#Remember Olivia’s Skin
This first picture is of my Step Dad, my Mom, My Brother, two of my step brothers, two of my sisters, and myself when I was growing up. Mom, met my step dad actually when she was married to my Real dad. My Real dad, my step dad and my uncles all raced cars together at the local speedway race track. My mom and all my aunts raced mini sprints there as well. My mom and real dad had parted ways and my mom then started a relationship with my step dad. I was about 2 or 3 when they got together. All of my siblings and myself called our step father, dad. My step brothers called my mother, mom. We were known as the Brady Bunch to many. Pay no mind to the afro’s. LOL!
This next picture is of my mom, Olivia, when we were at a bingo Hall together. I took this picture of her. She was very proud of this picture because she had lost a lot of weight from bariatric surgery.
Dads health was failing due to a hard fall that he had taken a little over a year before Christmas when he was out fishing with my husband late at night. No one knew that this next picture would be mom and dads last Christmas and our last as a family spending it together. It was the first and the last year that we had a themed Christmas. My parents told all of us to bring a Mexican dish for the Christmas gathering. Well, my husband and kids thought it would really be funny to walk in with mustaches and sombrero on because we thought it was a little weird that they wanted to do this. So we all walked in from my family and everyone started laughing and having a good time. We played L.C.R. one of our FAVORITE games.
Dad thought it would be funny to get a picture of him and mom with our sombrero and mustaches on. He kissed mom and said “This is the first woman, I have ever kissed with a mustache.” We all busted out laughing and had a really great time together.
Mom and Dad raised my nephew Kelly. Kelly was their pride and joy. They ended up adopting him as he was growing up and had lived with them since a baby. This is Kelly, Mom, and Dad at his college graduation at Trine University where he was on the football team.
Here is another picture of mom and dad with my other nephew, which is Kelly’s Brother Brantley in 2012.
And here is my mom with Kelly. This was in August when he got married. As you can see here, mom has hardly any hair and lots of weight loss.
Mom and Kelly having a dance together at the wedding reception.
Mom and Kelly here. Mom talking about dad. Dad passed away in June of 2013, a month before his birthday. He was swelling up so much from the fluids and could hardly walk. He was on hospice for about 3 weeks. He was getting up to use the bathroom in the middle of the night and couldn’t make it back to his bed, so he stopped at the recliner and fell asleep. It wasn’t but 30 minutes later, he got up telling mom that he had to use the restroom again. (Mom health wasnt doing so well by this time either, but she continued to care for him like no other) She told him “Jim honey, you already used the bathroom.” About that time he fell to the floor. She tried to help him up, but couldn’t help him. So, my daughter tried to help as well. My daughter spent lots of time with mom helping her care for dad his last days. After neither of him being able to help dad up from the floor, mom called the ambulance for a lift assist only. (being on hospice you are not supposed to call an ambulance to go to the hospital). Well, before the ambulance arrived, dad had taken his last breath. He had passed away from drowning in his own fluids that build up. They believe he had a heart attack that night from the fluid build up. He had kept getting it drained off every few weeks, and then a port was put in so that he could have it drained from home. The more you get drained, the more fluid that actually builds up inside of you and in your skin and its an awful death. 🙁 He suffered and it was so painful and sad to see him suffer over the last year of his life.
Mom, was told back a few years ago that she had Melanoma Cancer. She went to get a spot on her back checked out, that appeared to be a huge mole.. A mole like that was small and grew huge over time. Well, she got that taken out and a few other spots on her under her arm and such. She was then to go to docs over the next yr or so to get checked and she was still cancer free. Well, back in April, (two months before dads passing), she was told that her Melanoma Cancer was back. She had it in her lungs, her back, her groin and spleen area. Melanoma is the fastest killing cancer there is. Mom, had gotten depressed because dad wasnt doing so well and her health as well and being told that she had Stage 4 Melanoma. Dad worried about her and she worried about him. My sisters and I went to a few appointments with her. Her Cancer Doc had sent her on to a bigger city, so that maybe she could go through experimental treatments. I went with her to that appointment to Indianapolis, IN. IU Medical Center. The Doctor there knew she had already had bariatric surgery. They told her they would do this series of experiments on her, but that she had to get stronger first and MAKE herself eat more and gain some weight. So she forced herself for the next two weeks. We went back to the appointment and she had gained a pound and he told her to eat more and they would do some testing on her biopsies that they already had to see if there was mutation. (why they didn’t already do this to speed up the process, is beyond me.) Anyhow two more weeks went by and they FINALLY got back with her and told her that she needed to come in for blood work. There was mutation which meant that she was eligible for this experiment. She did the blood work and then they found out her blood count was low, so she had to have two blood transfusions so that she could start these treatments. A couple of days went by and she received a call. The nurse down in Indy, told her that she was not eligible to do the experiments, because she was a bariatric patient. They already KNEW that she had bariatric surgery from the get go. By, then mom was really depressed and felt like it was too late. She cried and asked them, “Why did you waste four months worth of time? Four months of my life that I could have been somewhere else getting treatments!” So where did this leave my mom? Back to square one. She had to go back to her oncologist (cancer doc back home). He was upset over this as well, because everyone knew of her bariatric surgery already. Her Dr. started her on a chemo treatment. She received her first treatment and she went home and of course chemo can make you feel weak. She sat at home and didn’t want to do much, but we tried to get her to get up more, but her cancer in her spleen was growing and that is why she wasnt wanting to get up and