Walking Forward

Walking at Lake Wilson

~

one step at a time

the path is dense and obscure

I pray for wisdom

~

Classic Ozark rocks and bluffs.

~

I walk for beauty

I walk for peace

I walk for exercise

I walk for my soul

I walk for survival

~

~

Doctors found a mass in my mother’s colon with cancer being likely. Unfortunately, she is resistant to more testing given her past history of doctors and tests providing no clear answers or remedies. And without cancer screening and a colonoscopy, the doctors can’t know how advanced the cancer may be to prescribe the appropriate treatment. I know she is in great pain and tired of suffering from these four months of not being able to eat and keep food down.

Truthfully, I feel dread, knowing this may be a terminal condition with no relief or remedy. As much as I knew her health was declining, I wasn’t expecting cancer. I fear the worst, as I imagine she does too. Given her age, poor health, and symptoms, the chances of recovery seem slim. We don’t know where all this will lead, but pray for the wisdom and compassion to help my mother navigate this difficult time. She would like to find relief and/or end the suffering, seemingly even death would be preferable to more suffering. And after years of offering to move in with her to help make her life easier, now I’m dreading actually doing so, especially under such extreme conditions. I wish she lived in a “right to die” state that gives people the right to choose how they die and be medically assisted to do so.

I fly back east this weekend to be with my mother and brother and hopefully, find a compassionate way forward. Your prayers and good vibes would be appreciated. I probably won’t be posting or visiting your blogs for the next few weeks.

May we walk forward with love and compassion,

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115 thoughts on “Walking Forward

  1. Beautiful photos. It’s tough when loved ones don’t want to deal with diagnoses and treatment. Cancer treatments go a long way these days. I’ve been through two cancers.

    Liked by 4 people

  2. Dear Brad…what a difficult time for you both. If it is your mother’s wish not to have further medical intervention, then I personally would honour that…..mostly because it would also be my choice. There comes a point I believe when we need to accept the inevitable and make whatever time we have left the best that we can. It is important to have proper pain relief. I don’t believe any of us should have to suffer unnecessarily…meanwhile I will send magical hummingbirds to surround you both. Sending love Janet :)XX

    Liked by 2 people

  3. A difficult walk Brad🀨 but Thankyou for sharing beautiful photo and words. Sorry to hear the news… but at least you are going and will be there! Hopefully the doctors will explain clearly the options and your mum chooses accordingly. Sending love and light to your family Brad and may everything flow in the best interest of your mumβ€οΈπŸŒˆπŸ’ƒ keep us posted!

    Liked by 3 people

  4. Brad my heartfelt prayers are with you and your mother at this time.

    I can understand your mother’s reluctance to be prodded, poked, and tested.

    Respecting her wishes I know is hard, as she makes those choices.
    It will be a difficult time to get through as a family..
    Having been in a similar situation when my sister and I looked after my Dad in his end of life days..

    So just focus upon your Mom, your family and yourself. We will be here when you return.. xx

    Sending you much love Brad. ❀️

    Liked by 2 people

  5. I can feel you through your poetry and am grateful you channeled some of the challenge you’re feeling through this creative outlet and time with nature. My heart goes out to your mom, you and your family. I’m so glad you’re going there to be with her. Your presence and love will be a huge gift to her as she processes things. What ever she chooses I pray she can have relief from the pain as I know that can weigh on anyone and can direct decisions. Embrace this time together. We’re all here holding you in our hearts πŸ’• I’m sending extra supportive energy, healing peace, and love to surround her and all of you. Wish i could give you a huge hug in person.

