I have been getting over the strain of the all-day chemotherapy on Thursday and coping with the side-effects of the cocktail of drugs. We did do some practical things yesterday afternoon. The rest home where my mother lives has been trying out a new device for deafness. It is not a hearing aid which someone wears all the time, but a special device which can be used to have a conversation. They were delighted to have tried it on my mother and for her to be able to hear what they were saying. They passed the literature on to me and if it proves to be good, I think we shall get one for her so that she is less isolated.
Then we went to do something we had both been rather dreading, seeing a funeral director. I told Raymond that I would be much happier if I knew that my mother’s funeral arrangements were all made and paid for. If the home also knows what we have done, they can alleviate any anxieties she may have on that score as she is rather forgetful. It also meant I had to think about my own arrangements which can be a blueprint from which the family can work later on. I felt that if I didn’t have to worry about things like that, I would be able to concentrate on trying to cope with the disease better.
Margaret, a good friend to us and our parish church lay-reader, has been a wonderful sources of help and strength as she is to so many people in our village. She has been able to advise us what to do as we were really quite ignorant. She also has a great sense of humour so nothing is all gloom and doom.
Today, hopefully we can relax. Ray is exhausted as it is a very emotional time and he is trying so hard to support me. I’d love to be able to say that I can see a real improvement in my neck. It hasn’t got any worse but it could be that the steroids are keeping it from growing larger. Inside my throat I think there may be a slight improvement and I can swallow most of my tablets except one, without their getting stuck.
It has been a strange week. My mother is 97 and I never really thought about it but I suppose I assumed I would outlive her and always be there to care for her needs so it has been a cause of some worry that I am likely to go before her. However, she has earned so much love from her immediate family and from the carers where she is now living, that I feel much more confident now that she will be happy and well looked after.