You know that old saying “When it rains, it pours”?
Right now, I feel like I am waist deep in a flood and the water is still rising.
When I got married, I knew this time was coming. See, my mother-in-law is a stage 4b cancer patient. She was diagnosed about 1-2 years before I met my wife and was given a 3-5 year life expectancy. We are sitting at about five years now and the last nine months has been a downward spiral.
Last October, we lost my mother-in-law’s father. He had various health concerns that caught up with him. Most of the family was lucky that they got to be there when he finally passed. I was very lucky to arrive mere hours earlier, but unlucky in missing out on what was his last amazing gift to the family. He suddenly became lucid and a wonderful party occurred the night before. I was on the road after finally making arrangements for some time off.
A month later, my mother-in-law (how about “mil” for short) went into the hospital. A new growth was causing a problem, which resulted in some surgery. Things seemed to be okay. A month later, she was back for a few days. Radiation was starting to help the previously mentioned new growth, but another problem was discovered. It was learned that ANOTHER new growth was discovered that created a bigger problem. Over the course of the next month, options were explored. In January, one was picked but that also began almost bi-weekly visits to the hospital. The fix was not quite working as planned. Eventually, the option least desired was undertaken. It seemed to finally turn things around.
Then the pain took over. Almost a month ago, mil spent two weeks in the hospital, her longest stint. It ended with another not-so-desired solution that seemed to help a lot at first. It also meant that almost round-the-clock help was needed. Thankfully, with it being the end of the school year, my time opened up. Since all my efforts at a second income still produced little, I undertook the night shift. It involved staying awake and/or quickly available to help mil in various ways. I did not mind, but it has altered my sleeping habits a bit.
Then last Thursday hit. Something happened that resulted in a trip to the ER. Mil was transported via ambulance to another hospital in St. Joseph. Released to the ICU the next morning, then out of the ICU that night, we have spent most of our free time here at the hospital. Thankfully in one of the largest rooms we have been in since this all began, which helps when you have a close family who all want to be here. The conversations have involved many of the things you shouldn’t have to discuss about someone in their 50’s with so much left to contribute. We have no idea on anything other than what is currently going on. That can be both good and bad. Good in that it leaves open the possibility of improvement, but bad because anything can happen, putting our emotions on a hair trigger.
And this is all on top of various other less-than-desirable events over the last six months.
The water is still rising.