Monday, 26 January 2009

Difficult Times...

Well, 'Difficult Times' is rather an understatement actually! I feel as though I have been to Hell and back again. So very thankful for the back again part though! On Wednesday morning I awoke as usual and got up to make a cuppa and check my emails, the usual thing, only I had quite a strange sort of pain/ache across my lower back, rather like menstrual pain actually so I used heat pillows for much of the morning and just put the pain down to sleeping in a funny position or something of that nature. The day went on and I was okay but the ache was definitely there. Anyway the day drew to a close and I finally went to bed that night. I awoke sometime in the wee hours with agonizing pains in my lower tummy area. I was also fevered, a bit confused and sweating and sticky. I managed to stagger out to the kitchen to heat up some heat pillows as I had read in a copy of an Ostomate Mag that this kind of pain can often be a bowel obstruction which is not uncommon in people that have a stoma. (An ileostomy is what I have). So got my pillows and went back to bed where I promptly fell into a sort of fevered sleep. I awoke the next morning, Thursday, in absolute agony and having not long read the article in the Ostomy Mag and being reasonably sure that that is what was going on here, I knew that things could escalate and turn very quickly into an emergency situation! Thankfully David had stayed the previous night so I was able to call out to him and told him to read the article and see whether there was anything that could help me. Bare in mind, it was so difficult to even speak at this stage. Well, the article was helpful up to a point which I had passed. Yes, place heat pillows on stomach, rub stomach to try and unblock intestine, even take a hot bath. That was simply impossible, I couldn't move off the couch. Then David read the next section where it explained what happens when a bowel obstruction gets worse, it actually makes you vomit up your own faeces! Guess what happened to me about 10 minutes after reading that. David knew I needed to get to the emergency room but we had Jack in bed asleep, didn't really want him seeing me this way if possible, so Dave phoned mum and she raced up here, phoned an ambulance which then whisked me off to hospital. Well, then the hellish nightmare began. I have not ever been so frightened, so disoriented and confused and just so, so very sick. I vomited again, and because my veins aren't so great, it was horrifying having to have a cannula put in but there was absolutely no other choice as I was massively dehydrated and needed fluids and electrolytes and well as medicine to stop the vomiting and pain medicine, none of which I could take by mouth.
Anyway the nurses were having trouble getting a good vein and this was distressing me more than I would have liked. I had just finished sobbing and begging them to stop trying anymore when in walked an angel. A nurse that I have known for many years now from the chemo ward that I attend. She came straight over to me and 'Jen, mate, you okay honey?' Oh, I can't tell you how lovely it was to hear that voice. She went on to ask me whether I would like her to get the cannula in my arm for me which of course I accepted. She managed although I will say, it was disgusting and painful and just gross really, like she was pushing through a piece of old leather rather than my vein. Anyway, as traumatic as it was for me, at least in was in. Thank goodness, one horrid thing out of the way, now we just had to hope that it would continue to work properly.

So, I was kept in a corner of the ER for the remainder of the day and then finally seen through to a ward which was full of other folks and one of them was an elderly lady with dementia who kept wanting to sneak into my area and look at me. She was so spooky I've gotta say. I mean, I feel such sympathy for anyone suffering but it is extremely confronting to have someone whom you know is not in their right minds wanting to look at you and invade your space. Especially when you are just so ill. I was so sick, I couldn't even turn over on my bed by myself. I was allowed absolutely nil by mouth for three days but thanks to mum charming the nurse I had looking after me I was allowed to suck ice very slowly and a very small amount, it was Heaven. Meanwhile I was taken to have a CT Scan done so doctors could attempt to see what was going on in my stomach. Obviously there was something terribly wrong. You see, there are different types of bowel obstruction and different stages also. If, when listening with a stethoscope, you hear a lot of noises going on in the tummy, then that is good, it means something is happening and your stomach is trying to unblock itself and digest whatever is stuck. If you, on the other hand, hear nothing, then that is not good at all, that most often means something is terribly wrong. Mine was dead silent! So, CT Scan, it was so traumatic as whatever was knotted up in my stomach was pushing on my kidney and I was in a great amount of pain from that at the same time and I simply couldn't lay flat on my back. I was put in a dark little room on my own with a guy who was so rough and rude and just kept grabbing my hips and twisting, oh he was just horrid but I was too sick to do anything. He finally got what he needed. They had to take a heap of the films from the side position because I just couldn't lay on my back with my legs flat for long enough. I knew this was something to do with whatever was going on right now because I'd only been for a CT Scan a couple of weeks ago and I didn't have any trouble whatsoever laying flat for them. Anyway, another very traumatic episode taken care of. Next I was wheeled back to the ward to await the results and see what the doctors said. There was a lot of whispering about kidney dysfunction and operating so soon after chemo, and being unable to operate possibly at all because of scar tissue. All in all I was so terrified and defeated and vulnerable that I can barely put it into words. My mum, I must just say, was fantastic and barely left my bedside for three days. She did go home the first night but it was quite late and I was in and out of delirium and by the time I really woke properly again, (if you could even call it properly) she was back. I couldn't stand to be left alone. I don't know where my inner strength had gone but it was a terrible feeling to be so afraid and so out of control and it had all happened so very quickly. I honestly wondered whether I would see either of my boys again. The last images Jack had of me was being rushed out the french doors leading from our lounge room and into an ambulance. With me trying to smile at him to reassure him. Thank goodness for David too, he really came through in a big way. He looked over at me as I was leaving and obviously understood what I was concerned about and whispered to me "don't worry, Jack and I have had a quick talk and he's fine, he understands and I will take great care of him." So nice, I just didn't want Jack to be worried sick over me. He actually has been very worried though.

