Dealing with this next  journey with mum via writing. Mum not only has Alzheimer’s but now has lung cancer. Even though her memory doesn’t allow her to remember her diagnosis last week, psychologically and physically something has changed. She has rapidly gone downhill in just a week. She’s not eating much at all, if anything. She’s in a lot of pain and she can’t walk more than perhaps a metre before stopping to catch her breath. She even talks about not being around much longer. Most days she stays in bed.

So this next journey is about palliative care, a team visiting this week for the first time. When told this last week, my skill (or superpower) of mindfulness didn’t allow me to tell myself a story of suffering and immediacy. Of course, that is what my mind told me initially but as soon as I noticed this, I brought my attention back to the anchor of my breath.  What I then did was plan some time in my diary to think about this more, to research what it is, to understand what resources are available etc.

Palliative care focuses on quality of life. In my mind this includes finding some things that mum might like to eat. So today, Annie (yes in her brand new wheels below) provided ‘Mindful Meals on Wheels’ by delivering my home-made mushroom soup. The joy on their faces! We sat together, dad blindly sipping and munching on his lunch, mum really struggling to eat just half a cup of soup. We came to the conclusion that perhaps it was too thick. Who knows but I’ll try again tomorrow with thinner soup.

Dad asked me very calmly then if could call in every day from now on, just to put a smile on mum’s face. Dad then said he’s seen my blog and saw a photo of mum last year. He said he hadn’t given permission. ‘No’, I said ‘but mum did!’ I then proceeded to tell him about my book which is all about mum’s most favourite phrase, Another Door Opens. It’s about how to manage and embrace changes in our lives, something that mum always encouraged me to do.

The Palliative Door that we’re now entering may or may not be in my book. I’ve no idea how long we have with mum but I’m very driven to get the book finished asap. And using all my mindfulness skills to keep balance in our days is paramount.


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