Thursday, March 17, 2011

An Ill Wind

My sister left me a message this morning that my grandmother fell. My grandmother is 85 years old and has stomach and lung and maybe liver cancer. She lives at home, with my mom and sister and family, and has refused all treatment except palliative care; a hospice nurse comes to bathe her and help with other tasks my mom can't handle. In the past week my grandmother has become increasingly disoriented and can't recognize certain people. They are theorizing that the cancer has spread to her brain. Her coordination has also fallen off dramatically--hence the fall. The decision has been made to bring in a hospital bed and have her sleep in the family room. She is taking liquid morphine and codeine and that's about all I know because my mom won't answer the phone right now.

Also today: my aunt emailed me that my stepfather, a recovering alcoholic with a host of medical problems, also fell and broke his kneecap. He is in the hospital and will need physical therapy and then substance abuse treatment.

In the meantime, all hell has broken loose in the Middle East and there has been that stupefyingly horrendous trifecta of the earthquake, tsunami, and near nuclear meltdown in Japan.

I know I am prone to exaggeration in the best of times, but life has taken on an apocalyptic tone of late.

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