So, mum was going great but I was getting concerned that she would crash and burn and she was very loathe to let anyone else take over. One of my very close girlfriends arrived on the first day and offered to sit with me while mum went and had a cup of coffee and a little break, but she wouldn't hear of it and actually glared at my poor friend. This is when I started to realize she was losing the plot. I really didn't need this but my mother is like this with my friends, I don't know why, or what it is she is threatened by but she definitely is. I will explain more about this as my story continues. So I spent two days in the terrible, crowded ward that was just horridly noisy, you have no idea how ghastly it was. Thankfully, we were blessed with such lovely nurses and full credit to my mum here, she really had them all on side and I looked so well cared for, mum knew everything about everything and was able to tell them what they needed to know which was no small task. Anyway our nurse of this particular day, a quietly spoken Indian woman with a lovely gentle nature, offered us a private room. A private room in the middle of an overcrowded hospital with everything going nuts around us. It was another gift from God. I was moved less than an hour later and it was just amazing. So quiet, a lovely view from a massive window. Just looking outside at the sky and the trees helped to calm me. The quiet of the room helped calm me and I started to look a little better. Later we found out I had been given that room because I was so, so very ill and I needed it more than anyone else there that day. So, on with the story, I know it's very long winded but I like to be detailed. Oh, I have forgotten to tell you one of the worst things I had to go through before I got to my new room. Because I was vomiting up the contents of my bowel (so, so gross) I had to have a procedure where they put a really long tube down through my nose and it threads down into my stomach and drains it of gases and bile and contents of the stomach. This had to happen or I would die and I had to give my tummy a rest in the hopes that it would unblock itself. It was horrific. I was again, just so terrified I can't explain it. Anyway, again, no real choice but to go ahead so I had it done and survived to tell the tale. I had that tube in for four days. Yuk! Anyway back to where I was heading once I got to my private room. Finally the scan results arrived and were rather inconclusive. It looked as though (and indeed we know there is) lots of scar tissue in my pelvis area. The doctor/surgeon that came to speak to us this night was a lovely young man but he was very afraid for me and it showed which really made me more worried than anything I'd seen so far. He sat there and told me that if my bowel was wrapped around scar tissue which it looked as though it could be, then I was in a lot of trouble and I had a very, very high risk of dying. The reasons for this where the fact that the tumour in my pelvis was adhered to dangerous places as the surgeons at Peter MacCallum Institute found out that day that I was scheduled to have the pelvic surgery. Also, I had had three rounds of chemo so my risk of infection was too high. He felt I ran a very high risk of actually dying on the operating table or soon afterwards due to infection. This is what he told mum and I that Saturday evening. He was almost crying as I questioned him and queried him and begged him to tell me what his feel on it was. He just kept repeating that we won't know anything until possibly Sunday night and even that was being overly optimistic! See if my bowel started to move, even if it was a bit of air escaping, things were looking up, at least for then and there anyway. So, that was all we could get out of him, that it looked like it was wrapped around scar tissue BUT it may not be and it may right itself even if it is. If the worst happened and it hadn't unblocked itself by Monday or a bit longer, I would simply have to be operated on as you cannot just stay in limbo like that and then I would likely die. Can you imagine yet, how absolutely bereft and afraid I felt? I was just heartbroken. I felt as though all the fighting and the positive scan results the previous week where they had shrunk (only a tiny bit but still, shrunk!) and then to be told that because of the chemo which had helped shrink these wretched tumours, I was too open to infection for a safe operation. Anyway, the doctor went on his way, after telling me to try and think positive, at least until we know for sure, to think positive because in his experience it can make all the difference to surviving. When he left I turned to mum and said 'mum can you tell me again what he said because I know I took it all in but right now I can't remember a thing he said.' She did tell me and she got it right because as she was telling me, I was remembering. I told her how scared I was and asked her to stay the entire night if I needed her too. That I would try and get past the fear but if I couldn't, would she stay, to which she replied that of course she would. She would sleep on the chair. Then I told her I loved her and I thanked her. I was so glad to have her there. Even just giving me tiny bits of iced water through the past two days had helped me enormously, my mouth was parched and even though I knew I was getting fluids intravenously, I felt as though I was dying of thirst. My sister then turned up with dinner for her and Mum and a game and a few things that would give mum a bit of light relief and something they could both do whilst they kept vigil over my bed. My sister came through once again like an absolute trooper. She had such a calming presence on me and she was ready to stay the entire night if I wanted her too. I then had to just get a few things off my chest and told them both that if I don't get out of here and I don't see the boys again that this is what I need them to do. It was hard but I felt a strong need to see them hearing what I was saying, and see that they understood what certain things meant to me. I told them what Jack would need from them and what I wanted them to tell him about me one day and got most of the things off my chest (or so I thought).

