Keeping Up With Kate

Kate has been moved to a nursing home for the time being. She was able to get the chemo beads inserted into her liver tumor. But during the operation the enlarged varicose veins in her throat burst when the breathing tube was removed. I guess this is a common side effect with the diseases she is dealing with as it's happened to her before. It's a gruesome side effect, and quite painful.

I've called her twice since our visit, and sent a card. But her friends have been calling me once or even twice a day asking me to call her and visit her more. And it's making me want to hide under a rock. I feel like going near Kate right now would be like swimming near a drowning person. She's grabbing and clinging and saying whatever she thinks will bring us closer in what she thinks are her last moments. "I'm only living for you!" or "You're energy is the only thing worth living for."

If my mother, my real mother, were saying these things to me they would break my heart. They would make me want to tell her it was ok to let go if she needed to. To be there every second holding her hand. But when Kate says it to me it makes me want to run like hell. But to stop talking with her, isn't that like asking her to give me up twice?

So I'm trying to stay sane and be as humane and kind as I can. But I feel like I'm cruel. And I also want to go run and hide under the nearest rock. I can tell I'm burying myself under crafting, etsy, reading, blogging and pretty much anything that keeps my focus turned away from real life. But what's making me really sad is that while I'm shining my attention on those things it's leaving my family in the dark. The kids aren't getting the attention they need, and husband is sitting upstairs while I'm sitting downstairs in my workshop.

So today we are having a kid fantasy day. We're hitting the movies and Ed Debevic's with my Etsy earnings. And I'm going to hire a sitter so husband and I can go get some hot wings and a big (BIG) cold beer. And I made a bunch of cards that I'm going to send every couple of days to Kate's room.

I hope that's enough cause it's all I've got right now.


Katrina said...

You are doing all you can and that is all you can do. Take a deep breath, enjoy the hubby (and especially the beer) and just "be" for a little while.

You are a fab person and I think you are doing a wonderful job.

Gretchen said...

I really don't know what to say. Know that I'm thinking about you, and we're all here for you!

Miss Jess said...

I know it sounds cliche to say this but I DO know how you are feeling because I feel the same way about my dad. Know that you are not alone and you have lots of love and support behind you!

plainjanemom said...

It's rough, because you're a good person and you don't like to see someone suffering. But on the other hand, you have to do what is right for you and your family. Courage.

Oh, The Joys said...


That sounds like a huge amount of pressure.

I know you'll figure out the best thing to do...

Thinking of you!


JoeInVegas said...

Sorry for your feelings, but you are NOT responsible for all the pain in the world. You've got husband and kids that you have chosen, the rest is what you want to do. If it's too much then do not accept it.

plumtickled said...

Dear sweet Lotta........ I think you've gone above and beyond. Do what you can...... be happy. This is the best gift you could give.

Enjoy your wings...... and the big, big, beer!

michele said...

I'm a little on the flip side of this as my birthmother refused to talk to me before she died. However - having been there - there's only one sure thing. Keep yourself sane. Keep your self healthy. Do what you feel comfortable doing. It's not your job to keep her spirits up. It's not your responsibility to be her "savior." Do what YOU feel YOU would like to. The bottom line is - doing any more than that is NOT going to magically cure her - but it could make you have some serious issues. Sorry for the strength of opinion - it's just one of those things that's unique, and no one gets it if they haven't been there.

stuffed said...

I have a rather confusing perspective. I've held dying hands, my mom gave up a baby before I was born, and I've had people run from a sick me.

I think, of course, you have to do what's best for you. She's expecting waaay too much from you. I think you should embrace your boundaries. Your instincts sound good to me. The card idea is wonderful.

Is she even slightly religious? She could lay some of this burden on a chaplain. Or, does she have a social worker? They might be able to arrange some counseling.

And, don't beat yourself up for being downstairs! :0) You just needed a little time to yourself. It happens.

PamKittyMorning said...

I sure don't have any answers but I'd say the only thing I can think of is do what you can live with, don't take on responsibilities that aren't yours and don't lock out your husband, even if all you say is its tough and I'm trying to hold it together and need some crafty me time.

Mama Drama Jenny, the Bloggess said...

You have absolutley gone above and beyond what should be expected of you. Feel good about that, my friend. Not guilty for not doing more.

Am I going to have to send you some drugs? Because I can.

Hetha said...

It's easy for me to say this, but I think that sending the cards is plenty and that the people calling you are out of line in doing so. You've really gone above and beyond what most people in your shoes would do. You don't deserve any guilt over this, that's for sure. Enjoy those wings and maybe get yourself some action with that hotty of yours - feel better.

Aimee Greeblemonkey said...

I also think the friends are out of line asking you to come more. It's a long drive and you have a complicated relationship.

Calling and sending cards is completely appropriate and thoughtful. Visit her when you are up to it, not when they think you should.

I know, easier said than done.

coquet's cache said...

I've worked with hospice patients for 13 years, so I can visualize what you are describing. You are both in an impossible situation.

Do what you can. Talk to the social service person at the nursing home, b/c they really do understand and want to help.

Anonymous said...

lotta you are so wise
even tho it must seem to you like you are groping around in the dark
you are trying to meet so many needs around you, and you ARE DOING A GOOD JOB
for your family
for yourself
and for your birth mother

right now you can't perfectly fill needs in any of those depts., but you are doing something for everyone
and that's great

you are really doing well
even if it doesn't feel like it

sending supportive vibes yr way
do they count?

take care