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Archive for July, 2011

My mom passed away this morning just after 11h30.  She was sleeping peacefully and one moment she was still breathing and the next she stopped.  My sister and my cousin J was with me when it happened.  My dad was on his way with my 2 uncles and only arrived about 30 minutes after she passed.

I miss her so much already!  I loved her so much!  But I comfort myself that she is in heaven now with my grandparents and our little babies.  She missed out on meeting her first grandson, but now she gets to meet her other grandchildren before us…  She is in a better place now…

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More on my mom:

Yesterday morning when we got to the hospital, my dad got a message that the oncologist wanted to see him immediately.  So he went to the consulting rooms while I waited with my mom in her room.  She was asleep and not aware of me at all.  When my dad came back he was quite upset.  The doctor told him that they are giving up with all treatments as there is nothing they can do for my mom anymore.  He said that they will keep her comfortable, but they cannot give her anymore chemo or radiation because she is just too weak.

My cousin J was also there and she wanted to know if my mom could get a different drip that would feed her as my mom was looking skeletal and since she was just sleeping she could not eat at all.  The sister came to talk to us to explain that the saline drip is sufficient for her in her state and that we must basically must make peace with the fact that is going to get worse and worse and that we must start thinking of letting her go.  She said that she will be home with Jesus soon.  After hearing that so soon after my dad’s news all of us were quite emotional and upset.  So the nurses and doctors have given up all hope of her recovering from this.

A lot of family came to visit and among them my one cousing T who is a medical trauma doctor.  She said that my mom will go into a coma and that she will soon just slip away painlessly.  That was so hard to hear!  She also said that my mom will not wake up again.  I did not like hearing any of these things and I just said to myself that I will not accept that as a final decision!

Moments later we went back into my mom’s room and guess what happened!  For the first time yesterday she actually woke up!  She looked around at each one of us in the room and I could see her recognising each person!  My cousin was speechless, but I’m sure very glad to be proven wrong.

Today she was awake a bit more than yesterday and although she still looked very weak and asleep most of the time she did look a bit better to me.  When she woke she again looked at everyone and she even smiled a little once, and seemed to be interested in some of the conversation in the room.

My mom is one of 8 children and the third youngest, and all the others are still alive and well.  Her 2 sisters live in the Netherlands so they cannot come and visit, but all my mom’s brothers live here in South Africa.  All of my mom’s brothers came to visit her except 2 who live in the Cape, but they will see her tomorrow.   The one is flying in tomorrow and the other one apparently drove up today – I hope they came here safely because I heard a lot of roads and mountain passes were closed due to snow.

A lot of my cousins also came to visit and some of them I haven’t seen in years, so it was so good to get to see them again!  But like my DH says it’s sad that we get together at terrible times like these and not in happy times.

Although a lot of people think my mom is dying, I just cannot accept that at the moment.  I still have hope that my mom will recover.  I believe in Jehovah Rapha, I have experienced one miracle already so I know another is totally possible!  I know it’s not God’s will for her to be so sick, and I know its not His fault or that He caused it.  I also know Jesus paid the price a long time ago already so I will anticipate things to get better and better and that she will be healed.  Some people say I must get realistic, but I just cannot give up on my mom!  With God nothing is impossible and I will rejoice and praise His name, because I know He is faithful!

Thank you all for your prayers and messages of support – I realize that I have made some absolutely awesome internet friends who are such a great support to me!  You have really helped me over these last few days and I needed it soo much!  You are all awesome!

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My mom has deteriorated so much in 2 days it’s unbelievable.  On Friday I spent the whole day with her, my sister and my cousin J were also there with my dad, and although she could not walk much she could still talk to us.  Thursday night two ureteric stents were placed between her kidneys and her bladder and she got a catheter in the hope that it would help with the swelling.

This morning my mom could not speak anymore and she can barely move her arms.  She cannot feed herself anymore and they took out the catheter and she’s on adult nappies now.  When I said earlier this week that my mom was thin I could not believe that she can get any thinner, but at the moment har face is so sunken in that you basically just see eyes and teeth when she opens her mouth.  I was able to encircle her upper arm with my thumb and index finger, so thin is her arms.  She looks like she is just skin and bones in her upper body, yet her abdomen and legs are more than double what they normally were.  She needs oxygen to help her breathe and later in the day it even seemed she could not swallow her food anymore.  I cannot explain to you how drastic she has deteriorated in 2 days.  It is incredibly scary, and my poor dad could barely sleep last night because he kept on expecting the hospital to phone with bad news.

