The next day I went to the hospital and sat down with my mom to propose the idea of her coming to live with us. I would be her full time care taker. I told her that my husband and I discussed it and we would set her up in our family room. She would have her own private space. It would be like a small studio apartment. We would figure out how get her back and forth to dialysis. My mom was very excited about the idea. I knew I could not stop her cancer from taking her but if she was going to do hospice, she was going to do so surrounded by the people she loved. I assured her that everyone was welcome to visit her, including my brother and his wife and that she would be able to have her own private life away from us. She was really excited about it. If the cancer was going to take her, fine but I was not about to promote her slowly poisoning herself to death by stopping dialysis.
It was hard though because my mom seemed to be a little more in denial than I had originally believed. She still seemed to think she was heading to a rehab facility, and there was a chance of her coming home, and that coming to my house was going to be a stepping stone to her going home and resuming a normal life. She was determined to live. The doctor who told me about hospice told me that my mom would have to be able to sit in a chair for at least 4 hours if continuing dialysis was even going to be an option for her,and so I pushed her to try.
It was Friday the 11th when I went up to the hospital and that day she sat in the chair for an hour. It was a huge accomplishment. I was at least relieved that she was willing to give it a shot. My brother came that afternoon, after four days of not coming to visit her and he finally took his camera. My mom told me he called her later that afternoon and he was pissed and told her to tell me that I owed him $200 for the camera that I smashed. I was pissed too. Pissed that there even was a camera for me to l smash, but more so, I was pissed that he was even bothering her with this stupid bullshit. I said to her, “I knew this was going happen.”, and then I told her not to even worry about it. She asked me what I did to it, that he said it was “destroyed”. Again I laughed and said, “I knew that too was going to happen and that’s why I took photos of it before I brought it back up…. because I knew they were going to exaggerate the damage.”. There was a few surface scratches on the back. My mom kept going, “well he said he cannot sell it.”. I responded, “ok.” Then she said, “I will give him the $200 for the camera, I will pay for it.”. I turned around and said, “No! no! You will NOT pay for it. I will. It was my mistake. I will pay for it and that’s it. I don’t want to even discuss this stupid shit anymore.”.
My blood was boiling at that point in time. I really wanted to fucking kill my brother. My mom was dealing with enough bullshit. All that kept playing in my head was the word ,’terminal’and the word, ‘hospice’. Everything else was so fucking insignificant to me at that point . I had to wonder, what was wrong with him that he would even think it was appropriate to bring this fucking bullshit up to her? Why wouldn’t he just come to me and ask me to pay for it? Now, not only was he making her feel badly about it, but he was stressing her out. I seriously didn’t even care at that point in time about playing his stupid games and so I didn’t even pay it anymore attention. He had put me through enough bullshit in those last few weeks.
That same night my mom was trying to go on her iPad, but it kept freezing up. My mom was very into her iPad, and not seeing her on it, or looking at Facebook, for the last three weeks, was very strange, and a good indicator of how bad of shape she was in. I took a look at her iPad and sure enough it was just frozen. It wouldn’t move. I asked her if she had done anything to it, and she told me that my brother put the Nest app (for their camera ) on it so she could have access to the camera. I asked if he had done anything else and she said she didn’t know. All of her apps were updating at the same time and you couldn’t open any of them. I told her I’d take it home and try to fix it for her. She told me she couldn’t even use her phone because she was having trouble seeing, even with her glasses on.
I finally got my mom to agree to try the antidepressant the doctors offered to her and they agreed to start her in a few days. She needed it. The doctors told her it would take a few weeks to feel the full effects of it. That Saturday she told me to go to her house and get her reading glasses. I wondered if the antidepressant was effecting her eye sight. I knew my mom had to be severely depressed to agree to start taking medication for it but I was hoping maybe it would take the edge off and make her act more like herself. I felt like even though I was spending so much time with her, it was like I haven’t seen her, the real her, for months. Pretty much ever since she got her surgery in February she was not the same. It was like she never recovered fully from it. I missed shopping with her and talking on the phone with her. I missed our conversations about everyday things like gardening and makeup products. I even missed gossiping with her. What can I say? I’m a woman. I felt like all we did was talk about how she felt, what the doctors said, blood tests, MRI’s and hospitals. I wanted my mom back and I thought maybe the antidepressant would help me get at least some of that back. Maybe it was selfish of me.