Anyway, so mum had been great but the pressure was starting to tell on her. She was rather rude to my friend another day as well. She was just a rock for two days and then you could see and hear her start to lose it but you know, it must be a terribly hard thing to watch someone go through, especially your daughter. I mean she watched me vomit up my own poo! She saw horrid procedures, people panicking, me sobbing and frightened and I am normally very strong so I think just seeing me so vulnerable would have frightened her. I asked her whether I was going to die and she said no. I asked her how she knew and she said 'I just do, I can feel it, you're going to be okay this time.' I grabbed onto that as if it was a reprieve, I thought maybe as a mother we can get a feeling on these things about our kids! Anyway later that night mum went home and left Caz (my sister) on duty. She needed the break and Caz was going to stay very, very late possibly even until morning. Caz and I just sat there talking quietly, I would doze off every now and then because I was simply exhausted. I hadn't eaten for three days, I'd thrown up anything I'd had before that so I was a very weak woman.

Anyway, later that night my bowel started to unblock itself. I can't tell you the relief and gratitude I felt, my sister Caz was practically dancing round the hospital room. I couldn't quite believe that I was out of danger though. I mean I was ecstatic but it was as though it didn't run quite deep enough. Perhaps because I knew instinctively that there would be more to this. I knew I was out of danger immediately though and that's the part that I could celebrate genuinely. We rang mum at 1.30am in the morning and told her the good news and she was so relieved. So I was put onto clear fluids and allowed to take my medications orally for 24 hours to see whether I could hold that down and I did and could, so I was then allowed thicker stuff like yogurt and finally minced up vegetables (like baby food). I was so hungry it wasn't actually that bad and I knew that if I wanted to get home (which of course I did) I would need to get my strength up and let the staff see that bowel of mine doing it's job properly. Meanwhile my family had a 40Th birthday get together happening for me on the Sunday afternoon but they realized I wasn't going to make it because I was too sick but then when the good news came through they decided that they could possibly still do it but on the Monday and do it at my house so I don't have to go anywhere and I can just relax and be waited on. So, I was 'released' Monday morning which was my actual 40Th birthday. My dear friend Lee came to pick me up. Unfortunately my mum had to come too to bring me some clothes and unbeknown to me went through Lee like a ton of bricks whilst I was in the bathroom getting dressed. Told Lee that she had ruined everything by interfering and taking over by wanting to take me home. Lee was heartbroken as she had only been trying to help. I came out of the bathroom to find my best friend crying broken heartedly but trying not to let me see because she didn't want to ruin my day. Oh it was horrible. This is the part of my mother that I just can't take to. I don't understand how she thinks she can just speak to people that way. Anyway, mum was gone by the time I got out of the bathroom and found Lee devastated. I sat with Lee and just told her that she had not ruined my birthday at all and she should have been invited anyway, I have three really close friends that I have know almost all my life and they weren't invited or even told. Weird!!! I was so angry with mum, again, she had been great to me in one way and then took away in another. I think it must be when she gets stressed she just goes funny. Anyway Lee and I left the hospital together, we talked all the way home about mum and how it was nothing to do with Lee, she's blaming Lee but in reality mum knew Lee was coming to get me the day before and also at 8am that morning she had phoned to say Happy Birthday and I told her again that Lee was coming so she could have phoned Lee and said 'Lee don't bring Jen home too early, we are going to decorate the place and have it really special.' But no, she chose not to do that, easier to just go through my friend that way. Lee came in for a cuppa when we arrived home and we talked. I didn't want my mum coming over, I just didn't want the entire thing happening anymore because I felt mum had ruined it. She ruined it by doing that to my friend, by not inviting my friends and just being so ugly. Lee would not hear of it though, she wanted me to have my day and she kept saying, 'you can't fight with your mum, you need her too much for the events coming up with chemo and how sick you'll be etc, etc' so she promptly gets on the phone to mum and apologizes for speaking to her in that tone. Honestly, Lee had nothing to apologize for but she did it for me and I love her dearly, I would have felt exactly the same had she not phoned her too she did not need to to do that for it and all the warmth and nice thoughts in my heart are for her. That is what happens when people are ugly, they may feel they win, mum got to do her party for me and it was pretty, it was stunning actually and I will show photos next time, but it was underscored for me by what she'd done to Lee and my other friends as well. Anyway I told Lee we would be going out for lunch or dinner just the girls, and we would celebrate me making it to 40 together and we will have a blast. I told her how much I appreciated what she'd done although it was completely unnecessary, I really didn't want her to have to eat humble pie for me, or anyone else for that matter but she was concerned that then when I needed her in the future she couldn't come to me because of mum and all those horrid things that happen when things get left undone. So she did it for me and I am thankful to her but it doesn't sit very well at all with me. I don't believe she needed to apologize, mum should have apologized for her behaviour. I understand the pressure she's been under but that is not a license to run round being obnoxious to other people who only care and want to help. She never has been able to stand anyone else loving me much, for some reason it doesn't sit well with her. I don't understand it but it doesn't bode well for our future relationship and Lee is right. I do need her help but I am extremely anxious and unsettled about what will happen when she is helping me here at home everyday and being with Jack (whom she has issues with by the way). Anyway, I really need to take care of myself now, my body is starting to show the wear and tear and I think whatever time is ahead is going to be rough, really rough. My kidney function shows normal but the scans show a blockage so there is something going on there, whether it's a tumour, no-one can tell me right now, so more waiting on that. No doubt there will be more x-rays performed and we will have to see what is to be done there. Oh I think I have left out probably the most important part of this and that is that because I have so much scar tissue left over from past surgeries, to operate on me which is the only option if my bowel is wrapping around scar tissue, will most likely kill me on the table or sometime afterwards from infection as I am up to my third chemo in this round. My immunity will not be sufficient to fight off infection (most likely). This is what the nice, young Irish doctor/surgeon came and told us on Saturday night. Basically he believes I'll need the operation and he was so concerned mum and I both said afterwards that we thought he had been crying. He sat with us for quite a while and talked to me about trying to remain positive because if the bowel unblocked itself

