Wings As Eagles: I can't help but think back...

Saturday, September 29, 2007

I can't help but think back...

I can't help but think back a year ago, where we were, what we were doing, how we were struggling. The past few days, my mind had been returning to what was going on a year ago frequently throughout the day.

Yesterday, September 28th is a day (plus many days after that!) I will never forget. Yesterday a year ago, Mom had brain biopsy surgery in Wichita. We knew at that time she had a brain tumor, but didn't know the extent of it or what would be required after surgery.

We checked into the hospital early that morning and Mom went into surgery about 8 am. I can remember the time spent with Mom before surgery. We stayed with Mom the entire time until they wheeled her into the surgery area. I can remember the tears, the hugs and kisses before she went into surgery. As we prepared for the long hours of waiting, we could only pray that God would direct the outcome of the surgery and guide the doctors and nurses.

After surgery, she was admitted to ICU and we were able to visit her. When I walked into her room, I thought that this just couldn't be Mom. This was not my Mom who had been so healthy and strong, so full of energy everyday, just lying there hooked up to so many tubes and machines. She was still really drowsy from the anesthesia and unresponsive to us.

The day of surgery was long, hard and so difficult. But to me the next day, the day after surgery was almost harder than the day of surgery. Since she was in ICU, there were just a few hours during the day that we were able to see her. In between times we would rotate between the three of us (Dad, Jena and myself) going back to the motel to rest.

It became increasingly difficult to go into that ICU room to see her. We wanted to be there, we wanted to be with her, but it so hard to see her the way she was. She was a little more responsive to us, but the hardest part was that she was unable to speak or move her right side (including her arm and leg) at all.

We visited with the surgeon that afternoon and he confirmed that there had been some brain damage during surgery. Mom wouldn't speak again, be able to walk on her own or move her right side. He also told us that the type of cancer she had was in the latter stages and very difficult to treat and usually patients with this type of cancer lived only 6 months to 2 years.

How shocked could we be? So shocked we couldn't think or even speak, the tears just started coming. We knew she had a brain tumor. We knew the risks of surgery could damage her brain and make her condition worse. But we were not expecting this.

When we walked back into Mom's ICU room, we could tell by her facial expression that she knew something was wrong when she looked at us. We didn't tell her much at the time, not knowing how much she was able to understand. We just tried to keep our attitudes upbeat and be encouraging to her. Thinking back on it and Mom's response to us, she knew more and understood more than we thought she did. But I'll never forget the look on Mom's face as we walked into her room after receiving the news. That look of anguish and helplessness. That look of wanting to say something, but unable to.

To me that day was harder than the previous day of surgery. We were faced with something that would only get worse. We didn't know at the time how quickly things would progress and didn't ever expect Mom to be gone in less than two months time.

But as Dad and I were talking this evening, we can rejoice for the time we had with Mom and be thankful for the life she lived. We can be thankful for her Godly example to us girls as well as many other people. For Mom, death was a time of rejoicing; she had a much better future to look forward to. It just makes is difficult for those of us she left behind. But oh-what we can look forward to as believers!

1 comment:

  1. Wow. I can't imagine. I'll be praying for you this week!



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