Gather ye rosebuds while ye may.

The past month has flown by, and here’s why (plus an update on Mom).

The last week of February, I flew down to Florida for the bi-annual Awesome Motive mastermind (which was amazing). These two weeks are some of my favorite weeks of the year… getting to spend time with so many energetic, thoughtful, growth minded leaders is so much fun and truly energizes me.

I was home from Florida for just four days, then Nila, her friend Kyra and I left for week long trip to northern California for spring break. I’d been planning this trip for over a year, and it almost got cancelled at the last minute. Several historic “atmospheric rivers” threatened apocalyptic rains and flooding right where we were heading, and I was worried we wouldn’t be safe, or able to access some of the places we wanted to go to.

As it turned out, we were totally safe, but didn’t get to go to Monterey Bay, Monterey, whale watching, Carmel by the Sea or Pebble Beachas a result. Those areas were indeed cut off by flooding. Still, we had a great time exploring Santa Cruz and a little bit of San Fransisco. It was much fun and I can’t wait to go back when the weather is a little more forgiving. (more pics and stories from this trip soon)…

While we were there, though, I got a call from my half brother Luke. My dad had a heart attack and subsequent triple bypass surgery, but wasn’t recovering from the surgery as expected. I told Luke I’d be there as soon as I could…but that I was in California, a bit trapped by the crazy weather and a ton of delayed and cancelled flights.

When we did get home, I packed and went to right to sleep, knowing I had a flight to catch at 6AM the next morning to Virginia to see dad. Just moments before my connecting flight was about to take off out of LaGuardia, I saw a text from Luke telling me it was too late. Dad had passed, and I was just a 45 minutes flight away.

I went ahead to Virginia and spent the rest of the day with Luke, catching up with him and his mom. We went to the crematory together so he wouldn’t have to go by himself, then I headed back to Ohio the next day.

Which is a good thing, because as soon as I got home, Mom told me she thought she had a UTI again. She said it hurt to pee and her stomach and back hurt. She’d had a UTI in January, and I couldn’t tell if her memory was failing her and she was thinking about that incident, or if she truly was not feeling well.

A day and a half later, I took her to the Dr and they confirmed she had a UTI, then put her on meds with very strict instructions to go to the ER if she wasn’t COMPLETELY well in two days (because she deteriorates so quickly).

Two days later, I thought she was feeling much better. The meds seemed to be working.

But by day four, I was certain I was wrong and that the UTI had spread. She was doubled over in pain, saying her stomach hurt and was again confused.

So off we went to the ER at OSU. Fortunately, they got her back to be seen in record time. In fact, they had a triage room for her before we even finished intake, which is pretty much unheard of. I think the fast service is because she’s considered a patient of the James Cancer Center, so though the intake is through OSU’s ER, they quickly separate out the cancer patients to the James.

Just six hours later, we were admitted and in a room for further testing.

Tests showed the UTI had in fact cleared up which seemed like positive news, at least for a while… but it didn’t explain why her stomach hurt. Mom has been through a lot and I’ve NEVER heard her once wince at pain like she was with this. Something was definitely wrong still.

The answer was found in the CT of her abdomen: several new lesions/masses on her liver that weren’t there at all in late January. The constitution of the lesions leaves the oncologists feeling very certain that her lung cancer has spread to her liver. They haven’t even once said that it could NOT be cancer… they’ve jumped straight to getting a biopsy for the purpose of staging it.

Today is Thursday. She was admitted on Sunday night. She is still in the hospital, awaiting the next available slot for a liver biopsy to find out what kind of metastasis it is. Since she’s had breast, lung and skin cancer, there are several possibilities and the doctors have to find out which one it is to know how to treat it.

But she is tired… and I’m not certain she even wants treatment. I hear her talking to her friends, telling them she feels like she’s dying this time, and that she doesn’t have the energy to fight it anymore.

She’s already on some very heavy pain medicine to manage the pain from the masses stretching the capsule that surrounds the liver. This step alone has an air of palliative care to it, even though no doctor has indicated that’s what is happening. When she’s awake, she’s scared and confused and sad, but also bored and a bit loopy because the days are running together.

If you are one of her friends, or family, and would like to see her, she’s definitely allowed to have visitors. She’s in Room 1943 at the James Cancer Center at Ohio State.

Gather ye Rose-buds while ye may,
    Old Time is still a-flying:
And this same flower that smiles to day,
    To morrow will be dying.

The glorious Lamp of Heaven, the Sun,
    The higher he’s a getting;
The sooner will his Race be run,
    And neerer he’s to Setting.

That Age is best, which is the first,
    When Youth and Blood are warmer;
But being spent, the worse, and worst
    Times, still succeed the former.

Then be not coy, but use your time;
    And while ye may, go marry:
For having lost but once your prime,
    You may forever tarry.

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