Well this has been such a long post and I am so relieved to have made it so far! made it home from hospital, made it past the terrible waiting for my bowel to do something, I've got my boy home who I missed just terribly, puppy too was away with David so I am so terribly, terribly lucky that I am not still in hospital making a very difficult decision about whether to have the surgery and when. I don't know that I could have coped with that, I really don't. That in itself scares me because I have lost some sense of inner strength or focus or something. This really threw me a lot and I don't want to be this terrified little thing, if I'm going to have to have unpleasant procedures done fairly often (which is the case) then I need to have something that feels like it's gone on hiatus or something. Perhaps because it was sudden, perhaps the shock, perhaps it is normal for me to be so frightened this time. I guess I just feel a bit like this is the beginning of the end. I don't want to think like that, and I'm actually not thinking it, I just felt it I think. Felt that my body is wanting to shut down a bit more right now. I am working on getting it so strong though. I am meditating and relaxing, I'm going to start having lymphatic massage, I'm eating well all those things will help but I have to be really kind to myself and be my own best friend. To be honest if mum is going to behave this way and stress me out, which of course it does, then I won't be able to have her around me or Jack because of the stress it will give me. Perhaps as I get better this time, she will destress a bit too and start coping better, I don't know. I don't quite know what to do with what she's done. She did come in here to my home one of the days before I came home, must have been Sunday, and did a lovely clean for me, mopped the floors and vacumed those sort of things so it's very difficult because I am grateful but then I think of the way she treated Lee and Mandy and I get all sick in the tummy again. Okay everyone, thanks for sticking here this long. Any opinion on the whole mother thing are welcome, what should I do, how would you handle it, etc, etc. Love to all, and thank you all very much for the Birthday wishes, they were lovely.


  1. Jenn,
    So sorry to hear all that you went through. So Happy to hear that you got to celebrate your 40th! As far as mothers go, I have one that I can't quite understand either. I am just glad that mine is around, and I know that you are too. Yes, she can do wacky things, but it does seem like she loves you. Just try to warn your friends not to take her tantrums to heart. We are all praying for you.
    Rtuhie from California

  2. Sadly, your Mum is as she is. I can be certain though that she does love you.

    Do take care Jen.

    Happy belated birthday. I think I missed that one Sorry..

