It’s been weeks since I last posted anything on YSAR. What happened? Shit happened. By shit I mean my mother got really sick. She’s had non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma for decades. As cancers go, it’s not very aggressive. Every year, there is a small chance that it goes wild. This year was that year. She went to her regular checkups and they said “either you have chemo or you’ll be dead in 6 months”.
Her first 2 chemo sessions went fine. She had a lot of lumps on her body that suddenly disappeared. Pretty cool. But she also had some odd symptoms like partial paralysis of her face. Not cool. After her 3rd chemo treatment, she started to have more severe side-effects. This led to her passing out while walking across a room and cracking her head on a stone floor. She stopped being able to swallow effectively. She ended up in the emergency room and ICU with aspirated pneumonia and sepsis. They gave her medications for conditions she later tested negative for, but made her unable to breathe. Meanwhile, my family members weren’t allowed to visit her. We were told she was decompensating and should take her home to die.
I got on a plane to see my mother before she died. I had to quarantine and test negative for COVID before I could see her. She arrived home on the day after her 84th birthday. This was a day later than originally planned because they put in a port in her stomach so she could be fed by a tube.
Over the next week or two, I was pretty convinced she was going to die very soon. Her condition improved in some areas and degraded in others. Now she is improving gradually in all areas. I don’t think she will have any more chemo treatments. Ideally she would get 2 more, but I think that would kill her. Her time in the hospital has left her leg muscles completely atrophied. She requires constant care because she can’t move, eat, drink, go to the bathroom etc. on her own.
I’m staying here another 3 weeks. It’s nice being part of her recovery. I have no idea if she will live weeks, months, or years. She has a goal of being able to walk again, but it will be a long, hard road if she gets there. I’m constantly reminded of the simple joys in life and long for the day I can sit down to dinner with my wife and share a smile over a homecooked meal. A spirited drive in my newly acquired Z3 seems a long way off.
I’m always doing some kind of experiment. It’s in my scientific nature. Since I arrived in Ithaca, I haven’t shampooed my hair. I heard about this no-poo thing a long time ago and hadn’t had a good opportunity to try it (not sure I’d want to at home). I haven’t washed my hair in 4 weeks. I do rinse it though. It started out pretty greasy, but now I think I’ve hit a healthy, stable stage where it looks and feels pretty clean.