By the 11th, she would only take water and frozen mandarin oranges. And that’s pretty much all she would eat up until the evening before she died. I could tell she was slipping because as much as she had wanted water/liquid the weeks before, she refused it time and time again the last few days.

Wednesday night, the 14th, she started to complaining of pain and was very, very restless and agitated. We called the hospice nurse and she came out to visit and stayed for about 2 hours, trying to ease her pain and restlessness. We finally got her comfortable around 2:45 or 3 am. Rob and I went to bed with her sleeping mostly peacefully.

When we woke up the morning of the 15th, I asked Rob to go check on her before we all got up and invaded her living room. When it took a long time for him to come back and tell me that she was ok, I knew that it was over.

She looked very peaceful, and had obviously passed away in her sleep. And again, Alive Hospice was amazing. mom’s nurse was out right away to take care of everything. Soon after came the social worker who was absolutely amazing with Evan.

Ever sine the outpouring of love and help and kindness from her friends, my friends and our family has been astounding. I don’t know that any of them read this blog, but if you do, thank you. If not, they’ll get thank you notes in good time 🙂

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