  3. Happy Belated Birthday, Jen! The best present ever was that your bowel unkinked itself :-) So so glad! Sorry about your mum being a pistol to Lee - she's a great friend and yes, make sure all your friends remember to just ignore her. I am glad to hear that your mum did help out, that's nice that you got to have some time together in the hospital, as dreadful as the whole ordeal sounds.
    Hope you're able to enjoy some lovely cake and have a real celebration without pain.
    Take good care,
    Cate in California

  4. Dear Jen,
    What an awful experience for you...I am glad you unblocked and that your Mum and sister were there for you. I can tell that they love you so much...their stress levels are probably through the roof! I guess you have probably tried to talk to you Mum about the friend thing at this point? Family relationships can certainly by messy and complicated...but it seems like your friends understand (at least Lee).

    I hope you can rest and feel better from this bad experience!

  5. Oh Jen I am just so sorry. No one should have to go through all of this physical and emotional pain. Big huge hugs.

  6. You are always in my thoughts and prayers, Jen.

    Cindy in Canada

  7. Hey girl. You are such an incredibly strong woman! I cannot imagine going through all that and being able to tell the tale. You are an inspiration to me.

    Not sure what to say about your Mum. Like Sally mentioned, I too believe that she loves you and means for the best. Sounds like she does not have the tools to know how to react and she has not learned a lot of consideration. She is who she is, and your close friends probably already know that.

    I am glad you're better, and wishing a happy belated birthday to you!

  8. HAPPY BIRTHDAY! so happy your could celebrate with your family. your girls night out will be a blast - enjoy it! i know what your momma did is/was inexcusable - but maybe she is scared. maybe this time she got really scared and had to have you all to yourself. i know it''s not right but maybe it's how she is dealing. not trying to make excuses for her - it must have broke your heart. so happy to hear you are home and david has helped you out.

    hugs for PA

  9. Hi Jen
    painful moments you've been passing my dear! I'm praying for you and sending love through energy.
    Bete - I've just closed my reiki blog for now.

  10. Oh dear Jen, I am so sorry for all of your trouble and fear and pain. I am glad you got some things off your chest with your family, but I'm sorry your mum acted as she did. I think she is jealous of your friends, perhaps because you are closer to them than to her, and I know she is frightened - why wouldn't she be? She is faced with something no parent should ever be faced with. I don't know what I would do, except perhaps try to fill your thoughts towards her with loving kindness and understand that she is frightened too. I'm not sure that's fair to ask of you, but right now I don't think the anger you are naturally feeling is a good thing for your health. Not that you shouldn't be allowed your feelings, because you most definitely should, but anger is not what you need right now. It's good that you can get it off your chest here, get it out of you and maybe let it go a little bit, and then focus on yourself, which is what you really need to do right now.

    I wish I could take some of your pain away, I truly do. It puts my fears about my life into perspective.

    And, happy belated birthday to you! Keep are loved...

  11. Jen ~ my mother was exactly the same as yours, as far as friends were concerned. I think it's jealosy (spelling. sorry) on their part. I honestly do.

    I found that if a friend & I were having a good time or if the friend helped me out, my mom would turn vile.

    I think it boiled down to my mom feeling like my friends were doing a better job then she - that I'd rather have then instead of her.

    Does that make any sense? I hope so! ; )

    Think of you daily. Big hugs from Illinois...


  12. Happy Birthday Jen! I am so so sorry to hear about the horrible experience you have been through. Happy to hear that you have support, although unfortunate that your mum can't be kinder to your friends. Her love for you shows through in other ways.

    Many Blessings - Susie in New England, USA

  13. Oh, dear Jen, I'm so sorry for your trouble and pain. I wish I could help you in some tangible way. And I'm sorry about your mum. She's afraid, and she's jealous of your friends, and I think that is why she is so angry. Fear and jealousy turn us into strange creatures. I don't know what I would do if I were you, other than try to wrap her in love and understanding. I know YOU need her love and understanding, but I think her jealousy of your friends is because she doesn't have the kind of relationship with you she wishes she had, and she is so afraid of losing you, and she's just so angry about it all. And you have every right to be angry about it as well, but I don't think anger is the right place for you to be right now when you have been so unwell. I don't know how you can let go of that, or even if you can. But remember your mum loves you the best way she can. It may not be the way you want, but she does love you.

    I hope you feel better, do keep letting out your fears and anger here - it can only help!

    And, happy birthday, a wee bit late.

    Love and hugs, Ginny

  14. Sorry, I have posted twice! My brain is not fully with me today.....

  15. Dear Jen ~ I am just so sorry to hear all that you have gone through ~ I hope and pray that things are a bit better now.
    Thinking of you often Jen and sending much love and hugs ~ Tabitha XXXXX

  16. My goodness! Obviously you were alive, otherwise you wouldn't have been able to write this, but it was still gripping (and I realize that may be a bad pun, considering your illness - sorry!)

    God bless you. I'll be saying a prayer for you as soon as this posts.

    Oh, and Happy Birthday!!!