    Liked by 2 people

  6. Very sorry to hear that Brad! A long journey awaits you I’d imagine. I hope if she does accept medical care you will seek out alternative solutions that won’t kill her like so much of the healthcare today. There are safer ways to deal with what she is going through. There are wonderful doctors who started new practices when the doctors knowledge and expertise was shunned to keep the cv scam going. If you need names just ask me or else look them up online…Like the Frontline Doctors etc. Good luck Brad. Been there done that. She is lucky to have you. Just make sure to let her make the decisions. She will thank you for it! God Bless….VK ❀

    Liked by 2 people

  7. That sky, those clouds, your words about your walk felt deeply and vastly beautiful. And then read your update about your mother. This is indeed difficult to go through. Trusting you will find your way through deep listening. Holding and sending prayers for you and your mother to be supported in utmost possible ways. We are here, take your time coing back to this space whenever you feel like it would nourish you.

    Liked by 2 people

  8. You write such soulful words ~ about how vital this walk/life is for you; such a beautiful place, and the photos of those Ozark rocks and bluffs hold such strength and timelessness about them. It makes me sad knowing what you are facing with your Mom’s health as you head back home, but it also makes me feel good that you will be the rock for your Mom and family during these difficult times. Prayers are with you, my friend, and I wish you a peaceful calm as you work through this. Take care.

    Liked by 2 people

  9. Oh Brad, you have my prayers and healing wishes, for your mother and fir yourself, at this challenging and difficult time. Just be there for her, that’s all you can do. πŸ™β€οΈ

    Liked by 2 people

  10. Beautiful poetry, Brad, and I could feel what was coming from the quiet, thoughtful tone of your words. Having just gone through this with my mom, I want you to know that I’m here for you. I worked in hospice for years and engaged with them for my mom. The compassion and care were so comforting. It was like having a flock of angels around us. They answered our questions, dealt completely with her pain, and guided us through the process. Every family has to make their own choices, of course. I just wanted to share my experience with you. It’s a hard time and I’ll be thinking of you, your brother, and your mom. ❀

    Liked by 3 people

  11. Love the poetry Brad! My prayers for your mother, you and your brother. It’s a very tough journey you are on, but to be there for your mom as she takes this journey with you by her side will mean the world to her. Blessings!!

    Liked by 3 people

  12. Hi Brad,
    I am sorry to read about your mother’s health. I can imagine how hard it must be for her and you and your brother. I pray that you are guided to the best decisions, as you deal with different options. May your mother find comfort and peace. I am sending angels to be at her side.
    Blessings!

    Liked by 2 people

  13. The poetry and the pictures are beautiful, Brad. Prayers for your mom. May she find peace and comfort in her life. It is nice that you and your brother are there for her. Do not lose faith and keep her cheerful and happy as you can. All will go well and we all are praying for her good health. Take care and stay safe.

    Liked by 2 people

  14. Brad, I’m sorry to hear this. This phase of life your mother is enduring (and you are witnessing) is challenging. I’m sending light and love your way, and I hope whatever the outcome, you know you have a community here to lean on.

    Liked by 2 people

  15. Oh Brad, I’m so sorry to hear this. I just looked you up as I hadn’t seen anything from you for awhile. My heart goes out to you durning this very sad time. I’m sending you love and prayers and good vibes to you and your mother. It’s so difficult to watch those we love suffer. I had my dad all week and cared for him after his mohs surgery on his leg of carcinoma and changed the bandage daily to care for he wound. He’s also near blind. It is so hard to watch someone suffer and also hard because it demanded every waking moment of waiting on him hand and foot. I would like to be more compassionate and yet I’m pulled always and yet he was so grateful, so I’m sure I wasn’t like nurse ratchet like it felt like I was. You are a dear for being there and trust you will be guided and cared for through the process. Much love and guidence and we’re all here for you. πŸ’žπŸ™πŸΌπŸ’ž

    Liked by 2 people

  16. I am so sorry to hear of this challenging time for you and your family, Brad. Sending best wishes and lots of love to you over there. Take your time with your family and you are showing us how compassionate you are. Beautiful photos. And you got a beautiful heart and soul. Take care πŸ’•

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  17. I feel for you, your mom…all your family.
    In Canada we have MAiD. (Medical Assistance in Dying). It is provided at no cost.
    I send out all the good energy I can for your mom & all.
    It’s good you are moving home.
    I moved home (to my niece’s) when mom was given 3 months and put in a hospice.
    It’s a good thing to do.
    Take care!

