My sister-in-law was complaining to her 95 year old grandmother about all of the aches and pains she was experiencing since she was over fifty. Her grandmother said, "Growing old isn't for wussies, dear." With my mother turning eighty-one this year, I wish that's all she had to complain about, but she has cancer knocking at her door. She had a kidney removed last year, and since that time she has been to the hospital three times to have cancer nodes scrapped off of her bladder.
Since last year we have spent quite a bit of time together. After my divorce in 2003, I had moved back home to nova Scotia so I would have more time to spend with friends and my aging parents. At that time, Dad had already been diagnosed with dementia, and later on they decided it was Alzheimer's -- although he wasn't too bad when I first moved home. So I got to visit them quite a bit, while he was still able to function at a reasonable level. Unfortunately, the following years became worse. Still, he was never in a home or hospitalized. My mother looked after him the whole time.
I didn't get to see them as often as I would have liked. They lived 35 miles out of town. But I called my mother every day. We usually talked for a half-hour, although at times it stretched to an hour or more. I sincerely hope that in some small way it helped her cope with my father, knowing she had someone to talk to. By the time Dad passed in 2006, he mostly didn't recognize any of us, including my mother. I say mostly... because....
He became distressed in the summer of '06. It was late at night. My brother and his wife were at their cottage and I was at mine. Both cottages were only located about three-quarters of a mile from our parents house. The cottages sit right on the Bay of Fundy. A late night knock at the door saw my brother standing there. He said, "C'mon -- it's Dad."
I got dressed; jumped into my pickup and drove as fast as I could to my parents place. There were too many cars to park close, as first responders includes firemen, police and paramedics. There was quite a commotion going on at the front door so I ran in the back. There must have been over a dozen people n there. They were wheeling Dad out on a stretcher through the front door, when he grabbed my mother's hand and said, "I guess this is it, then. I love you!" It was one week short of their 50th anniversary. But at that moment, he knew who she was, although most days prior to this, he didn't know her. He did, that night though....
Dad passed away. I wondered about calling my mother every morning, that I had become so accustomed to, after that. Dad was gone, maybe she didn't need to talk to someone rational every morning. But then, maybe she needed someone to talk to. You don't spend 50 years with someone and not be grief-stricken when they are gone. And of course, the whole point of moving home, after my divorce, was to be close to family and friends. I would call her. And I did -- the same time every day.
She has since sold the old farmhouse and moved to the adjacent town across from where I live. I could be there in fifteen minutes if I had to be. I've thought about ending the calls, but then I thought she needs to adjust to living alone. Maybe I can help her with that....
Then she was diagnosed with cancer two years ago. This last year, we have spent a lot of time together. When my daughter Kelsey was here, we would do things together with her and her friends. We've had some wonderful times. Now that my daughter has gone away to live with her mother, Mom and I often get together for lunch, or do some odd things together. And I'm still calling her every day.
One of the clients I work for, are publishers of alternate cancer remedies. I asked them which of their books I might buy that would help my mother, and they freely sent me many of them, including Outsmart You Cancer by Tanya Harter Pierce, M.A. MFCC. They said, out of all the books they publish, this was one of the best. In Chapter 11 of the book she talks about a drug called Protocel. You can read a previous article I wrote about Outsmart You Cancer here. It's one of the books she has read that has probably done her the most good, and convinced her to change some of her eating habits too. Protocel is apparently a good choice for fighting bladder cancer. But I haven't been able to convince her to speak to her doctor about it yet. Of course, the reviews are mixed and it hasn't been approved that I'm aware of.
Watch Dr. Michael L. Johnson in the video below as he speaks about Protocel.
My mother will be undergoing Bacillus Calmette-Guerin treatments. According to WebMed, it's supposed to help eliminate the recurrence she has been experiencing. I certainly hope this works for her, but it's nice to know there are other options.
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