  17. Dear Jen
    Happy belated birthday - yah 40!! So glad that your outcome was good!! So worried for the ordeal that you had to go thru. Hang in there with your mom - but so glad that she cam through for you and was able to help. I am sure your friends understand her and know that they will always be there for you - that is the most important thing. With the good, sometimes there is bad - probably the stress and emotions come out in ways that are hard to tolerate.
    Lots of love and god bless.
    Nicky from Canada

  18. Hi Jen, Lots of love and hugs coming your way.I don't know what to say about the whole mother thing - I do believe she loves you. I also believe that she is terrified of not being the 'one' to be able to soothe, take care of, make better, take pain away, organise etc etc etc. It is what we do as mothers and when one of our children is poorly I think all those instincts kick in and we have blinders on to anyone else that wants to take that role from us. That's my take on things.
    I'm still waiting here to scrapbook with you!!! Lots of hugs and lots of love!

  19. Dear Jen, what a traumatic week, hopefully now you will start to pick up strength again. I think you mother and mine come from the same place - she will do anything for me but was very strange to my friends. Lee is a treasure with her gracious attitude, even when she was not in the wrong. You need you family - but you need your friends just as much.
    Take care, love Karen

  20. Jen,
    First, A belated happy birthday!

    Second, What a horrible ordeal for you to have to go through. I am at a loss of something to say except I am keeping you in my prayers and I glad to hear that you are better.

    Third, your mom. I lost my mom to cancer 11 years ago. It was hard for me because I felt like I was crossing boundaries that kids shouldn't have to cross with their parents. I told her how I felt and she gave me permission to be her care giver and things were better after that.

    A friend who lost a daughter to cancer told me that she and her daughter talked openly about what she expected from her mom and also what her mom was comfortable doing.

    The reality is that you are 40 and you have probably lived more than half your life away from "home." Tell your mom that you would like her to respect your friendships and that you expect your friends to respect her being your mother.

    I wish you courage and peace and love.

    Kathy from Washington state.

  21. Dearest Jen,
    Okay, so now my turn to comment. And what do I think? I think your mother is mental. Mental becasue she is losing her mind becasue her baby girl is dying before her eyes. Imagine that Jen. Your friend Lee is undoubtedly a fab friend, BUT she didn't give you life. She didn' breast feed you, or bottle feed you or stay up half the night trying to feed you. She didn't make herself inside out about worrying about your nursery school, elementary school, your relationships, your marriage, your pregnancies, your babies, your cancer and on and on and on. But you are a mother and imagine Jamie or Jack vomiting their own shit. You would be demented. As demented as your mother no doubt.
    When I arrived home from hospital with my 3rd, my husband pulled into the drive and there was my mum looking out for us, with a set look to her mouth. SHe was mightily pissed off because my friend had decided to come around and await our arrival too. My poor old mum just wanted it to be us. It was a very tricky moment and my friend very soon realised that she had better go home. Thing is, mothers love unconditionally on the condition that others let us love our babies most of all! Get me?
    Go easy on your mum Jen. This is for her, her worst fears realised. She would, as I and you and any other mother would, swap places with our babies as long as our babies didn't have to suffer.
    With much love and I am so sorry your 40th was quite literally, shit (Meant in the best possible taste - remember Kenny Everett????). Happy Birthday beautiful girl, xxxxxx

  22. whew. what a whirlwind. Happy Birthday Sweet Jenni.

    Much love,

  23. So sorry to hear of your horrible experience. I wished you a happy birthday in your last post then waited for it to show up and it never HAPPY HAPPY birthday...a little late. Thank you for always keeping us updated Jen. Sending much love your way...and still praying for you.

  24. Dear Jen,

    It breaks my heart to think of you suffering so. I'm so sorry. All I can do is pray that God will walk with you through this valley.

    I think Alice may be on to something with regards to your mum. Try to imagine watching one of your sons going through what you are. You'd be a bit crazy too I imagine. I know I would! When people behave poorly husband reminds me to "consider the source." It sounds to me like your friend Jill is wise enough to do just that. Remember too that you are all imperfect beings doing the best you can in a multitude of horrible situations. You all deserve some mercy and grace.

  25. Jen

    Happy birthday and I am glad you are better than you were last week.

    It sounds like your mum is very worried and scared, and she is trying to make everything better - but she also sounds like she might have a few control freak issues, and quite often the pressure valve blows in the wrong directions.

    I wish you could have her (and your sister) sit down with you and your friends and you could be able to tell them all how much you value what they do for you and how they are all trying to help and you need the whole team, not just the whip crackers!

  26. What a terrible time you have been through! I am glad that you had something good come out of your 40th Birthday!
    I have to admit I did laugh a little at you calling your Mother at 1:30 am to say you'd pooped ( a little revenge perhaps?!LOL)! and that you were "Relieved". Nothing better than a good poop joke, no?

