My name is Michelle from Arlington Texas. As only child the care of my parents falls to me. It is this responsibility I take seriously – I love my parents and can’t imagine life without them. The accompanying picture is of my mother visiting my father on the rare occasion she was able to do so. Married 50 years on August 30th, they are deeply intertwined. My heart broke taking this picture.
In October 2020, my mother was diagnosed with an aggressive form of breast cancer. As she has a lengthy family history of cancer in her family, she receives semi-annual mammograms as an extra early detection tool. The April 2020 mammogram was clear. By October a malignant mass of 3 cm was found. She received a double mastectomy in December 2020. Beginning January 2021, she started an intense chemotherapy regimen for which she is still completing in July 2022.
While unbeknownst to my father’s mental and physical health began declining. I would check on my mom weekly and all seemed fine. My father hid the problems and my mother didn’t tell me the difficulties she was having between chemo and his erratic behaviors He was falling, couldn’t sleep, stopped eating and became unbelievably angry and belligerent. At the end of April 2021, he’d been to the emergency room 4 times with a 72 hour period.
On April 26th, my mother called to tell me my father had fallen and she could not lift him. He was delirious and had broken their bedroom TV by falling against it. I rushed to their home, and called for and ambulance.
My father was diagnosed with liver failure. He was transported from their local community hospital to a major Dallas hospital for treatment where he spent 2 weeks. He recovered from that episode only to suffer a heart attack the day he was to be released. He almost died 5 times within 3 weeks.
During his hospital stay, I took care of my mother still receiving chemotherapy. As her immune system is extremely weak she wasn’t allowed to visit my father regularly. I’m fact each time he almost died, she was home. My days began at 7:00. I’d shower and dress then prepare my mother’s breakfast and lunch. I’d get her settled with meds and clothes and such before heading to the hospital. I was there from 9:00 – 6:00 to speak with the endless rounds of doctors and specialists. My father was not coherent and was unable to speak for most of his stay. I’d drive the hour to my mothers home where I’d feed her and do laundry, chores and my school work. Did I mention I’ve returned to college? I’d get to bed around 2:00, only to begin the day in 5 hours.
At May’s end, my mother developed breathing problems. Her oncologist admitted her to the hospital. For 1 week in May, my mother was hospitalized in an Arlington hospital, my father in a Dallas hospital. I’d travel between the 2.
Fortunately my father rallied and after 5 weeks in the hospital and 1 week in a rehab center he is home. My mother was diagnosed with pneumonia and recovered. She continues chemotherapy.
I missed work from April 26th – June 7th. I’ve had additional days off taking my parents to their follow up appointments and treatments.
I used all vacation and savings to pay June and July bills. Now it’s almost August 1st and I can’t pay anything. My paycheck just covered my health insurance deductions.
It is with great humility I ask for a donation in the amount totaling $2,000. I have never had to ask for help before in my adult life. Even as a single mother with 2 sons.
Please consider my need and thank you for your time.