Many are the plans in a person’s heart, but it is the LORD’s purpose that prevails. Proverbs 19:21
I'm a planner. I often plan my day, weeks, & the next month for things that need done or appointments to keep. I think I'm flexible, but I've come to realize that I do prefer a planned day - even if the plan for the day is to do nothing. The problem lately with my plans is that God has had other plans.
Friday, December 10th, Todd, Mattye & myself were on our way to Todd's company Christmas dinner. Mom telephoned to say they were admitting her to the hospital due to extreme pain. The thought to make a quick trip to Indiana over the weekend was surpressed by the blizzard like conditions predicted by the local weather & coming in the next day. The blizzard blew in with a fury on Saturday. We received a tearful phone call on Sunday saying that I should probably try to get to Indiana. Late Sunday afternoon, we were replacing tires on my car and preparing it for travel. Laundry was completed & things were ready for me to leave Monday morning after taking Mattye to school.
I arrived in Lafayette, Indiana, Monday, December 13th, to find my mom no longer in pain, but so loaded on pain medications that I don't believe she recognized me. The plan was to discharge her the next day to come home with Hospice Care. Tuesday morning began with delivery of a hospital bed, my running errands for her husband, Rick, and eventually mom arriving home via ambulance shortly after lunch. Then began a flurry of home nurse visits, nurse aid visits to bathe and provide personal care, social worker visits, and many gracious friends stopping by to bring food and love on mom and Rick.
Medications have been adjusted and mom now has a better awareness but is often easily confused. It's hard to know if it is the cancer that is causing this, the continual medication, or a combination of both. We have adjusted to the routine of a visiting nurse 3 times a week and an aid visiting the same days, but different times. Monday, Wednesday, & Friday are big days for mom. We rest when we can, turn off phones for quiet, & watch a lot of HGTV and Food Network!
Our plans for Christmas were changed, but we were still all together. We cancelled Jessi's flight to Iowa & she came to stay with me at mom's as soon as she was done at Ball State for the semester on December 17th. Todd rearranged his vacation time & took off the week of Christmas, one week earlier than planned. Mattye's school was more than generous & allowed her to skip the finals before the Christmas break. She will return and take them after the new year. Todd and Mattye arrived on December 18th. A bonus about being in Indiana allowed us to spend time with Jerod on Christmas.
For now, we enjoy the good days & endure the not so good days. Mom was diagnosed with Stage 4 Breast Cancer in November 1991. She has had traditional chemotheraphy, radiation, and has been a part of clinical trials. She has no idea how many women's lives she will change from her fight. A friend of mom's told me that my mom has been her hero as she has battled cancer too. Other friends say what an inspiration she is to them. To say she is a fighter is an understatement since she was given a prognosis of 2 years when diagnosed. She has fought for 9 years. We often never know how many people we change through our actions, words, and how we live.
As this week begins, Todd has returned to work in Iowa. Jessi will be leaving today to head back to Muncie. Mattye & I are planning to return to Iowa at the end of the week. I'm torn between staying to help & returning to maintain some sense of normal for our home. I've struggled with this decision, but have peace in knowing that my visit has been a good one with mom & family. I'll begin planing my next visit as soon as this one ends.