24 June 2007

first, from tokyo

Updates about my mom. Overall, things have not been very good. A few manageable days, but she is really able to eat so little, and is often in great discomfort. Our primary cancer care doctor, Dr. Hayashi, has assured us that she is not yet to the point of having an ileus, which would be an absolute emergency. But, seeing as attempts to resolve the problem internally have not been working, she will be checking into the hospital next Tuesday (June 26th) to get IV nutrition and to somehow, hopefully, address her blocked/scarred intestines (likely the combined effects of the cancer, her gastrointestinal surgeries, and being on opiates for pain control). I think the length of her stay will depend on the course of treatment. If she ends up undergoing surgery or anything like that, I'll probably fly back; otherwise, I'm still hoping to head there in August.

Really, she should have been checked in earlier, but Tuesday was the earliest bed they had available. Health care issues abound in every country. Meanwhile, dear family friends have visited my mom at home, providing massage and other personal care. One of the oddest, fun therapies is...ironing my mom. It's heat therapy, basically, using a special little iron. She and I both tend to get very cold, so I can imagine how good it must feel! And, wearing these socks apparently is also very comfortable.

My dad took all the pics on this blog. He calls this one the United Colors of Bennetoes...

For the time being, they've put chemotherapy on hold. Yesterday she hardly had the strength to put in her contact lenses, but somehow managed to smile brilliantly like she always does. My dad is sleeping less, it seems, but doing ok. He starts working only part time (Tuesday and Friday mornings) starting mid-July, so that will be good too that he can stay with my mom as needed.

More news to come this week.

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