Tag Archives: aging parents

Distance

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Very sad and worrying news from Australia. The treatment is not doing what was hoped for Dad’s bladder cancer and there is talk of more surgery. On top of that, they have finally put the house on the market and have an offer. They do not however have a place to go to, and to them the choice all hinges on the outcome of the next few consultations.

I want to be at home. I want to help them pack up that house. It is a huge wrench for them, but they have realised that they can no longer manage. I just want to SEE them.

But, we are talking regularly as are all siblings and the two in Oz are planning imminent visits.

As my parents aged, I knew the geographical distance would really be hard to cope with. Have decided to get home as soon as possible.

 

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Underwater paddling

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Duck like, (more appropriate for my body shape) I bobbed through the last few weeks only dealing with the at hand things. Work, food, housekeeping, the dog, study etc.

Underneath it all, like frantically moving ducks feet, things have been mad. Mainly mad in Australia. My mother left one of her carefully worded messages on the landline for me which I picked up at about 10pm one night.

‘Lizzie, it’s Mum…(pause here), Dad’s been taken to hospital….You’ll be tired when you get in so don’t worry, he’ll be fine’…

Don’t think so mother….short version of the tale is that in agony with urinary retention he was rushed off in the night, catheterised and brought home the next day, only to have to go back twice more and on the final visit, it was revealed that the bladder cancer is back. He is currently having chemo for stomach cancer and is in remission from prostate cancer…..

A sister spent the last week with them. We go round in circles. For all his ailments, Dad is robust mentally and surprisingly physically. Mum is forgetful, repetitive and confused.  For years we have encouraged them to move to a community with useful facilities, but it goes nowhere.

It is brutally hard to say it although I did to my sister today, we cannot make them do anything. They are making their own choices and decisions for now. We can just listen and support that. Doesn’t make it easy and yeah, we do feel cross and frustrated, but that is the way it is.

Deeply worried about one sibling and some of their pain and struggles.

Miss them all.

Three weeks into single life and I am feeling stronger, happier, more at ease and occasionally get a sort of thrill that I am now free!

The tree is up. The girls will be home tomorrow. A lovely friend is bringing her little kids to visit and we are going to walk the dog, play with Sylvanian Families and make sloe vodka – well their mum is doing the latter, not the kids!