We still don’t know what is going on – why she is so sick and deteriorating so much.  I don’t even know if the doctors know, and they don’t really tell us much.  As far as I can tell they have only given my mom some pain medication, some more blood and some medication for the swelling, and she is still deteriorating.  I cannot see how they can save my mom’s live with what they are doing.

My only hope is with God – I know He can and wants to heal my mom.  But it is so hard to believe for healing if you see your own mom looking so bad.  I need help here, please, please believe with me for healing for my mom.  That is all I can trust in at the moment…

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18 Weeks pregnant:

I can’t believe how time is flying! The first 12 weeks went by so slowly, but from about week 13 the weeks seem to fly by.

DH felt our little one really kicking for the first time earlier this week. It was late one night while we were in bed already with the lights out. Our little Nunu gave one hard kick and I asked DH if he felt that and he did! Then shortly after that there were some more kicks but a bit fainter. All DH could say was, “Wow!… Wow!” Unfortunately I could not see his face as it was dark, I would have loved to see his expression too.

I’m still feeling very good – what they say is true the second trimester is a lot better than the first! I have a little heartburn at times, but it’s really not so bad! I love feeling our little Nunu kick and he does it so often now. What a difference from a week ago! He seems to be most active during the afternoon and early evening. But I do sometimes feel him at other times too.

My baby bump is getting bigger and I must say bending over is getting difficult. My body does not want to bend at the waist anymore. I’ll have to get used to altering the way I do things as it feels mostly stiff around my waist and I see I have crease marks under my boobs where my upper body is trying to bend.

I cannot describe to you the joy I feel most days when I think about this pregnancy or our little Nunu. Even though I am going through a difficult time now with my mom’s illness there is a part of me that is just so very happy and it’s because of my pregnancy. I am getting excited now – no more trepidation or worries; I’m actually looking forward to the birth and meeting our son! I’ve been dreaming about our baby a lot recently, like giving birth and holding our little one, and every time it is just the absolute best feeling!

I’m starting to think about the baby room, and how we will decorate it and what we must buy. We are moving at the end of the month to another house and then there will be a dedicated baby room, so we will probably start to get things ready then. We want to go to a few antique shops and look for an old wooden cot, a rocking chair and a chest of drawers. Something that looks like it has character. I hope we find something that is not too expensive!

I’m still in my usual clothes. I’m quite surprised about that. My bump is getting bigger but most of my pants still fit and comfortably, those that don’t fit were too tight before I got pregnant, so I don’t take them into account. I have had a look at maternity clothes in 2 shops but so far I haven’t needed any, so I haven’t bought anything yet… I fitted one pair of jeans but it was so big around the tummy area that I decided to only buy those when I need to since I’m not too sure which size to buy.

I know I need to post a belly picture, I’ll see if I can get DH to take another one so I can post it…

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News on my mom:

Well, we still don’t know much about what is actually wrong.  On Monday my mom first saw the radiation oncologist.  He said her body can’t cope with the Chemo and that they should rather go to plan B which is radiation.

They also did an ultrasound scan on my mom on Monday, as they cannot do a CT scan so soon after the last one.   There they saw some extra spots on my mom’s kidneys and some in her abdominal area. They also looked for blood clots in her legs as my mom’s legs are really very swollen and they were a bit dumbfounded as to the origin of the swelling as there weren’t any blood clots.  

Yesterday my mom saw the Chemo oncologist and he said that he thinks that she should continue with the Chemo as it seems like the cancer is spreading and spreading fast because of the new spots they picked up on the ultrasound.   The problem with radiation is they can treat specific areas, but if the cancer is spreading then you will miss it if it’s outside that area, but Chemo will kill any cancer in your body no matter where it is…  He intends to monitor her blood more frequently and apparently my mom’s blood platelets are nice and high after the transfusion.  We don’t know when she will get more Chemo, since she was supposed to get the second one today, but I guess they first want to get her better and then they will decide.

This morning suddenly there was a new theory surrounding the swelling (which has reached my mom’s body now and she is swollen from just below her boobs all the way to her feet).  They suggested my mom see an urologist, and because of that she had to be transferred to a different hospital.  They think that maybe there is some kind of blockage somewhere around her kidneys or bladder and that is causing her to swell up.  Apparently she is drinking more fluids than she is urinating out of her body.  That can also be the cause of all the pain she’s had recently.  I can tell that my mom hopes that this diagnosis is the right one and not the one of yesterday.  She does sound a bit more hopeful and positive today. 

