What a week.
Wednesday was the big day of oncology appointments for my mom. It's been a year since the stroke now so they're entertaining the idea that something more definitive can be done for the tumor. We saw surgical oncology, radiation oncology, and medical oncology. The team is definitely moving towards surgery and chemo/radiation. I think that's a good sign. There was a day when they wouldn't have entertained the idea at all because she has some questionable evidence of metastatic disease (although her medical oncologist doesn't think it's anything, actually), and that day wasn't more than a couple of years ago. But the fact that they're even ready to consider surgery makes me feel like there's a good chance at extending my mother's life.
The day itself was productive, of course, but crazy stressful. We were both really anxious about what they were going to say, not to mention about the whole process itself. As it turns out, we get to be anxious a little longer. They found something questionable on the mammo of the other breast, so they need to do further testing before they can actually make a plan. So we follow up again the first week of April to do the scheduling and more definitive talking. My mom has friends coming to visit at the end of April, so I suspect when we all put our heads together they're going to schedule the surgery in May. Which is helpful for me, too, because I'll me on Consults for May and June, and the scheduling is more flexible.
It does leave my planned trip to Chicago at the end of this month in question, however, because of some of the testing they've got scheduled. My mom is pushing me to go, of course, but I'm still not convinced.
In other convalescence news...Olga is getting stronger by the day. She's still on the ventilator but has done very well off of heart-lung bypass. Unfortunately, though, as a complication of the bypass, her foot didn't get perfused well enough (they focus on perfusing the important things - brain, heart, kidneys - and sometimes the peripheral stuff doesn't get enough blood flow. And let's face it Olga's feet are a looooong way from her brain) and had to be amputated on Friday. I can't even imagine how hard that's going to be for her. Olga's kind of a fashionista, you know? Cute shoes. Cute skirts. Cute toes. Well, I mean, the shoes are still in...and there are a lot of cute pants...and we can still go for manicures.
But in both cases...I can't imagine losing a piece of myself. I mean, like, a real, visible piece of myself (I say this as someone who has already lost most of her accessory organs). Whether a mastectomy or a foot amputation, there's a very obvious void created, you know? But at the same time, I'm amazingly glad both Olga and my mother have both thusfar survived something that could have killed them. It's a steep price, but compared to the alternative...
Life gets so complicated sometimes.
In related news, we have a new little houseguest.
Her name is Gulan (it means "Cutie" in Swedish), and she is Olga's cat. She's been staying with some friends, but their dogs aren't so cat friendly and they can't let her out because they live in coyote country (real, wild coyotes, not Maggie-like coyotes-once-removed). So she was living in their utility room in their basement. It seemed kind of inhumane, so they looked for alternatives, and I figured it was the least I could do. So we brought her here today. She keeps hissing at Maggie, but Mags is being very respectful. I'm sure they'll be just fine.
I did, however, forget about two things when I offered to do this... my hatred of litterboxes (haaaaaaate) and my cat allergy.
I addressed the one by irrationally spending an obscene amount of money I don't have on a self-cleaning litterbox (Hate. Hate. Hate.). I totally can't justify this at all, unless of course the cat moves in permanently, which is not the plan. I'm sure Olga will want her cat back in a couple of months, and I can go back to my cat-dander-free existence. And I can probably sell the litterbox on Craigslist. Until then, self-cleaning litter and a good dose of antihistamines should get us through.
She's a sweet old thing. Who's currently hiding somewhere in my house where I can't find her.
I do hope she remembers where that fancy litterbox is.........