    Liked by 2 people

    • Thank you for understanding and the kind wishes Resa. I intend to move in mid May, but can tell I will have to be careful about self-care and overwhelm. Thankfully, hospice in-home services are covered, but perversely, if she needs in-facility care, we must pay.

      Liked by 1 person

      • YES, be careful not to get overwhelmed.
        Although I moved to Winnipeg for the duration and tried to see my mom every day, I did take an odd day off here and there.
        I kept in close touch with those who would visit her.
        Some days, esp. weekends, there were more than enough family to exhaust her. I took those days off.
        We have both free government hospices and private paid.
        One would think the expensive private hospices would have better care.
        During Covid, this proved not true.
        The free government homes turned out to fare amazingly better. I guess when a profit does not have to be turned, considerations are different.
        BE WELL!

        Liked by 2 people

  18. Thinking of you so much, Brad, and your mom. Many of us have ‘been there’ with parents, all in different ways, but in some ways, the same. No matter what, we love our parent and don’t want them to suffer. We want the best care for them, but as you said, we also must SELF-care for ourselves. The decision of how to achieve both things is one of the hardest ones of our lives. Compassionate is the wonderful word you used in your post – but the compassion must be for yourself as well as for your parent. I know you – I feel – from our years of blogging together. You and your brother will make the right decision, and then let it go and believe that all will be well, in the end.

    Liked by 2 people

  19. I am very sorry, Brad, to read this news (a couple of weeks late…) Now I am going to check and see if you have shared any news more recently. My thoughts are with you and your mother and your brother.

    Liked by 1 person

  20. I’m cheating. I know comments are closed in your latest post, but I can’t NOT respond. You are an angel – alive and well and BEing there for your mom. My MIL died of colon cancer, and her kids (my husband’s 6 siblings) “made” her continue with treatments that only made her sicker. Finally, they agreed to hospice, which is heaven-sent. You and your brother have made excellent decisions, and your mom is a realist and smart as well. My thoughts are with you all, Brad. ❀

    Liked by 1 person

  21. Dear Brad, my heart goes out to you. My mother had colon cancer too and decided not to get treatment. She went into hospice care. They were wonderful and helped manage her pain. I spent nights with her at her home, a short distance from my home, so I was lucky that way. I’m sorry you have to give up your apartment. Nothing about this is easy. Sending loving wishes to you and your mom.

    Liked by 1 person

  22. Brad, I am getting caught up on WordPress and found this missed post. I sent you a message via one of your other posts because I didn’t have a way to contact you, but I will say it again here. Speaking from experience, I know how difficult this will be for you, so I encourage you to take care of yourself throughout this process. Make sure you eat and sleep as much as you can, and do whatever it takes to feed your body, mind and soul. That was not something I was allowed while caring for my father before he passed away, and two years later, I am still struggling to regain my health. Know that I am thinking of you and sending so much love and strength to you as you navigate the days ahead. I’m also sending you the biggest hug imaginable. Take good care, my friend and know what an extraordinary human you are. ❀️

    Liked by 1 person

  23. Dear Brad, my heart reaches out to you and I hold you in a warm embrace. I am so sorry to hear this news, as I am sure you all are too. I’m so happy that you will be going to take care of your mom. I know you have wanted to for years, but your mom is strong and did not want to admit that she needs help. Well, now she knows she needs help…and I read your other post but didn’t see that I could respond there. She needs help…and you are willing. It will be hard. There will be times that you have absolutely no idea how to proceed…I would say always follow your inner voice. And where you stated that you are allowing your mom to make whatever decisions she can…I say a giant YES to that. We can get so bogged down in the job of being a caretaker and doing what we think is best, that we forget the person we are caring for has a say…and that “say” should always be heard.
    You are embarking on a journey that will be filled with pain. And it will sometimes take you to your knees. But hang in there, be present in each moment, and know how deep the love is that allows you to be here in this way for your mom.
    I am here for you if you need anything. <3<3

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