Saturday, October 6, 2012

Under Pressure

   I've been stressed to the point that my own body has been feeling the effects.....

I should warn you...this post is not a happy one.....I won't be offended if you want to stop reading it...
 I am posting my outfits for my attempt to distract myself and achieve some normalcy....

School marm-y at my lessons today

 The last couple of weeks have been very stressful; my mom was diagnosed with a very aggressive form of cancer just one month ago.  Although her cancer had metastasized to the lymph nodes and is not curable; the oncologists in a very aggressive practice talked her into getting chemo as a 'palliative' measure (to slow the progression and prolong life).  I didn't agree; I felt that her already compromised body (cardiac blockage at the aortic arch, advanced emphysema) was too weak...and I was correct.  On Saturday, she was in the ER again, then admitted to the hospital for an altered mental status due to low hemoglobin (oxygen capacity of the red blood cells). This low hemoglobin caused her brain to be hypoxic (oxygen poor). Evidence shows this is linked to chemo, and while many can handle it, someone as weak and ill as my mom...cannot.  Once she received some blood, her mental status improved, but her physical condition has rapidly declined.
Then the argument ensued between the primary physician, who called for hospice care and the chemo docs who wanted to do another round of treatments!  I will just say that I had a few words with the chemo docs and in a very professional and measured tone of voice let them know that I had been a paramedic, had taken the same college anatomy and physiology and pharmacology class that they are required to take, know how to read research journals, including those that show an evidence base for poor efficacy of chemo treatment on patients with preexisting co-morbidities.  
Its also a good thing that this former shrinking violet doesn't shrink feathers are easily ruffled and I'm not easily intimidated by a White Coat.

I know some docs have their heart in the right place, gut tells me this wasn't the case.  I was informed by some of the nurses that this particular oncology group doesn't not like to stop chemo until the death is imminent.

At tonight's dance party blowing off some steam
I do understand that  chemo saves many lives.  But there is a time and a place and proper patient for it and this situation fits none of those.  I wanted the chemo docs to stop talking to her in ways she can't comprehend....I wanted them to stop applying their kind of authoritative pressure.  Its unfair to my poor mamma.
She decided on hospice today...and I am at once relieved (a rest for her) and heartbroken (I'm not ready to lose my mom.
It is for the best; her pain will be managed, she won't be assaulted by toxic chemicals designed to work on patients far less compromised than patients like my mother.
My mom is old school; docs say do it...she does it.

Not anymore.
I had the pleasure of firing them.  I'm her health care rep and I invoked it.
The true palliative care angels of hospice have taken over and will help my mother walk through this process at the end of her of the assault of some arrogant physician's agenda.

I don't know when my mom will lose her battle but it will be soon.  

I'm smiling in my pictures, taken today...but my heart is about to crack.
I will get through this by continuing to do what I do....but for the moment
I am under pressure.
Please say a prayer for Patricia; she has had a hard life....
she's tired.  

Thank you to all of you who follow my little blog.  Normally, I don't talk about such difficult topics...but today, I needed to be true to my situation and pour my heart out.
Thank you for accommodating my rant.
I adore all of you.


  1. Oh Lisa you are going through such a tough time, my thoughts and prayers are with both you and your mum. What a wonderfully caring daughter you are.
    Be kind to yourself.

  2. Hi Lisa,

    I'm so sorry to hear about your Mom. I'm not a physician, but let me tell you what happened to my Mom. Last year, she couldn't walk, and the doctor(S) advised for surgery. She refused, and seeked alternative medication. She found one in terms of a doctor who also learned prana. She is visiting my brother in the US now, and she hiked with my Dad and brother in Alaska two weeks ago.

    My point is, sometimes doctors can do as much, and we must rely on our own hearts to decide what to do.

    I wish you and your Mom all the best.

    Visit me:

    LeeAnne, Style N Season

  3. So,so hard to watch someone you love like that...and have to make hard decisions for them. Sending my love and prayers to you at a time when you must feel torn apart. A moment at a time over the next few days - cherish the time you have with your mamma. Lots of love and a big hug sent to you. Claire xxxxxxxx

  4. Lisa I am so sorry to hear about your Mum and what you and all your family must be going through. Good for you for being so strong and standing up to the establishment and fighting for what you clearly know to be best for her. She is fortunate she has a daughter so knowledgeable about these treatments. I hope she is comfortable now and my heart goes out to you.

