Things have changed since the last posting about Grandma. My step-dad made another trip to see Grandma last weekend. I sent him a few communication boards to try and use with her, and my mom had sent a music box for Dad to play for her.
He felt that when he saw her on Friday, she responded well to the music box which I believe plays "Amazing Grace". He also used a communication board her speech pathologist has given her, and he felt that while she could not POINT to the appropriate answers, she did STARE at the appropriate ones. It was encouraging.
Then came Saturday.
She seemed totally different this day, and much less responsive. When she was asked to look at one of her daughters, she looked at every person in the room as if to say, "I know I am suppose to look..." but it was not directed at one person. She seemed more agitated than on Friday as well. Another person noticed her breathing was somewhat strange; nothing you would necessarily notice unless you were really watching.
Before the trip was over, there came the final blow to hope for Grandma's recovery: she was diagnosed with non-hodgkin's lymphoma. Because of her age, the affects of the stoke, and because radiation is the treatment, the kids (my step-dad and his two sisters) decided not to treat the lymphoma. They all feel this is the decision Grandma would make for herself if she were able to communicate her wishes.
All we can do now is hope for this last time in her life to be as peaceful and pain-free as possible. She has enjoyed a good, long life.