    Liesl in NS. Canada
    PS I agree with Alice Band (above) about your Mom.

  27. You made it to 40!!! Happy Birthday, Jeni!!!

    Sounds like your mom is trying to hold on to whatever she can of you, desperately, while she can. If Lee and the otherss are really your friends, they will understand and overlook your mother's behavior. She wants your undivided attention, and wants to divulge you with hers. Having your friends around divides both of your attention. I think I understand where she's coming from, though rude is just her way of being "The Momma Bear", unfortunately. If she were "nice" to them, they wouldn't take a hint and stay home. I'm not saying what she did was right, but as a mother, I would be very territorial if I thought it were the end too.

    I'm so sorry you had to go through that nightmare--something else no none should have to endure in their lifetime. (gives a whole new meaning to "Poop Breath"!) But you made it through unscathed!!!

    You ROCK, Birthday Girl!!! God is carrying you through the hell of it all. Don't give up, but surrender your will to Him. God is always in control. You're precious!

    Love YOu!

  28. Hey Sweets,
    wanna come over for some tlc? or maybe a glass of wine with that...
    phew...hugs! hugs! hugs!

    Ok...i don't know what to say.... wait for me on the kitchen floor...i'll bring the peanutbutter jar...and we can finish it tonite! yes! all of it!!! (no spoons! just fingers!)

    i love you xx

  29. Dear Jen, I am sorry for your upset -- I would agree with Alice's comments above, that your mom is absolutely heartbroken and just beside herself with pain over this.
    Sending you lots of belated birthday hugs and prayers -- that these coming months/years hold pleasant surprises and peace and only good things for you.

  30. Happy Birthday Jen! It certainly wasn't a happy one...actually horrible, but praise God you survived. I'm so glad you're back home and doing better. I'm praying for your girl.


  31. Dear Jen,

    This is my third attempt at a reply to this post. The first two were fairly long and got lost in cyberspace. I'm afraid I may lose this one too, so here's the short version:

    I don't understand the "why?' to what you (or any of us) suffer. I just know that I find comfort when God walks with me. I can't help but hope you will find comfort in His presence too.

    As for your mum. Try to imagine yourself watching one of your sons going through what you are. I seriously doubt I'd be able to hold it together 100% of the time if I had to do that.

    Grace and peace to you all. Love,

  32. My heart swells and breaks for you, Jen. My current prayer for you is this: No matter what the future brings, that you will be filled with peace and calm, not fear.

  33. Dear Jen
    Just in my thoughts and hope you are well.
    Love and blessings
    Nicky from Canada

  34. So glad you are home feeling a little better. What a scary experience! I'm praying so hard for you!

    As far as your mom, it's too late to try to change her. But it does seem she loves you and is just beside herself with worry about you. She is not perfect by any means, but at the same time is there for you when it matters the most.

    Blessings to you,


  35. Happy Birthday Jen,
    Such a character of true strength!

  36. Dear Jen,

    You most certainly did go through hell. Not the fire, but everything else. Just HORRID.

    I'm so glad you got out in time for a good birthday party. Congratulations on the celebration. I've been reading through your comments, because I've not really know what to think about your mother and your dear friends. But I think I'm coming to agree with those who talk about mothers wanting to circle the wagons around their own family and not really recognizing the contributions that your friends have made to your life. As a mom, I probably would want to be the only caretaker of my daughter, even though I would not be able to do it all. I would be jealous of the friendship relationship too, but I don't know how I would handle it in front of the friend.

    I can't say how glad I was to hear how devoted your mom was to you during some of the worst of it. And how glad I was to hear that you spoke openly to your family about what you need and don't. That's so good.

    I pray that the peace of Jesus reaches to the depth of your being. When you call on him to hold you, he does. You can lean into him and he will delight in carrying you. Oh, how he loves you and delights in you.

    As do many of us who delight in your personality, strength, and transparency. We are all praying for you and we all wish we could do more.

    Thank you for sharing. You are making us all better people, more compassionate, more grateful, more aware.

    Love from Kansas,

  37. Jen, I have been with out a computer for the last couple of weeks and have only just caught up with you. Firstly, happy Birthday for your 40th. You are a wonderful and amazing young woman! I can not believe all the hardship you have gone through. I'm sorry I can't give you any insight regarding your Mother, I do believe however that she does Love you. I just hope she supports you in the way that YOU need to be supported. You don't need anymore dramas in your life! Thinking of you Jen and hope things improve for you. Much love, Suzanne.

  38. Oh dear Jen...I'm so sorry you've been through such heartache lately. Your post made me cry...I wish I could give you a big hug, and come over and clean and cook for you...anything. I'll be praying for you my dear. Sorry I was away...internet issues at home....

