Monday, September 19, 2016

Hope Lodge

Because Mom lives a little over a two hour drive away from the cancer center meaning she would have to spend 4-1/2 in a car daily plus the person driving her since Mom isn't allowed to drive, we were looking for places near the cancer center where she could stay during the day. That is when we found Hope Lodge.

Hope Lodge is a free place for those 18 years old and older who are undergoing cancer treatments. They have 28 bedrooms, a kitchen and dining area, a library, a sitting area, and a few other common areas scattered throughout the building. Each patient gets a reserved spot in one of several communal refrigerators, freezers and pantries as well as use of the huge fully stocked kitchen. I've mostly been making up food ahead of time so that my mom can just thaw out and microwave a meal but if she feels up to it she, or the person staying with her, can prepare a meal fresh. A local bagel place brings all their leftovers from the prior day in as well to leave and other patients/helpers will cook extra and distribute.

The rooms come with two queen beds so that if a mandated helper is required such as in my mom's case, they have room to sleep. My mom, an avid quilter, brought up her sewing machine and gear so she can do some quilting in her down time. The mandated helper threw us for a loop since we were mostly just planning daily visits and leaving her to spend her sleeping hours alone. However, the sleeping hours are the most dangerous if she were to have a seizure that wouldn't be found out until the following day. So on short notice, I bumped up my mother-in-law's return to the country (she's already back as you read this) so that I can spend more time with Mom while my MIL takes care of the kids and keeps my wife fed when she gets home from work. My brother is taking five weeks off from work and driving across the country to be here. We also have a list of good friends and other family that are willing to take turns babysitting Mom.

On top of taking turns, I am also going up once a week to spell the person up there with Mom to get away and do some other things. This allows me to take up some more food or other supplies mid week if needed though the Hope Lodge also has a shuttle and the helper with Mom has a vehicle to get out and about if needed or desired.

If that isn't busy enough, harvest is just a couple weeks away as I write this and maybe less than a week away as you read this and the person who does all the combine driving is getting radiation and chemo treatments 120+ miles away. This will require myself and my brother and perhaps others, to fill in as able to get the bumper crop this year our of the fields and into the bins. Because the combine driver is also the main cook (my mom), I am also cooking food in bulk and taking it down to the farm so that my dad doesn't starve.

I am never going to be so happy for winter to get here as I will be this year!


sage said...

Continued prayers. I'm glad she has a nice place to stay and a family to support her there and on the farm.

Ed said...

Sage - Thanks!

Everyone - Harvest kicks off tomorrow. If I don't come around for awhile, know that is where I am even if my blog continues to throw up new posts on autopilot until my stash runs out. I'll get back here eventually.

Kelly said...

Hope Lodge sounds like a real blessing!

I hope the weather is good to you and that the harvest goes smoothly. Prayers all around.

kymber said...

Ed - no worries about blogging - you are up to your eyeballs with stuff to do!!! i am sooo glad that your Mother has such a nice place to stay! and i am glad that even with everything that is going on - you still sound like you got a little pep in your voice, in your step. we are sending our continued prayers as well. nice hearing from you buddy - i love garlic as much as you, i think!

sending love, as always! your friend,

ErinFromIowa said...

Ed, I know you are not looking for praise... but you really are a stand up fella. It's often startling to realise how much a person who is out of commission contributed to the workload. Positive and healing thoughts to all of you. <3

Bob said...

Oh my, Ed, you definitely have a full load. Your mom has a great support system, which is very important.

Pulling for all of you!

Leigh said...

You are one busy guy! It's at times like that that I'm thankful for seasonal living. It gets super busy certain times of the year but it's not ongoing for years and years.

It sounds like your mom has a really nice set-up. Praying for a good response to treatment.