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Posts Tagged ‘My mom’

1 Year:

Today is a year since my mom passed away at the age of 63.

I never thought that my mom would die so young.  There was always for as long as I could remember a lot off bragging about how old everyone in especially my granddad’s family got.

My mom’s dad passed away 7 years ago and actually his funeral was also on this day 7 years ago.  He was 94 when he passed away, and he always wanted to reach 100.  His dad made it to 99.

My mom’s mom was always very sickly – she was the reason they moved to South Africa from the Netherlands.  Her lungs were never very healthy and the doctors said that she must live in a warm dry place.  She also got breast cancer around the time I was born, but she got a mastectomy and survived that.  Then when I was 18 she got lymphatic cancer and she passed away at the age of 76 or 77 when I was 19.

My mom was not sickly at all throughout her life, so obviously I thought that she would live longer than her own mother did.  It looks like all my uncles and aunts (my mom’s siblings) will live to a good age too.  Only my one uncle is not too healthy, but that was because he got Guillain Barre Syndrome in the 1980’s and that has weakened him a lot, but considering what he went through and what a horrible disease it is, he is doing well.  He is one of my mom’s older brothers and in his 70’s already.

I miss my mom so much, and it still bothers me that baby G will never know her.  When I look at my MIL and how much she loves him and dotes on him it just makes me wonder how it could have been if my mom was still with us.  We were fortunate to grow up knowing all 4 our grandparents, and the first one to pass was my mom’s mom and like I said I was 19 at that stage, so that ads to my sadness, because I know how much my grandparents meant to me growing up…

Sometimes it still feels so unreal to me, as if I can’t believe she is gone.  And then there are days that I come across stuff of hers – and it hits me once again, the realization that I will not see her again.  Like earlier this week I saw some documents with her handwriting on and I was once again in tears.  I also have times when I might quickly see someone at the shops for instance, that might have a similar hairstyle and colour, or there might be something else that reminds me of her, and then I think it might be her, and then I realize it can’t be…

It’s not only difficult for me, but I spoke to my sister and my dad last night and they are not taking it well either.  I guess we will just have to give it time and go through the whole grieving process…

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A few nights ago I once again had trouble sleeping. It took a while to get to sleep and only a few hours later I was awake again, and then it felt like hours passed before I fell asleep again just as the birds woke up. But that time was not wasted, because I was thinking about quite a lot of stuff, especially Shumi, and where I’m failing, and I got another revelation. I know it already, but sometimes one doesn’t see things clearly, especially when it concerns yourself… I think God has been trying to tell me this for a while already, but somehow I just didn’t listen, or didn’t want to listen maybe… I’ve realized there were signs or hints, which made me realize I had to attend to something, but I just brushed it away, and went on with what I was doing. Until that sleepless night when I had lots to think about and I could follow the trail until I got to the revelation, and I want to share that with you today – maybe someone else will also benefit from it.

There were 3 separate incidences that I can identify as signs or hints, because they all had to make me think about the same topic. I can’t really recall which happened first, and I guess it doesn’t really matter. One instance was a comment made on this blog about salvation and keeping the Law of Moses. That comment was in response to me saying that I know God does not want to punish me for every wrong thing I do, because I know that the punishment was already fully taken by Jesus through His sacrifice. I answered on that comment, but there was a lingering feeling that maybe I didn’t follow the trail of thought through fully and answered completely, but I brushed it off and forgot about it.

Another thing that bothered me a bit was a comment DH made to me once. At the time I didn’t realize it, but I’ve had some unresolved anger building up in me, especially lately, and I think it has to do with my mom’s death and Shumi’s illness. I tried to suppress it, and generally I never take out my frustrations on loved ones, so it came out in other ways. One way was when I got so upset about my new debit card not working – I really got so angry, like I haven’t been in a long time, and I let the call centre operator hear it! There is one other person though, someone I get to deal with on a weekly basis, that somehow rubs me up the wrong way, and I never let her see it, but later at home I can’t help making comments and sometimes they are nasty… DH heard me mutter something, and immediately he said, “What has S done this time…” I immediately felt bad, because I realized that I was complaining a lot about this person, especially lately, and maybe I’ve been too hard on her, but I once again did not think about it for very long.

The last message was the fact that I started reading the book of Romans since last week in my Bible study time and really a lot of it has to deal with the law again, and how we are saved by grace through faith and not through works like keeping the law. During the night while I was lying awake I realized that I’ve been focussing on how God does not want to punish us, because Jesus already carried the punishment for us, long before we even sinned, but I conveniently ignored the law. I knew it was still important to keep the law, but why?

For some reason I thought back to my last IVF last year, and how I did not understand things so well then compared to what I know now. Because I did a mini IVF, I didn’t get my stimms from my fertility clinic like I did with my other IVF’s. I bought it at Dis.chem since their price was a bit cheaper than what my clinic would have charged me. They didn’t have all the injections that I needed, but they did have a few and enough to get me started. Somehow the pharmacist made a mistake and charged me for 1 less injection than she gave me. When I paid I realized that the total was less than what I worked it out in my mind, but I paid and left the shop.