That night though it was quiet and we got a chance to kind of bond in that way. Since she couldn’t get out of bed, she couldn’t bathe or shower. Her hair hadn’t been washed in weeks and she hadn’t been able to do any other type of grooming. I know this is maybe too much information, but she asked me to bring some wax strips up to the hospital. They had pretty much doubled or tripled her dose of prednisone which is a steroid that helps calm inflammation. It does so by suppressing part of the immune system. It also comes with a whole host of,sort of unpleasant side effects. I remember back when she first got her transplant and she had just started taking it. Prednisone makes you more hungry, and therefore, more likely to gain weight. The weird thing though, is that it redistributes fat, which means you may puff up in weird places like your face. In women it could cause facial hair to grow, and so it’s a good idea to invest in some hair removal products if you are on it because you will constantly need them.
We had a mini, spa night. I cleaned up all the unwanted hair. I helped her brush her hair and rub lotion on her feet and part of her legs. My mom struggled with her weight for as long as I could remember and it was alarming to see how much muscle mass and weight she lost off of her legs. After one week of bed rest you lose up to 12% of your muscles. By week three, 50%. When she was still in a lot of pain she was constantly asking me to pick her her leg and put a pillow under it or remove a pillow from under it. I would pick up her leg and what used to be a solid leg now felt like a bone with some skin hanging off of it. It was hard to see that. It was hard to see all the physical effects that her illness was having on her. Her skin looked dull and had a pale, greyish undertone. I was just glad I could make her feel better even if by doing such small favors for her.
I went back up to the hospital Sunday morning and hung out for a little while it was sometime in the late afternoon that I got a phone call from my husband that my brother had text him once again about his stupid fucking camera. He wrote, “for some reason [me] decided to smash the camera before giving it back. I already talked to my mom about this. Since she doesn’t work, are you going to give me the money for a new one?”. My husband was so done with my brother’s bullshit and so he answered, “She gets a weekly allowance. You can deal with her.“. My brother came back,“fine we will file a claim in small claims (court). You will both be served shortly.”
My husband was fucking livid, and as angry as he was, you could take my anger and multiply it by 100 and that’s how angry I was. First off, I was still pissed that he was harassing my mom about this stupid camera. Second, I was pissed that he contacted my husband after I asked him not to. Third, why was he even contacting my husband, at all? Why wouldn’t he text me? Just because he needs to do everything through his wife, doesn’t mean that’s the way the rest of the world does things. Fourth, I mean really you’re going to bring your own sister and your brother-in-law to fucking small claims court over a fucking camera that you voluntarily GAVE up ownership to? That would be dumb considering I have a text where he says he gave it to my mom. Fifth, and probably the worst, was that he was wasting so much fucking time worrying about this stupid fucking camera. Seriously, this camera was his top priority. I couldn’t believe that anyone would even think any of that shit was even remotely important, considering that their mother was in a hospital, fighting for her life. All that time and effort he wasted going to her house and setting it up, and then going back to check on it, was time he could’ve been spending with her.
I didn’t even want my mom to know what was going on but my blood was boiling. He was such a liar, acting as if the camera was now useless and unsellable. If it was such a piece of garbage why did he go back to my mom’s house and retrieve the box after he got it back? Why would he need the box to a smashed camera that he couldn’t sell? This was nothing more than spite. I admit I was completely. wrong for throwing it, but this could’ve wanted to be dealt with at a later date in time. It’s not like him and Satan were broke or hard up for cash. He’s driving around Mercedes and living in a $500,000 house in an upper middle class neighborhood. I’m sure he could spare the money for another few weeks until we figured out what was going on with my mom. We all had enough stress at the time. All this petty bullshit could’ve been settled at another time.
I did not want to explain what was going on to my mom, and so I told her I was going to go back to my house to try and fix her iPad because the glasses I brought up weren’t helping her see any better, on her phone. I got into my car and called my husband. He read the rest of th text exchange with my brother to me. After the small claims court threat my husband responded, “good if that’s what you want to do. [sic] Why don’t you try taking to your sister? You haven’t tried once.” My brother replied with, “she told me to never call her again.” Actually, I told him never to contact EITHER of us again and so we now know that excuse is a big fat lie.
I was really shocked at my brother and the way he was acting about this camera. All of this was just so out of character for him. I felt like I was in the twilight zone. None, and I repeat NONE of his behavior over the last three weeks was typical behavior for him. I couldn’t see him ever taking charge and going to my moms house and rifling through her personal information. I couldn’t see him concocting a plan to plant a camera in her house or giving a shit that she chose me to be her healthcare proxy. Hell, I couldn’t imagine my brother being mad at me for three years over a dress that I chose to wear to his wedding. I have known him my whole life and there is not one person out there who will ever convince me that he was the brainchild of ANY of this shit. It’s just not who he was. Period.
