12:09 A.M., Room 220, Ramada Inn, San Marcos, CA

I really don’t want to use this space for family updates, but these past few days I have been so completely occupied by family matters that I have had no opportunity for preparing any posts, certainly not the sort of posts I want to be writing.

When I dashed back out to California on Thursday, I had every reason to imagine that my mother would already be gone by the time I got here. However, since all involved have decided to give up on treatment and switch to palliative care, she has bounced back a bit, and although she is terribly weak and frail both physically and emotionally, she is able again to speak with us.

Of course, now that she is not actively being treated for cancer any longer, the hospital is making noises about booting her out, and now we are faced with the difficult task of arranging somewhere for her to go, if it should come to that.

This is such a challenging situation – my father, though quite well at 80, is unable to walk due to a mysterious neuropathy he’s had for a few years; my mother has always been the one to do all the driving, and to cover all the other daily tasks that require ambulation. With her no longer able to do so, the picture is much more complicated. Meanwhile, I live 3000 miles away, have a job, a family, and other responsibilites in New York, and cannot simply transplant myself to San Diego County. I do have a brother who lives in CA, about an hour away, but he is heavily burdened with work-related duties and obligations (he is the CEO and CFO of MMFX Steel, a startup – or some would say “upstart” – steel company, and is usually on the road about 300 days a year). He has been back and forth nearly every day, often staying late into the night and working on three or so hours of sleep, but it is taking a heavy toll on him.

I don’t mean to complain here – I am glad, honored even, to help my parents through this awful crisis – but if you haven’t been through something like this yourself you just have no idea. And we still don’t have a clear picture, now, of what the next week or two will bring.

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  1. Bob Koepp says

    Malcolm –
    No need to be apologetic about writing about what’s first and foremost in your heart and mind as this chapter of your family story unfolds. Rather, your readers should be thankful for your willingness to share. Know that you and yours are in my thoughts.

    Posted March 26, 2006 at 8:25 am | Permalink
  2. Malcolm says

    Thanks, Bob. It really does help to know that so many are thinking of us.


    Posted March 26, 2006 at 12:28 pm | Permalink