November 28, 2012
Part two of our SoCal trip was to visit my parents. My mom was diagnosed with Stage IV Lymphoma cancer. Because of her age, health and severity of cancer, they decided she should not undergo treatments (more harm than good) and she was not expected to last long. By the time of our trip she was bed-ridden and getting hospice care at home.
We wanted our visit to bring some joy into her day by seeing us and the boys in person. We went to great lengths to make sure the boys didn’t get sick so as not to cause my mom any problems but despite our efforts Corbin managed to get sick (a rare thing indeed). Since we were already there we couldn’t change plans but it didn’t matter since she was never awake or alert enough to know we were there.
My dad thought it was a reaction to her first dose of morphine (5 mg?) but a call to hospice suggests she is entering the next stage of her cancer meaning she has a couple a weeks like this then the final stage which last a few days. Then we will say good bye. We did not expect her to see Christmas. She ended up passing Monday morning.
She loved her Red Hatters group and Christmas decorations (she used to sell Christmas Around The World ) so to make her more comfortable, my dad dug out all the best stuff and decorated the whole house from top to bottom in Christmas decor. He even bought a new pre-lit tree (with colored lights). It was a wondrous sight, especially since he and a couple Red Hatter ladies did it all in one day and before Thanksgiving.
“So we do not lose heart. Though our outer self is wasting away, our inner self is being renewed day by day. For this light momentary affliction is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison, as we look not to the things that are seen but to the things that are unseen. For the things that are seen are transient, but the things that are unseen are eternal.” 2 Corinthians 4:16-18
For those interested, Julia Shiras wrote a brief account of my mom’s last six months. It brings me joy to see so many happy pictures of my mom, the way I remember her. For me, hearing her voice is a sweet reminder of a wonderful woman.