go. Another reason was the cancer in her lungs was growing and effecting her breathing. She went back for a second treatment and she was too weak, so the Dr, said he did not want her to have her treatment until the time she went. It was Sunday, and I was at her house taking care of her. She had just ate the biggest bowl of chicken noodle soup ever. It was about 20 minutes after that she yelled out in pain. I asked her if she was ok and she just asked for pain meds and said that her side hurt so bad, but said she would be ok. She took her pain medication and then about 30 minutes later screamed out again and took another pain pill. Mom hated pain meds, but she was in so much pain she took another and went to sleep. The next day, Monday she was to go back to get treatment. She went to get treatment and the Dr. held off again, because he said she could not have the treatment that day because of two things. One, she had taken more pain meds before she went in and two because she was too weak for the treatment. He said he would have felt bad if something had happened to her if he gave her treatment knowing that she was weak and had just taken pain meds. After she left her Dr. Office, she went to the grave yard and picked out a plot for her and dad. (dad was cremated and he was going to be berried with her). She then went home and that night she felt weak and wanted to go to the hospital. My sister took her and she had a perforated bowel. It busted. The treatment busted it. She was so sick and was put into the intensive Care unit. The Dr. said that she was too weak to go through an emergency surgery and she would not survive it. They did put a drain port in her while she was awake so try to drain all the infection going into her body. Her levels were going down, so they took her out of the Intensive Care Unit and into the progressive Care unit. The doc said she had about six weeks to live. He said the infection would take her before the Cancer. She begged to please allow her to live to see her grand baby born. He couldn’t promise that. She went home on hospice ONLY, because it was the ONLY way (so she was told) that she could get an IV drip of her antibiotics that she needed for this infection. She went home and there was NEVER an IV Drop given. She had asked about it and they told her they do not do that. They are only there to make you feel comfortable. She was home about a week and my sister had decided to give her a Birthday party BEFORE her 69th Birthday. We had her Birthday party on October 13th. (her birthday is Oct 30th). It was a Sunday Oct 13th and 50 people showed up surprising her. 🙂 It was a great day for everyone.
The Very Next day, it was before 7 AM, mom gasped for air and panicked. She couldnt breathe. She asked us to call 911. I said to her “Mom, you are on hospice, we aren’t supposed to call 911.” She says to me “I don’t care, I’m not on hospice anymore, call get me some help.” So we called an ambulance and they arrived. They asked her when they got here if she was on hospice and she says “No, not anymore!” While they took her in the ambulance, my sister called the her Hospice nurse and made arraignments to sign mom off of hospice. Mom, went to the hospital on October 14th. They gave her dilaudid and Ativan. The dilaudid is one where she would know what was going on, but calmed her down a lot. The Ativan was to really calm her down as well. Every time they gave her dilaudid she would say “WOW!” then be asleep. They took mom from the Emergency Room, back to Progressive Care. She was doing better and even eating a lot better. She ate very well on Oct. 15th and then I went to visit her on Oct. 16th, and I was really worried about her. She was talking out of it and they had turned her oxygen from a 2 to a 5. I went and asked the nurse what happened? Did she have an episode. The nurse told me that her infection levels were SKY HIGH, and that they had to give her more oxygen because she could not breathe well. The doc came in and the nurses began bringing in a lot of chairs. I asked the doc, if he though she would make it through the night. His response was a “No.” So all the family came in and sat with mom. The nurse said she was turning her oxygen back down to her normal 2 and took her off her rebreather which was the full oxygen because she said she had 100% oxygen. (of course because she was on the rebreather). It wasnt 5 minutes after she took mom off that, that mom had a major episode. She lifted up barely saying “Help me, Help me.” All the family was around and she seen us all, so I’m sure she knew by that time and it scared her even more. 🙁 The hospice chaplain that got close with mom during dads last days and moms, came in and prayed with mom and told her it was going to be alright, just close her eyes and let Jesus take her home. As she was holding moms hand, mom closed her eyes, and the nurse came in and gave mom doses of her meds. Mom opened her eyes looked around and then said “WOW” and her eyes closed. Those were moms last words. We as a family got together and asked that mom no longer suffer. Then, the nurse came in after speaking with the doc and mom was started on an IV drip of morphine and Ativan. She got that all night, until she passed away the next morning Oct. 17th, 2013. Saddest thing ever to watch my own mom pass away right before my eyes. I’m just glad she isn’t suffering any longer.
Dads last wishes were that his ashes be barried with mom in her casket. He got his wish. Mom and Dad are back together again. Mom didn’t have time really to grieve over her own husbands death. I am writing this to all of you, because I want to stress to you, that the SUN KILLS! Mom used to tan in her younger years in the tanning bed. She also worked in her garden ALL the way up until five to six months before her passing. This was the last day she was in the garden with my daughter. Notice how she is wearing a jacket and jeans. Mom, was ALWAYS a hard worker. She also worked outside of the home, up until about 7 months before she passed away as well.
Mom wanted everyone to have Christmas together at her house this year and go through pictures that she had here at home. We all got together and had Thanksgiving at her home and also Christmas as well. She got her last wish as well.
Please help me in remembering my Moms Skin. Remember Yours as well please. You look pretty without a tan!! ALWAYS REMEMBER THAT! You are not obligated to donate at all, but My nephew, Kelly, who my parents raised set up a gofund me account and is currently working on Walks to go towards the Melanoma Research. Please share this post to get the word out about taking care of your skin and getting EARLY detection. If you see anything resembling moles or lifted brown spots, please get to the Doctor.. DO NOT WAIT. RIP MOM and DAD!