  5. Lisa, so sorry to hear about your mom. Sending prayers and hugs your way during this difficult time.

  6. I'm so sorry about your mom's illness. Its such agreat thing that you have the knowledge and the strength to advocate for her. I wish you all the strength and fortitude you need to cope with it all.

    On the lighter side, I see you are also a subscriber to the "I feel bad, but I will at least LOOK good" school.

    1. I'm just trying to keep it normal:)
      Thank you so much.

  7. I'm so sorry. My heart aches for you.

    I went through a similar experience when my mom died of breast cancer. It's hard. I commend you on firing the chemo-pushers because that treatment is so harsh and toxic. At this stage, we want our loved one to simply have the best time available for the period of time they have left.

    Hang in there. Kiss her on the cheek, hold her hand and see this as part of the journey of life.

  8. Lisa, what a difficult time for you all. I'm glad to hear that your mother has someone strong like you to stand up for her during this time. Wishing you both peace and comfort.

  9. Ooh Lisa... my heart's breaking for you.
    I agree with you about some MDs as their pockets are more important than the patients they took oath to care for. I say this b/c my mom lost her battle to cancer as well. After chemo & radiation....suffering more from side effects of the treatment...all the while knowing it was inevitable. She agreed to the treatments only b/c she wanted us to know that she's was not giving up. She was a nurse..she knew.
    I pray for His love & comfort be with you and your family.
    Lots of hugs your way, my friend.


  10. Lisa, so sorry to hear this. you can post anything, at anytime whatever you want on your own blog. I have 2 friends dealing with similar issues with their moms. I think and pray for you as I do for them. your mom is lucky to have you to stand up for her!!! Sometimes a person gets to an age and time in their life when the chemo is a bad call. God Bless!

    1. Linda, Thank you. There is a time to stop, you are right.

  11. LIsa, I am so sorry you are having to go through all this. It must be so difficult. It is good your mother has such a strong advocate. I hope that she can have some peace and calmness. My prayers are sent your way.

  12. My dear Lisa, I read this post with both tears of anger and tears of sadness. I am so sad to hear that your mum is in a terminal stage, and I don't think we ever will get ready to loose those that are dear to us. Isn't it chocking that there in 2012 is so little knowledge about individualized medicine (and care too!), and that a frail and fatigue body can't stand as offensive treatments as younger fitter persons. We hear about these unwisely doctors too often I think! However, I think you should be proud of yourself that you stood up, and defended your opinion as well as you defended your mother! I am sure that she is very proud of you, and that she can rest in the knowledge that you will be there for her to the end. I am sending you (and your mother of course) a lot of good and strengthening thoughts! Your blogger friend Anna

    1. Thank you so much Anna.
      I think at some point, when my heart has healed some...there is some research in here to tackle.

  13. Oh, sweetheart, I'm so sorry to hear about your mom's illness and imminent end. *hug* Good for you for standing up for her and doing what's best - it's the greatest gift you can give her now.

    Please look after yourself, Lisa. Sending my very strongest vibes to you and Patricia.

    Take care,

  14. Oh, and fabulous belt - you are working "fake it till you feel it" really well!

  15. So sorry you and your mom are going through this. I have very mixed feelings about conventional medicine and its treatment options for cancer. I ask myself often, if diagnosed, what would I do? You are not in an easy place but I wish you strength and peace for what lies ahead. On a positive thought...I love your shoes and that tease of leopard together. I was watching a movie tonight that was set in the 1940s and one lady was shown wearing a burgundy suit with leopard accessories--I nearly swooned. : ) hang on tight!

    1. Thank you. I'm glad you enjoyed the leopard!
      I appreciate your kind worlds.

  16. Oh, I just want to give you a hug. This is such sad news, but I am glad that you stood up to the pressure those docs were putting on her.

    1. Virtual hug received, Terri, Thank you.

  17. I have said a prayer for your mom and one for you - I know how difficult this is specially receiving this type of news and it all evolving so quickly.
    My husband's mom died a year ago of cancer and it came to a point that we just wanted her to leave because it was so very impossible to watch her suffer and not be able to help in any way.
    My prayers are with you both.

    1. Thank you for your prayers, Lorena. It is so hard to see loved ones suffer. Its hard to lose them. Day by day, I'll beal a bit more. Thank you for you kind words.


"When you find yourself on the side of the majority, it is time to pause and reflect"--Mark Twain