Last I spoke to her, my mom was still waiting for the urologist, so we don’t know if there is indeed a blockage, and if so where, or what the treatment will be.  So we are still waiting to hear what exactly the diagnosis is, but my mom does feel a bit better and the pain is better, but I suspect that is because she is getting pain medication, although she says she is not getting any.  The thing is when I saw her yesterday and every time I speak to her on the phone she sounds drugged – her speech is a bit slurred and she sometimes says weird things that have nothing to do with the conversation or she gets some facts confused. 

It’s been hard these last few days, but once more I know all I can do is trust in God and that I must keep my eyes on Jesus.  He will carry us all through this difficult time!

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When I phoned my mom this morning she told me she is being admitted to hospital again.  She was in a lot of pain over the weekend and last time I saw her she complained of pain in her liver, so I assume it’s the same pain…  She’s been looking very ill during the last week or so and it seems she just feels worse every time I see her or speak to her.

I don’t know much since she hasn’t seen the doctor yet and apparently they are going to do more tests, but I’m not sure what they will be testing.  All I know is she does not feel good at all and she actually cried when I spoke to her.

She was supposed to feel much better by now.  The oncologist said that the Chemo would only make her feel sick for about a week and that the other 3 weeks would not be so bad.  Well, it’s almost 4 weeks since the chemo and she just feels worse as the time goes by and this is the second time since the first Chemo that she’s been admitted to hospital…

We also don’t know what the POA is for further treatments as the doctor did not want to commit to anything until this coming Wednesday…

So all we can do is wait and see.  I hate that!

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Today we had our first visit to the midwife I’ve chosen.  Actually I’ve chosen 3 midwives that work together, and there is always one available.  That is very important as our due date is 22 December and it seems we fall in the most difficult time of the year to have a baby, because of Christmas time and the fact that most people take vacation then.  As it is we will have trouble getting a  back up obgyn that will be available through the whole of December, as the midwife said we must know that our little baby can come anytime during December.

DH has some misgivings about using a midwife and would prefer it if I just went straight to an obgyn, but I really would love to try a vaginal water birth.  If it’s not possible I would off course follow the midwife or obgyn’s advise.

The midwife is generally very happy with me and our little one – everything was perfect, my iron levels, my urine sample and my blood pressure.  I’ve gained about 2.5 kg from my pre pregnancy weight, and I’m happy with that.  Also only about 0.5 kg’s since my last FA scan exactly 5 weeks ago.  I’m quite surprised since I didn’t really watch what I ate last week on holiday, and I had a lot of stuff that I would not usually eat.  But then again, I don’t own a scale and the two measurements were taken at different places and I don’t know if they are both accurate, so it could be a bit more…

Our baby’s heartbeat was 148, 155 and 158 when measured and that is apparently perfect.  They want to see 3 different readings because that indicates good blood flow through the umbilical cord.  I did miss not seeing our little nunu on a scan though, but I must go at 20 weeks and that is only 3 weeks to go!  With our FA scan our little nunu was sleeping all the time and since I don’t feel him much yet, I was under the impression that he sleeps most of the day.  Well not today when the midwife tried to listen to the heartbeat with her Doppler – he moved around so much that she had trouble measuring it.  Every time he moved it made a specific sound, and he moved so much that the midwife said we have a little busy body in there!

Speaking about moving – yesterday afternoon I felt movement without holding my hand on my tummy, exactly 3 times at the same spot.  It was a feeling I’ve never felt before so I’m sure it was our baby.  Since then I’ve felt it one more time at different places and I love, love, love it!  I actually can’t wait for the kicks to become more pronounced so that DH can feel it properly too!

I must say the midwife was shocked to hear about my gynaecological history, especially about the cysts, polyps, endo and adenomyosis.  She obviously doesn’t often get former IF patients.  She was incredibly sympathetic about it all though and said that she can believe that I was depressed with all that happened.  It seems mental state of mind is also important to them.

This morning I’ve officially graduated again to a bigger bra size.  I started out with 34B before I got pregnant.  At 5 weeks I was already in DD’s and those have been very tight since a few weeks ago.  Now I’m wearing 34E!  For someone that never had big boobs that is very nice!  I never would have thought that my boobs would get so big so quickly, especially since my sister only got a bigger size bra for the first time around 30 weeks of pregnancy and she wore 34E while breastfeeding.  Makes me wonder where I will end up…

I must say I’m enjoying this pregnancy so much, especially now in the second trimester.  I feel great and I don’t worry so much anymore.

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