All the way home it bothered me and I couldn’t figure out where a mistake was made. When I got home I looked at the slip and only then did I realize what had happened. I immediately felt guilty and felt like I stole that one injection. The second thought that came into my head was, “I hope God does not punish me for this by ensuring that I don’t get pregnant.” Like I said – I still had a lot to learn.

The fear of punishment prompted me to phone the pharmacy and speak to them and rectify the mistake. The poor pharmacist was so happy I phoned and pointed out her mistake and she made a note on the computer that I must pay for the other injection when I come to fetch the last few. I’m sure she would have been in some kind of trouble if I hadn’t come forward and offered to pay, because she kept on saying, “thank you so much for calling and rectifying this.”

While I was lying in bed thinking about all this, I realized – “No, God would not have punished me by giving me a BFN.” I was totally sure of that fact, but then something else struck me. It could have ended in a BFN, but it wouldn’t have been caused by God. I would have given power over my life to the devil and through me handing him that power, he could have killed our embies and caused a BFN.

That was when I realized that the only reason we shouldn’t sin is because that is one way of giving power to the devil. We might believe that God has saved us, we might believe that God has healed us, but if we keep sinning we will never defeat the devil. I saw so clearly that I need to let go of certain sins, and if I do that the power of the devil will decrease. It’s all things that I knew, that I’ve practised a while ago and even had some victory over, but I got lax and I let small things slip, and then it got worse and worse again…

We had one victory, our pregnancy, and I just assumed that the rest will fall into place as well. Then my mom passed away and that shocked me so much! I lost some confidence and I let the devil lie to me again, believing that cancer is different than infertility and much more difficult to get healed, when it shouldn’t be. It’s the same principles that apply, and that works for every kind of illness, but my faith was shaken.

I also gave power to the devil in another way – fear. By being fearful I allowed things to get even worse, I got upset and at that point was where I was tearful at even silly things that should not have upset me at all. I felt like I could not deal with normal daily challenges that usually don’t upset me at all. That was when Shumi’s swelling was at its worst.

Fortunately the swelling has come down a lot, it’s not gone completely, but Shumi looks a lot better again, so much so that I do not contemplate euthanizing him. He is playful again, and he is interested in what goes on around him, he eats well and he just wants love, love and more love from us.

The devil is defeated – Jesus defeated him, and he cannot take Shumi’s life without my permission or co-operation. I’m sure he tried to convince me that euthanizing Shumi would be best, and then we would do the work for him, but I’m not co-operating with that! I keep on reminding myself that God is good, He wants Shumi healed and He has made provision for it already. I must just receive it on Shumi’s behalf. I know it does not look like Shumi is healed, but I don’t have to go on what things look like, when I know that God’s word is true, and when I know what His will is. I must just keep on believing in God’s promises, and not let circumstances sway me or weaken my faith.

I also like to remind myself that the vets gave Shumi a couple of months to live more than a year ago. His life expectancy is already like that of a dog who has received radiation therapy for the cancer, even though Shumi has not received any treatment. So that means that the devil has been hindered in his job – he couldn’t kill Shumi in the normal course of the disease so far, and I fully intend to make it even harder for him from now on.

Satan also tried his very best to make me feel incredibly guilty for my mom’s passing, but I’ve realized that with my mom, it wasn’t just dependant on DH’s and my own faith, because we believed, until the very end. The hard reality is my mom couldn’t believe in her own healing – even when I spoke to her about my miracle pregnancy, I could see in her eyes that she could not believe for the same thing. I gave her books to read, messages to listen to on CD and in MP3 format on her phone, but today I’m sure she didn’t do any of it. Yes, I think I must have discussed it more with her, but an old school friend of my mom’s told me at the funeral that my mom phoned her about 2 weeks before her death and that she could hear my mom had given up on life. That was before she even went in to hospital and I had no idea of any of that!

At the hospital itself we were also surrounded by people who believed the end was near, from the nurses and doctors to visiting family and friends, and no matter how many times DH and I tried to say, “but we have faith that my mom would get healed”, we were met with resistance and comments like, “but you have to be realistic!” Our faith was just too little compared to all the unbelief surrounding my mom…

Fortunately with Shumi’s situation, it’s different. It’s mostly just up to DH and I to believe in Shumi’s healing. We don’t get to deal with other people’s unbelief so much and then only when they come to visit us at home and they see Shumi. I keep on telling people that he is doing well, and what the vet’s diagnosis was over a year ago already, so that helps a little to get them to believe that maybe he will be healed. A lot have had theories like, maybe the diagnosis was wrong, (even our own vet has also wondered about this aloud, that maybe he has a benign tumour), and there was even one theory where they believe his problems are because of a tooth that needs to be pulled. Unfortunately it is very hard for people to believe that God still heals in this day and age, they always try to get some other explanation as well…

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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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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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It’s been a while since I’ve blogged, but with good reason.  We went away for a week on vacation, and I must say it was a much needed vacation.  We went to Zin.kwazi on the Na.tal north coast and although it is winter the weather was not too bad!  The temperature there is quite a bit warmer than here where we live and that suited me fine!  This winter I’ve been cold all the time and I just needed a bit warmer weather for a while.   My sister told me that when she was pregnant she was hot all the time and she felt like she had a heater in her tummy, but I certainly don’t feel like that!  I cannot wait for spring to come and for the weather to get warmer.

