My mom.

Three weeks ago today my mom passed away. I haven’t been inspired to share this on the blog, or anywhere for that matter.  But at some point you have to share and move on, and I thought maybe by sharing this here, it would help others who are preparing to encounter a similar situation.  I really wanted to know what to expect.

Jane Mom

My mom had been moving around the house with the help of the walker up until the Saturday night before she passed.  She was battling end stage Multiple Myeloma, a blood cancer that shows up as lesions in the bones.  Thanks to side effects of one of the last chemos she tried, she also was severely anemic because her body had stopped producing new red blood cells. Finally, she was also in kidney failure caused by the Multiple Myeloma, and that’s what ultimately took her life.

So on Saturday night my mom went to bed and didn’t get out of bed again.  When the hospice nurse woke her up to check her on Sunday, my mom was fairly incoherent from the end stage of kidney failure.  We talked to her, but she didn’t speak again.  She did convey a little with facial expressions.

When Ryan and I left for home on Sunday, it was clear that my mom wouldn’t be getting out of bed or talking and being herself again.  At that point my only wish was that she pass quickly and easily, because she never wanted to be stuck like a vegetable in bed.

We drove back to Delaware on Monday after work, and spent some time talking to my mom and holding her hand that night before going to bed.  At this point she was in a deep sleep and there was no response.

On Tuesday morning I awoke before the sun came up because the baby was kicking me more than ever before.  I lay in bed for a while, unable to sleep.  Finally I went downstairs, and my dad and I went in to sit with my mom.  She appeared to be gasping for breath, but was completely out of it.  We got my brother, who had also spent the night.  I took her hand in mine and said good morning, and with the three of us there beside her, she took one more breath and was gone.

I had read a lot about what to expect when someone passes at home, and many people believe that a dying person will wait for her loved ones to be present. I now wonder if that is really possible.

So that’s what’s been going on with me.  I am truly thankful that my mom didn’t get stuck in bed for more than 2 days, and I am also thankful that Ryan and I did spend almost every weekend of the last 4 months with her.  While you’d always like more time with someone, at least we had that time.

I think the saddest thing is knowing that she almost lived long enough to meet the baby, and she wanted to meet her so, so much.

For awesome updates & exclusive discounts on Janery pet beds, please sign up for my newsletter!

Easy DIY Slipcover for IKEA Jules Desk Chair

When I completed my Janery Studio Makeover, I did a lot of simple projects to make the space look and feel a little more finished.  One was the simple slipcover I created for my Ikea Jules desk chair that I use when I’m sewing.

Simple Ikea Desk Chair Slipcover

The swiveling wheels and the $39 price tag made this a great find for the sewing studio, but the aesthetics of the chair left a bit to be desired.

All the chair needed was a more decorative cover for the back, and with its simple lines I knew I could easily make a cover to slip right over it.

Ikea Chair Slipcover Sewing

  1. First, I hemmed a piece of fabric that was a little more than 2 x the width of the chair back.
  2. I traced the outline of the back of the chair onto wax paper to create a template.
  3. I folded the hemmed piece of fabric in half, wrong sides out, and then ironed that waxed paper onto the two layers of fabric.
  4. I then used my machine to sew through the paper and the two layers of fabric – sewing about 1″ wider than the line I had traced on the waxed paper.  (If you sewed right on the line your slipcover would end up too tight to fit on the chair back.)
  5. Then I cut around the seam I sewed, leaving about 1/3″ between the seam and my cutting line.
  6. I peeled off the waxed paper, turned the cover right side out, and slid it over the back of my chair.

Voila! In under 30 minutes I had a simple cover that made my simple desk chair look a lot nicer in the studio.

Ikea Jules Desk Chair SlipcoverIt’s always nice to have such a quick and easy DIY project actually work out. :)

For awesome updates & exclusive discounts on Janery pet beds, please sign up for my newsletter!

Doctor.

Every time I walk into the kitchen, my eyes automatically dart to the back door, looking out onto the porch to see if Doctor wants to come back inside from his perch on my yoga mat.

And then I remember.  He’s not there.

Doctor Cat Chair in Janery Sewing Studio

We said goodbye to Doctor two weeks ago, in the same room of the same hospital where we said goodbye to Charlie on Christmas Day, only nine months ago.

Taking Charlie to the Hope Center to say goodbye was hard because I couldn’t bear to lose my canine best friend.  Taking Doctor there was hard in a very different way – it was difficult to know if we were making the right decision, because he still was purring a lot and loving affection from us, but for reasons hard to describe to those who never met him, he wasn’t himself. We were worried he was uncomfortable, and he’d lost more weight and had other signs that the cancer had gotten worse.

We probably could have waited longer if we really wanted, but for what?  To selfishly have a few more days or weeks with him, sure, but at the potential price of making him suffer.

Doctor on Hammock

In his last few months, Doctor preferred to sit outside for hours each day and night, stretched out or balled up on my blue yoga mat.  Now I can’t stop checking the mat outside because I’m so used to checking to see if he wants to come in the house. I also keep thinking that I hear him meowing in the house.  I said something to Ryan about both these things, and he said they’re happening to him, too.

I hope this ingrained habit goes away eventually, because it sends a jolt of sadness through me every time.

I also hope that our three remaining pets stay healthy for a few years, because two cancer losses in one year is more than enough.  I’ve found myself feeling a little paranoid about the remaining pets, simply because of the string of events we’ve been through in the last year with pet health.

Doctor on Catnip Cuddler

However, at the same time, I understand that when you adopt 4 animals, all around the same age and around the same time, these things can happen.  More importantly, I refuse to mope about it, because I have three other animals who love my company and deserve a happy mom.  Plus, with our silly poodle joining the family, I can’t help but laugh several times a day at her antics.

In the mean time, my blue yoga mat remains on the porch, but the only thing relaxing on it now is fallen leaves.  It’s sad, but it’s also a nice reminder of Doctor.

For awesome updates & exclusive discounts on Janery pet beds, please sign up for my newsletter!