Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Life can change in an instant - What happened - very long post

Last Tuesday I had a dr appt with my pain clinic. My stomach had been really bothering me for a few days so I decided to go home and go to bed afterward. I decided to call my mom before laying down to see if they could bring my DD to my house instead of theirs that afternoon. She asked me to come over because she had something to tell me. I, of course, asked what was wrong. She simply stated that she would tell me when I got there.

I was at her house in 8 minutes. The blinds were closed, only one lamp was on and the alarm was set. I immediately thought my dad had left. Crazy, but I couldn't think of what else it could be. I asked her if I needed to sit down and she asked me if I meant would I be shocked and she responded with "I sure as hell was". Which once again in my mind meant my dad must have left.

I sat down on the coffee table in front of her sitting on the couch and she told me that she had a dr appt scheduled for the next day with my brother's next door neighbor, but that she was convinced she had Alzheimer's. We have a strong family history of this awful disease. Immediately, tears came to my eyes. I had noticed some memory problems with her over the prior month. Little things that at the time I excused. Don't we always? I mean come one, she is 63. I figured at that age we would all forget somethings at some point. She then proceeded to tell me that she had gotten lost while driving the day before. Ma, my grandmother, started telling me that it was terrifying. She had taken Ma and another older friend out and got completely lost. She ran a red light and then stopped in the middle of the road. Ma (who's vision is horrible due to last year's diagnosis of Melanoma) became the navigator and got them where they needed to be. She then started telling me about some completely strange phobias and paranoia she had been having. My dad had to put duct tape around all of the windows in the house because she was convinced someone was looking in through the 1/2" opening around the blinds. She had blankets over the windows because she was afraid people were looking in. For anyone who knows her IRL, this is not my mother.

She then asked me if I would drive her to take her dog to the vet as she had dropped her a few days prior. Ma decided to go with us and off we went. When we got inside, there was a nice man who asked my mom what type of dog Rhine was. I turned my head to glance back and noticed that the left side of her face was drooping when she was talking. I was trying not to freak out and in all honesty, I was trying to convince myself that it wasn't happening. I just kept watching to see if I noticed anything else or if it got worse. The tech came out and called us so I stood up. My mom just sat there. I said, "Mama, are you coming back?" and she said "yeah, I'm coming", but she just sat there. I asked her again and once again she said yes and sat there. I went back over and grabbed her arm and pulled her up and she walked back following me. She didn't seem exactly stable in her balance. The vet came in and asked what was going on. My mom was sitting down at this point and could answer some of the questions, but it almost looked like she wasn't there. Her expression was just very vacant. No expression, no color, nothing. I told the vet that we would take the pills for the dislocated knee, and bilateral torn ACLs (yes, it was a horrible day for all) and bring her back later.

I called my brother's next door neighbor to see if I could bring her in since she was refusing to go to the ER. He, of course, said no, take her to the ER. She once again refused. Since his office is literally 10 ft from the ER, I told her that I would drive to his office so he could see her. I got there, walked in and told them why I was there. He came out from the back and threw up his hands. I told hiim that she wouldn't go to the ER without him seeing her. He responded, "well, I see you and now go to the ER" He got his nurse to bring the wheelchair out and pushed her over to the ER. At this point, I didn't think it was a stroke, but I also knew it wasn't just Alzheimer's. A good portion of my job is reading medical records, and I had a horrible feeling that this was something much more serious.

Unfortunately, I was right about this. A few hours later my worst fears were confirmed: My mom has a brain tumor. OMG!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I truly feel like I am watching a slow motion horror movie and then I realize: Oh CRAP, this is real and it is my life

She was transferred to Duke that night and by the next night we were talking to the leading expert. She has the same surgeon that operated on Ted Kennedy. He walked in and said that the MRI looked really bad. He recommended taking out as much as possible and very soon. He thought it looked malignant by the films. He did the surgery on Friday and it is a primary malignant brain tumor. We won't know the exact type until we get the path report back.

I just ask for your thoughts and prayers. Please pray and pray HARD. I am just in shock. I truly can't believe this is happening.


  1. I'm so sorry your family is going through this..I'll be keeping you and your mom in my prayers..and if you have any other prayer requests that come up with this, please feel free to email me at sberniquez@gmail dot com

  2. i am so very sorry for everything that you are going through. i pray for your mother's health and your family. you will be in my thoughts and prayers <3

  3. I came over from Drea's blog and I felt like I was reading a horror book as well... OMG! I just hope God gives you the peace and faith you need at this time. He's the ultimate Doctor and we must trust in His power to heal those who we love.
    Thinking and praying for you and your family.

  4. Thanks so much!! We need all of the prayers we can get. And I completely agree that God has the power. It is just hard for us to remember that.