  39. Way to turn 40, huh?
    Much love from Vermont. So glad you are writing.

  40. Oh Jenn I am so sorry! I am sending a lot of prayers your way.
    Happy Birthday Honey!

  41. Dear Jen,
    just pass by to send you a warm hug to you sweetheart. I've just read again about your mum, I think she is not bad intentionned but it's her pain-body reacting to a situation she has difficulties to deal with. (I'm readinq a book by Eckhart Tolle and he talks about it...)
    She loves you, I believe so. It's a reaction she is having. One day she will realise what she is doing and look at herself and see awake up. Hope you're doing ok.

  42. Bless your heart. I can't even begin to imagine how awful all of that must have been for you.

    I wish I had some advice for you about your mother, but I don't. As a mother myself, I know how hard it is to see your child suffer, and know that you cannot control anything. But, that doesn't give you an excuse to be cruel to other people trying to help.

    Jen, you are always close to my heart and in my prayers.

  43. I just stopped by to see how things were going for you. THis sounds like an unbelievably awful experience for you. I so wish I could help you - I feel so bad for all you go through and I think of you often. It just seems you suffer so much. I pray for you and your family. -Kim

  44. I hope you are doing okay Jen. Big hugs.
    Lisa L.

  45. Jen I am a lurker,
    I guess there have been many times I have wanted to post a reply but I just can't find the right words. I wish I knew why your mum and family are and do the things they do to you. But if I knew the answers then I would be able to solve my own weird Mum and the crazy things she does.

    I hope your battling on and your giving your littleman lots of cuddles and love'en that little boys need from their Mummies.


  46. Dear Jen
    Just in my thoughts and hope you are well.
    Love, laughter and prayers coming your way.
    Nicky from Canada

  47. Thinking about you, Jenn, and sending you my best from rainy Sacramento, CA.
    Ruthie from California

  48. Jen,
    I'm sorry I haven't left a comment, I've been busy, but I read your post and I'm soooo sorry you've been through such an ordeal. You poor dear. But once again you pulled through, just like we all expect of you. Thinking of you dear...hope you're feeling better these days.

  49. We worry when we don't see a post from you for a while. I don't know you but feel very attached to you through this blog. I think of you and pray for you often. Just drop a hi to let us know you are okay!
    Samantha from Arkansas

  50. Hi Jen,

    I hope you are doing OK! I am sure you have much more important thing on your mind than to blog right now..

    Cherish every moment and every day

    Thinking of you....

    Sarah M

  51. Jen ... am just checking in on you. I hope you've been able to stay cool and safe, from the heatwave, and fires.
    Thinking of you from Carmel

  52. Yep, stay cool! Praying for you and thinking about you.
    Ruthie from California

  53. Hey Jen! You are in my prayers. A lot of people have been through a lot worse, I'm confident you'll be fine. My dad was supposed to die because of a heart failure, but miracles do happen.

    Love you,

  54. Dearest Jen:

    I am so sorry for the terrible time you had. When I was reading about your Mum I was thinking "how horrible, and what is her problem?" Then, I read Alice's comment, and I think she is on to something.

    You are still her "baby" and its sound like she just does not want to share you now.

    Whether that is right or wrong, I don't know.

    I hope you are feeling a little better now. Will be sending lots of love and prayers across the oceans and right to you.



  55. Hi Jen, just checking in on you. Hope you are doing better.
    I have a really bad sore throat and fever and no one to help me take care of things, so times like this, I miss having people i can count on. I too have a family member who does a lot yet drives me insane at the same time and am not sure how to handle it. it's not even that she does funny things, it's that she is mean and rude. and i can't seem to figure that out.
    so you are not alone. however, your mum is probably pretty sad and knows the rough road ahead and hopefully you can just forgive her. I am sure your friends will be understanding. Don't worry about others, focus on yourself.

  56. With all of those fires in Victoria...does anyone know if Jen and her family are safe?

  57. Jen, honey, peep up and just say hi. We're worrying some
    Mary Beth

  58. Hello Jen, I come over here daily to check in on you and say a prayer for you -- wishing you peace and comfort and smiles today and always.


  59. Jen,

    Always checking in on you. Please let us know how you're doing. This above story is just too much. I wouldn't be able to manage a fraction of the grace you display.

    thinking of you...

  60. Hi Jen, just checking in to see how you're doing. Happy Birthday! Lots of love and many prayers to you

    Meredith from Iowa

  61. i'm getting really worried that jen hasn't updated. i know she's going through a lot, but it's been over two weeks, and when she had her last long delay it was because she was back in the hospital. do any of you think david would have updated us if something really bad happened to her? i pray that's not the case...but, i'm worried.

  62. jen. i am just getting caught up...happy belated sweet friend! welcome to '40'! i cannot believe all that you went gosh. you continue to be such an inspiration. i just love your spirit.

    please keep matter not let this 'cancer' rob you of your smile and your sweet beautiful soul.