After my husband told him to deal with me, he decided to text me this “since you smashed the camera before giving it back, are you going to be giving me $200 for it, out of your weekly allowance?”. I replied to him, “didn’t I tell you NOT to contact me and my husband anymore? This is bordering on harassment now (I can play the veiled threats game too!). Why don’t you worry about your mother who is dying? (He hadn’t been to the hospital in days). If the camera is so worthless and unsellable now, why’d you need the box for it? You are so fucking full of shit and I am done. You can bring me to small claims court.” He replied, “Will do.”
After that I felt it was time to really give him a piece of my mind I wrote back, “man [brothers name] you and your wife are the most vindictive people on the planet. Really [brother’s name]; this is really what’s important to you right now? A fucking camera? Why was it there to begin with? So mommy can get a nice view down her hallway? You sneaky fucks are the ones who need cameras pointed at you.”
I couldn’t stop, I sent that and then another, “and like a little pussy you’re up at the hospital bothering mommy about this fucking bullshit. Do you see what this is doing to her? I’ll be sure to notify the social worker that you are adding non-necessary stress to her life right now and making her worse. Maybe you should spend your time with her instead of at the bar getting drunk like your 21 years old. Really man, get your shit together”.
I then explained, “the doctors said the word terminal to me. Do you need the fucking definition of what that means. She’s fighting for her LIFE! And you are bothering her with this TRIVIAL bullshit? That is probably what you wanted you piece of shit!”.
My phone started ringing. It was him calling me. I didn’t want to talk to him. I text him back and said, “I’m up at the hospital, I’m not talking to you. You wasted enough of my time.”. I wasn’t about to sit there while he tried to manipulate me. I just wanted this shit to stop.
He wrote back to me, ” I understand the word terminal. She has stage four cancer. And I spoke to the doctor today. He said she’s on the upward trend and responding to treatment.”
I was stunned. First off, I don’t what doctor he spoke to that day but when I spoke to the doctor he told me the exact opposite. I saw with my own eyes that, that wasn’t the case. Even if it was, she still was in very bad shape and had some extremely difficult hurdles to get over, just to get herself into a rehab facility. So now, an upward trend justifies him crying to her, like a little baby, about his broken camera? What little respect I had left for him completely disappeared, right then and there. I wrote back to him, “fuck off. Just stop talking to me.”
He replied again,“regardless her being terminal doesn’t mean I have to shut up and take your psychotic bullshit! Smashing the camera was completely unnecessary. Get a hold of your fucking feelings.”.
I found it amazing that he thought I was the psychopath, when the real psychopath was the person he laid his head down next to every night. I know I probably should’ve just ignored him at this point but I had enough, I just couldn’t.
I wrote back, “take my psychotic bullshit? Be a fucking MAN already and grab your balls back from your wife and address me! Don’t drag mommy into this. You just showed me how fucking heartless you are. Holy shit! You little baby. DO NOT CONTACT ME ANYMORE.”.
I pulled up to my house and came in to try and fix my mom’s iPad. My husband was out with my son getting dinner. He pulls back up to the house and he is furious. He tells me he’s going to the store to buy my brother a new camera. I told him not to bother. First off, my brother would have to prove that the camera was his, by way of receipt. Since it was supposedly a prize his wife won in a contest, I doubt she had a receipt. If they could provide a receipt then that would prove she is a liar and didn’t actually win the camera. Second, as I mentioned earlier, I have a text from him where he says he gave the camera to my mom. That means he has no recourse because the camera wasn’t his, anymore. He’d be wasting his time, plus taking off a day of work all for a $200 camera. It’s so stupid.
My husband just didn’t want the problems. He just wanted to do the right thing, which I admire. He is the ying to my yang. I was so angry with my brother at this point. He and his wife had put me and my mom through so much unnecessary bullshit in the past few weeks, and if you want to go there, the last three years. I was trying really hard to not get into it with him but I had reached my wits end. I was so done with him, his wife and their bullshit. He had really crossed a line this time. Not just one line, multiple lines. As I’ve said before, I know my brother. I know what kind of person he is. I know he learned morals and values from the same two people as I did and so I have to ask, how did he veer so far off the beaten path?
I had to fix my mom’s iPad. My husband went to Lowe’s and dropped the camera off to my brother at his house. I wished he hadn’t given in to those two idiots but I’m also happy that he just wanted to take the high road. He made my brother give him the smashed one. At least we can make our money back, and we did.
(To be continued in my next post….)