This is MaeLynn with her boys on the trampoline (taken around Easter).
So it's almost been six months since MaeLynn was "given" 6 months to live (however that works)...and she's still going strong...ish. I haven't posted in a long time because there hasn't been much to report. A lame excuse, but like I said last time....No news is GOOD NEWS, right?!?
There's still the routine: A hospice nurse comes in once a week to check on MaeLynn, a hospice volunteer comes in every once in a while to help with whatever MaeLynn needs, a hopice chaplain comes in twice a month to visit with the whole family on faith matters, people help with laundry twice a week, someone comes to clean once a week, friends pop in randomly, things are going smoothly for now.
MaeLynn continues to function fairly well on a daily basis. Some days are really hard, exhaustion-wise, and she doesn't get out of bed except to go to the bathroom...which she does EXTREMELY frequently. But for the most part she can still hang out with the kids, do some dishes, run to the store, etc.
She's still loving having Andrew at home. She says that she feels like they've increased in love and understanding in their relationship so much in the last few months. She feels like they're a sweet 70-year-old couple, the way they get along.
Andrew impressed me a few weeks ago when Kendall had a science fair. He helped her get a rock collection together and took her to the fair. He helps out the kids a ton and is working hard at being a good dad/husband. His exciting news for the month is that he got a new riding lawnmower and the kids get to ride on it with him all the time. So I guess it's the kids' exciting news, too.
Kendall and Ellie are finished with school for the summer, but there aren't any big travel plans for the summer. Their family IS going up to Cottonwood (a cabin in Wyoming) this next week and spending time with Andrew's family. Other than that things are pretty "quiet" around the Harris house. (As quiet as a house with five crazy kids can be :)
I say MaeLynn has been doing the same, but about two weeks ago her kidneys started hurting pretty bad. She went to the doctor and had some tests done, but they can't figure out what's wrong. Mae feels like they didn't try very hard to figure out what was wrong, though, since she's a terminal patient, and was a little frustrated. They did prescribe more pain medication, so now she's up to a patch that gives 50 micrograms of fentanyl per hour....which is ALOT. Wikipedia has some interesting information on fentanyl if you want to look it up :). If you're on that much of a narcotic, though, and can still feel pain.....well let's just say we're so grateful for the drugs.
MaeLynn's glad she has medication but it really knocks her out for a week after she has an increase in dosage. When I visited her last week (a day or two after the increase) she stayed up the whole time I was there but her eyes were closed 80% of the time. It almost made my eyes water to look at her blinking, trying to keep her eyes open. When I visited her yesterday she stayed in bed the entire time. She is getting thinner and her abdomen is getting larger. Yesterday she had a lot of pain in her right side, but sleeping helped a little. Today the pain is not quite as bad...but still there.
When she went to the doctor for her kidney pain they told her that her Chromagranin A levels are down from 50, 000 to 40,000, which to the layperson would be a good sign. Unfortunately, the tumors are obviously getting larger, and her liver function is down, so lower chromagranin levels don't mean much. Her kidneys are what she calls "on hyperdrive". She has to go to the bathroom about fifty times a day and so many times barely makes it to the bathroom in time. She said her 2-year-old gets that sneaky look in her eye when MaeLynn is trying to run to the bathroom and either won't move out of her way or ends up jumping on the toilet before MaeLynn can get there. And Abby just takes her sweet time. It's funny and dang maddening at the same time.
A few times MaeLynn has gotten up in the middle of the night to go to the bathroom and woken up two hours later still sitting on (or falling off) the john. She's just so exhausted, but she can still get a good laugh out of things like that happening. I cannot stop laughing thinking about her sitting there for that long and only waking up because her legs have fallen asleep. Being that tired almost reminds me of the good old college days. :)
A thought from D&C----“My son (or daughter), peace be unto thy soul; thine adversity and thine afflictions shall be but a small moment; And then, if thou endure it well, God shall exalt thee on high; thou shalt triumph over all thy foes. Thy friends do stand by thee, and they shall hail thee again with warm hearts and friendly hands. Thou art not yet as Job; thy friends do not contend against thee, neither charge thee with transgression, as they did Job.