Tuesday, April 07, 2009

My Mother-In-Law passed away this morning

I just received a phone call from my husband's brother informing me that my mother in law passed away at 6:50 this morning.

She fought a valiant fight for three years or more, with cardiac cancer that later metastasized to lung cancer.  She beat all the odds and cared for her diabetic ill husband the whole time.  She was a giving person.  She gave and gave until she was too weak to get off the couch and an ambulance had to come and get her.  

She kept it a secret from us for three years, how ill she really was.  In the beginning we knew her situation was grave.  They told her to go home and get hospice.  She got angry with the doctors and told them off and said she was not ready for that.  She went out and got a second opinion and got radiation and chemo.  She seemed to keep right on going through the treatments, cooking, cleaning, caring for her ill husband, and telling us that the tumor had shrunk down to walnut size and when they took her off radiation and chemo, she told us it was because the tumors weren't doing anything anymore.  In reality, the chemo and radiation wasn't doing anything for her anymore and the tumor was the size of a canteloupe.  But we believed her.  We live eight hours away, so we could not see for ourselves how she was.  Since we didn't get any communication to the contrary from any of the relatives, we took her word for how she was doing.

She called us faithfully every weekend (on her free cell minutes) and told us how good she was doing, then three weeks passed without a phone call.  The third week we called her.  She sounded weak and winded.  She said she had a couple of blood clots in her lung and the Cumadin she was on to thin her blood was making her winded.  We believed her.  

We left on vacation the following Friday, planning to stop and visit her on our way home.  When we got to Kelso we were told she was in ICU.  We went up to see her.  She told us she felt great, and all her tests were coming back normal and she would get out of the hospital in a few days.  We went back to our motel feeling encouraged.

The next morning Rick went up to see her again and met his brother there.  He told him that she was in reality dying.  What a shock.

Rick went to the meeting with the doctor that afternoon and heard for himself from the doctor that there was nothing more they could do for her and that she should sign a no resuscitate form and be transferred to hospice.

We saw her several times over Thursday and Friday and Friday night said our last goodbyes to her before we left town the next morning.  I called when we got home but she was sleeping.  Sunday I called her and she sounded much weaker and the phone call was very short.  Yesterday Rick's brother called and left a message that her blood pressure was falling and she had not opened her eyes all day.  I called last night and talked to a relative who was with her.  She was breathing at the rate of 4 to 5 breaths a minute and resting comfortably.  At 7:30 this morning, Rick's brother called to tell us she had passed away at 6:50 this morning.

She gave and gave until she could give no more.  She didn't want to trouble us, so she kept her true condition a secret from us.  On one hand it was frustrating to us that she kept us in the dark for three years, but on the other hand, we have to look at her intentions and why she did it.  It wasn't done to be mean, she did it to protect us.  She succeeded in what she wanted to do or maybe we were gullible, not sure which, but at any rate, I have to admire her for her strength to do what she did.

1 comment:

A Joyful Chaos said...

My condolences.