Sunday, November 2, 2014

A time to.....

In September last year Nana, John's mom came to visit. She came for Danya's first dance recital and for the girls' big birthday party.

It was a good weekend, and even though I hate this photo of me I am posting it, because it's one of the few from the weekend that include Nana.

Danya was exceptional in her first recital and showed very little in the way of nerves.

And she got her first ever flowers from a boy, her daddy. A perfect ending to a great night.

During her visit Nana would often complain of pains that sounded a lot like gall stone pain to me. We had been discussing the pains over the phone for months. But having her here, I was finally able to convince her to go see her Dr. about it. Upon returning home she made an appointment and after many tests and scans, they did indeed find gall stones, unfortunately we got word in early November that they found more than that. They found Bladder Cancer, and it was advanced. Just before Thanksgiving I flew to Maui with Kat to go to Dr. visits with her and find out what our next steps were.

Nana was starting to show signs that all of this was taking a toll on her, but she remained strong and determined to beat it. The scans of her body done on Maui seemed to show that the cancer was already spread to bones and lymphnodes, but we were still hopeful. Just one week later in a rather rushed mode, Nana flew over to O'ahu to be seen by a urologist and have the tumor removed, or as much as he could remove, removed. This procedure really made Nana weak. A little over 2 weeks later she was on here way home, not looking especially strong, but wanting to move on and enjoy the Christmas season.

Soon enough it was time to head back to Maui for Christmas. Nana got a big tree, and we enjoyed our time. We noticed that Nana was weaker, and often went to bed earlier, and slept longer than we had ever seen her do before.

Still hope and prayer were our constant companion.

Papa took moments to walk around with miss Kat and often I wondered if he was sharing his thoughts with her during those walks. Kat loves pets, and spent many hours with Papa watching the cats.

Danya as always was the life of the visit, bringing joy and energy into the Christmas season that seemed to have a cloud hanging over it.

In January Papa and Nana came to O'ahu for a day to have some more specialized scans done, to determine the next step. The drs were not recommending Chemo at this point because she didn't have the strength yet to endure it. She came over for a PET scan and soon learned the horrible truth of her cancer. The Cancer cells had invaded every area of her boys they scanned. She had Stage 4 bladder cancer and at best was looking at 6 months to live. This was devastating news to all.

Nana's sister and her husband flew in from Washington, D.C. to help, and were on Maui when we could not be. You see, in December the day before Nana had her surgery, I discovered that I was pregnant again. Baby number 3 was on the way. I had my own health complications with the pregnancy and the Drs were recommending no flying.

Time seemed to unravel before our eyes. At first they were doing some radiation spot treatment to give Nana more time. But, before our eyes Nana got weaker and weaker, and by mid February it became clear that time was running low. She was no longer walking, or cleaning. (For those of you who know her well you know that the latter is a major key to her life) in early March we were scheduled to go and be with her for spring real, but just days before Auntie and Uncle called. It was time for John to be with his mom. He had just days and in hothouse days mere hours, until he kissed his mom for the last time, and said goodbye.

March 8, 2014 is the day that Nana/mom lost her battle with bladder cancer.

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Mommy, Daddy, and Me

Mommy, Daddy, and Me
These photos are from roughly the same age for each of us.