Well, the doctors have finally found something.
We still don't know if this is good news or bad, but at this point, it's good to have news of some sort. My mum's been getting weaker and weaker, and thinner and thinner, for months, and every test has been negative. She's had dozens of blood tests, scans, probes, and biopsies. But the doctors hadn't found anything to explain the weakness, the loss of appetite, the degradation that's caused my mum to drop over 70 pounds since mid-summer.
Finally, the CT scan on Thursday showed that there are enlarged lymph nodes, which, if House, ER, and Grey's Anatomy have taught me anything, mean that there is most likely either an infection, or cancer. (And I confirmed this with WebMD) And, apparently, the most recent biopsy, which was a bone marrow biopsy, rules out cancer. But enlarged lymph nodes aren't a cause - they're just another symptom. Which means that we still don't know why my mum is sick.
Today is my parents' 35th wedding anniversary. My mum had initially, stubbornly, refused to go to the hospital today, of all days, putting it off until tomorrow, which is not my parents' 35th wedding anniversary. But she was feeling too ill today to put it off any longer, and so, right now, is sitting in the emergency room, where she's been since mid-afternoon. She's been told she will be admitted, and was told by - someone - that an enlarged lymph node near her heart is causing trouble with her mitral valve. This might not normally be an issue (though I have no idea), but my mum has (among many other ailments caused by genetics, growing up post-war with poor nutrition and many childhood diseases, and smoking) mitral valve stenosis.
At this point, we don't know if this is what's causing everything else. But it's the start of an answer. And sometime tonight, my mum will finally be in a hospital bed, getting nutrition through an IV tube to make up for the food she can't eat, and away from the house with dirty floors, and bills to pay.
I'll be taking this Friday off work so that I can go down and clean and set up Christmas with my dad and brother.
Here's to hoping that my mum's home from the hospital by then, on the way to recovery - and to hoping that my dad, my brother and I can successfully get the tree up and decorated without bloodshed.
That's hard to get out of the carpet.