An update on where she is at:
"What show do I usually watch at 7 pm?" we've been watching Jeopardy here with her, or she at home for an eternity.
"It's 2000 and what again?"
We went out for dinner with the kids and I went outside early to take a phone call. She came out with the kids and as we were walking off, "Did I pay the bill?". I had to go back in and ask the waiter (she had). Now, 3 hrs later, she just walked into the room and was concerned that she had not paid the dinner tab.
She has changed significantly in the last 6 months. She forgets much from each 10 to 15 minute interval. The good news is she doesn't realize she isn't remembering things the majority of the time. But she did say tonight, "I really am losing it. I don't know if I paid the bill at the restaurant." And she was concerned.
I need to get her moved up here in Aug, when the kids are out of school and I can take time off. It'll be a crunch-but I think it can be done if I can enlist help of my brother and some of her neighbors. Worse case scenario she is living with us for a bit before we get her housing settled and/or her house sold or rented. I got the name and number of 3 estate planning lawyers and sent medical releases (completed by me and signed by her) to have her medical records forwarded to an MD up here.
When she came up here 3 or 4 weeks ago the kids and I had a cold. Well we gave it to her and it turned into pneumonia. She had antibiotics and is doing amazingly well, except for some residual fatigue which I think she often ignores. On return visit to MD, he said he wanted to get a baseline chest XRAY if one was available. He could see pneumonia and emphysema (she smoked 1 1/2 packs daily for 40 years and quit 20 years ago). He wasn't sure if that was all he was seeing, hence request for old XRAY. "If it looks different than the old XRAY, we may want to do some other scans". Come back in a month for a follow up XRAY and get the older chest XRAY films forwarded to me." Mom asked about that in the car, and I kinda repeated what he'd said. She asked, "Did he say what he though 'it' might be?"
With 40 years of smoking and a history of bilateral breast CA in an 80-year-old woman, he didn't need to say.
She doesn't seem to remember these brief conversations. To me I feel like I am writing about a medical case history and presenting it. Facts, drama -but emotionally I am not fully ready to access all of this in it's entirety.