I’m 16 weeks pregnant now and DH thinks he can see my tummy get bigger by the day.  I can’t believe that I was worried that I was carrying too small only two weeks ago, although most people won’t guess that I’m pregnant – I feel that I just look fatter than I’ve ever been in my life, but not pregnant yet, so I’m actually quite self conscious about how I look now.  Funny enough my clothes still fit me, especially my pants, so it seems I’ve not picked up much weight around my bum area, just around my tummy.

My sister and her family also came with us and we had a good discussion about her pregnancies and how she carried, gained weight etc, and it seems that our bodies react totally different, which was a surprise to me as we are very similarly built and I always assumed it would be the same for us.   They lived in the UK when she was pregnant with both her daughters, so I really don’t know much about her pregnancies.

My sister said she always gained weight in her bum first and she was in bigger pants before the end of her first trimester.  She also didn’t really have any morning sickness and she was hungry all the time, so she ate a lot more than usual.  I think I eat only slightly more than what I was used to, and up to 14 weeks I was so nauseous that I really only ate what I could.

She also said that her tummy only popped out much later and with her first baby, she didn’t have much of a bump, but that was because the baby was breech and couldn’t turn.  The second pregnancy I saw her for the last 4 weeks or so when they came back to South Africa for good and although she had a good sized bump it wasn’t huge – as a matter of fact she was the same size at the same time as my SIL who had her first baby (a boy) exactly 2 months after my sister had her second.

So, I guess I won’t be able to compare myself to her, as it seems my pregnancy is already so much different than hers.  I wonder if the fact that we are having a boy has anything to do with it?  One of my previous bosses always had a theory that with boys you carry most of the weight in the tummy area and with girls mostly in the bum area…  I always thought that was an old wives tale, but now I’m wondering if there is some truth to it?

I’ve been feeling some more movements, but not very often, not even every day.  I’ve been hoping that DH can feel it too, so often when we lie in bed he lies with his hand on my tummy.  The other day he told me he felt a very faint movement under his hand and when he described it to me it sounded exactly like what I’m feeling so I believe he also felt our little nunu!  That was an incredibly special moment!

On a different topic:  My mom was admitted to hospital earlier this week.  It seems that the chemo has once again destroyed most of her blood platelets and this time also her red blood cells.  Her colon started bleeding again, and because blood doesn’t clot well with low blood platelets she lost a lot of blood and had to get a blood transfusion.   She got one bag of blood platelets and one bag of red blood cells, and she was kept overnight in hospital.  The oncologist said that he will let her know in a week and a half’s time what he intends to do about this problem.   My mom really doesn’t want anymore chemo, but the oncologist didn’t want to commit to a specific POA for her.  I can tell that these last few weeks were incredibly hard on my mom and for the first time she really did sound worried about her health…   I’m currently clinging to God’s promises about healing and I try not to worry too much.

Talking about worry – this morning KT had us worried.  We saw her last around breakfast time and then it seemed that she had disappeared.  DH and I went looking for her around lunch time and eventually I saw her in one of our neighbour’s house.  I knocked on the door and I realized that there was no one at home and that KT was locked up inside.

At first we didn’t have the cell number of the lady that lives there, fortunately someone gave it to us, but then she didn’t answer her phone.  Eventually we realized that we would have to try to break into her house, because KT was starting to get anxious in there.  Fortunately DH was able to open her garage door and get into the house from there to let KT out.

A little bit later this lady phoned back and DH explained what happened, and she thought it was hilarious!  She told us that KT visits her and her teenage son a lot and that KT woke her up yesterday morning by giving her a lick in the face.  Apparently she had opened a door for her dog and KT, who can jump over walls of about 4-5 foot high, got into her garden and into the house.  When her son comes home after school in the afternoon’s he wrestles with KT on the living room carpet so KT is quite at home with them in their house, and I think that she just didn’t realize KT was still in the house when she left this morning.   Her only worry was her cat, that only stays indoors, but when she came home he was OK so obviously KT didn’t harm him…  KT was also waiting for her when she came home and went straight back into her house with her, so she obviously hasn’t learnt her lesson!

We are just so relieved that KT and the cat are OK, and that KT didn’t damage this lady’s house trying to get out…  DH loves to say in times like this, “Must love dogs…”

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