When last I posted, I had traveled to Kansas City from July 30 to August 13 to "rescue" Mom from a dire situation in which she was alone in the family home with no transportation, little food, no one to talk to because certain family members charged with protecting her through a power of attorney "didn't have time" to come see her, and didn't make it to many of her medical appointments either through apathy, "weather problems" (which I later found out was a little bit of rain, which amounts to apathy), didn't receive her medication on occasions until several days past when she needed it refilled, or schedule conflicts in which Mom's needs weren't as important as everyday mundane things those family members chose to do instead of take care of Mom.
I ended up taking over Power of Attorney, getting Mom to the doctor for an urgent problem, following up with medications timely filled and administered, setting up new accounts for her, touring and ultimately getting her into a very nice assisted living community that provided everything she could possibly need including a safe, secure, nice and clean interior building apartment which we filled with all her important furniture and things, she got three square homemade meals a day that kept her nourished, and a place where she could keep her beloved Chihuahua-Terrier, "Dinky". Those of us in the family who took action helped get her moved (my cousin Lisa and her husband Roger, my cousin Walter and his son Dakota, and neighbor John helped with all the physical work), we had an estate sale of the things Mom didn't want (with her blessing), and put that money back into her bank account, and Lisa and Roger started clearing out the house to sell it since Mom would need those funds for her future assisted living payments.
Well, everything we'd done seems to have been a temporary fix with a cruel twist. This morning, I got the unfortunate call from Mom's oncologist. We originally found out she had lung cancer last Tuesday after all the hospital tests were evaluted and re-evaluated, found out it had spread to her abdomen last Thursday, and this morning learned from her oncologist that her prognosis is only for another 2 months or less. I'm devastated because I'd hoped that "rescuing" Mom would have given her at least several years of blissful and peaceful living at her new "home" and assurances that her needs would be met while enjoying companionship and friendship of other residents there as she got to know them.
She'd only been at her new apartment 2 weeks when she ended up in the hospital with stomach pains (which she'd been complaining of when I arrived July 30th, but her primary care physician said it was constipation and that if she hydrated more, it wouldn't be a problem... but the problem continued). She also complained of dark tarry stools and some blood. Her doctor said it was because she was taking too much iron, so they cut back on it.
My cousin, a health care worker with vast experience with elder care, dementia and Alzheimer's, took Mom to the doctor on August 23rd with extremely low blood pressure. Mom had lots of tests done, and a CT scan revealed a couple of spots on her lungs, and doctors placed her in an isolation ward to test for TB. It was found also she had several ulcers in her stomach (which were not bleeding) and a small hernia, as well as a growth in her esophagus. Mom spent a total of 2-1/2 weeks in the hospital, not able to enjoy her assisted living apartment nor spend time with her cherished doggie. She was finally able to go back to her assisted living community this past Saturday evening, but had to go back to the hospital this morning for the needle biopsy. Which returned the devastating news I'm sharing now.
I desperately need to go back to Kansas City as soon as possible so that I can spend quality time with Mom while she is still able to walk, converse, go a few places and laugh before her condition starts deteriorating rapidly. And when that happens, I'll need to be with her to help her transition through this descent stage, and with her as she becomes less and less able to function on her own. In short, I need to simply "be there" as any good daughter would need to be. For a lifetime of having spent countless hours on the phone and going back to visit on many occasions, it all seems so unexpected and cruel to now have an estimated expiration date on such a wonderful and cherished parent as my Mom is.
I spent all of my "rainy day" savings on my last trip there (July 30 to August 13) to "rescue" her and get her into assisted living. It's now going to take a village of kindness to help me get back there and stay for an extended period, including final arrangements. Everything otherwise in my life I wil need to put on hold, and willingly do so without regret, to be there for my mother.
I need to buy a plane ticket (open ended), pay my housing payment while I'm gone (I do have a housemate to share expenses, but I won't have a paycheck to cover my portion during my absence), and have funds for administering everyday things both for myself and for my mother while I'm there, including getting the house sold. I need healthy food while there, transportation, incidentals and administrative funds to insure the completion of whatever I'm charged with doing. In short, I need a lot of help right now... and hope you can help in some way towards my being there to be with and help Mom with the love and care she needs in her time of need.
Those of you who gifted Mom with some funds last month should know that money went towards her assisted living needs and incidentals related to her hospital care and return home, including co-pays on her medication. If you can help now again with assistance to get me there to stay for a few weeks to allow me to help her emotionally and physically through this terminal diagnosis and hospice care period, I thank you again. If you haven't helped yet and can, it's never been more needed than it is right now, and I humbly bow my head in prayer and thanks for your help if you can.
We are now setting up hospice services for when she needs them, and from that point on, she will be in the care of medical professionals who will insure she is kept comfortable and her pain as little as possible.
I am preparing administrative paperwork to be processed and archiving everything I need to my portable hard drive so I may be prepared for whatever admin duties I will have when I'm taking care of Mom in person, and hope to be able to leave for Kansas City sometime in the next 2-3 weeks. Your donation will help me get there and make a difference to Mom.
I will have trusted friends here in the Bay Area help me with housesitting, taking care of Hershey (my bunny) and my three kitties while I am away.
If you can spare an amount of $1,000 or more and wish to be reimbursed, you will be listed as a first-postion lienholder and be reimbursed out of escrow funds which we will reserve from the sale of her home. The house will be officially listed on the market on September 16th.
THANK YOU for your consideration and assistance. Being with Mom during this difficult time is the one most important gift I can give her in her time of need.
Carron ("K.C.") Frogge
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