AFTER WE RECEIVED THE DEVASTATING NEWS OF TERMINAL CANCER, MY MOTHER AND I SHARED AN AMAZING BOND.

January 13th, 2007

We were always close, though we did have the typical love/hate relationship many moms and daughters share.  However, my amazing mother still ‘enjoyed’ life even when she knew she was dying.  I remember, immediately following her diagnosis, my mother didn’t want to go to a Cancer specialist.  She was so tired of being sick and running to so many different doctors, she was going to just see what happened.  I was able to convince her to go to see a Cancer specialist.  In my mind, I did not want to accept the reality of what was happening.  The reality was, she was on her deathbed.  For me,  she put on a smile and a positive attitude while we had her first visit with a Cancer doctor at Cedar’s in Los Angeles.  The doctor was highly recommended and very busy.  So busy that we were first told that her first available appointment wasn’t for 3 months.  I remember telling the receptionist my mother wouldn’t make it.  They squeezed my mom in for an appointment a few days later.  For me, my mother put on a smile and a positive outlet for the specialist.

The day of the appointment, the doctor looked at all of my mother’s tests and gave my mother a complete physical.  She said she had to be honest.  It didn’t look promising.  My mother was in Stage 4.  Me, I just could not accept death so I kept on making all kinds of suggestions, hoping for a miracle. Chemo, radiation, new treatment…anything.  The doctor said ‘the best thing we can do, is make sure your mother is comfortable.’  I was angry because I thought nobody would even try SOMETHING.  Again, the reality was, ‘SOMETHING’ did not exist.  The doctor said if my mother did Chemo, she might live 1 week longer but she would suffer even worse.  Radiation was not an option either.  Because of her overall health, she didn’t qualify for any experimental drugs or treatments.  The Cancer specialist had nothing positive to say.

I remember saying to my mother ‘we’ll find somebody else.’ My mother took my hand, squeezed it and smiled.  She then recommended we get something to eat.  She knew I was upset so while we were having lunch, she said we’ll try another doctor.  She said she was feeling a little ‘better’.  With Cancer, even when you are in Stage 4, you can feel ‘better’ at times.  However, it’s just a short false sense of hope. 

The following day, I was with my mother while she was sick in bed, in her own bedroom.  I remember she said she felt as if she needed to go to the hospital.  I called an ambulance and they were at my mother’s place within 10 minutes.  This would be the last time my mother would spend anytime in her place.

They rushed her to Cedar’s.  The very busy waiting area meant my dying mother was not a priority.  She laid in the stretcher, suffering.  Hours later, they wheeled her to a room.  This would be the room my mother would spend a few weeks in.  This would also be a place I spent much of my time at.

During the two weeks in the hospital, my mother had her ok days but mostly she had very bad days.  Friends and family came by to see my mother and say ‘goodbye’.  She spent time with each person who came by.  She had so many wonderful friends.  I remember hospital personnel would come into my mother’s room and recommend that people call before they come visit because there were too many people waiting in the visitor’s area to see my mom.  In her lifetime, my mother made an impact in so many different peoples’ lives, and it was obvious while she was in the hospital.  Hundreds of flower arrangements were delivered to her from people all over the United States.  Beautiful notes and prayers.  I was happy my mother was able to enjoy this.  

My mother and I bonded in a different kind of way while she was in the hospital.  We watched movies.  We laughed.  She would send me all over town getting her different kinds of food and she would take just one bite of the food and feel fool.  But we would laugh about this because we just wanted her to eat something.  She would also tell people to bring her food and she would tell me when they asked if she enjoyed the food, just say ‘yes’.   We talked about the many happy times we shared together. 

I have to say again, my mother was such an amazing person and soul. 

THE FIVE STAGES OF GRIEF

January 5th, 2007

Five Stages Of Grief

  1. Denial and Isolation.
    At first, we tend to deny the loss has taken place, and may withdraw from our usual social contacts. This stage may last a few moments, or longer.
  2. Anger.
    The grieving person may then be furious at the person who inflicted the hurt (even if she’s dead), or at the world, for letting it happen. He may be angry with himself for letting the event take place, even if, realistically, nothing could have stopped it.
  3. Bargaining.
    Now the grieving person may make bargains with God, asking, “If I do this, will you take away the loss?”
  4. Depression.
    The person feels numb, although anger and sadness may remain underneath.
  5. Acceptance.
    This is when the anger, sadness and mourning have tapered off. The person simply accepts the reality of the loss.

OUR MOTHERS’ LIVES-LET US ALL CELEBRATE THEIR LIVES!

December 29th, 2006

I wrote a little about my mother’s death and I will most likely add more information; however, even though I still have unanswered questions that I may never get answers to, I have to say the following…

My mother would not want me to write about her death…let alone DWELL on it. I know she would want for me to write about her life. She told me she had a good life, even though she had all of the health issues. So, I want to write about my mom’s life. I want all of YOU to write about special times and moments that you and your moms have shared. Let us Laugh. Let us Smile. Let us all remember our moms as our moms would want us to remember them. Let us believe that our mother’s are with us in spirit. I have a story to tell.

I remember when I was about 11 years old. My mother was an executive at a movie studio. She would often take me along on some business trips with her. One particular trip, my mom and I went to Washington, D.C. I remember the weather was perfect. Not too hot and not too cold. We went to see the movie the Rose starring Bette Midler. We then went to have a wonderful dinner at a great restaurant. I wish I remembered the restaurant. I do remember that we laughed a lot and she told me that the song ‘the Rose’ was one of her favorites. It just so happened that the song ‘the Rose’ was also one of my grandmother’s (I called her Nanny Minnie) favorite songs and she would sing it all of the time. My wonderful Nanny Minnie passed away 10 years before my mother died. Anyway, the day of my mother’s service, I heard the Rose while driving in my car. I cried and then I smiled. I knew both my mother and my grandmother were with me in spirit.

Please tell me if YOU have had any memories that you would like to share and if you have had any ’signs’ from your moms.

December 20, 2002, my mother and I received the devastating NEWS

December 18th, 2006

My mother was sick and that was obvious. For a good year before she was finally diagnosed with TERMINAL STOMACH CANCER on December 20, 2002, she was losing a lot of weight (though her stomach was BLOATED), she was sleeping more than she was awake, she was having trouble eating/drinking and she was always feeling full and nauseas. Her doctor, who had finally decided to do an endoscopy on December 19, 2002 (after a year of making all kinds of misdiagnosis), had to break this horrible news to us. She was in her hospital room right after the test - I had just arrived.  Her doctor was nervous as he entered the room.  I looked at him and I knew it wasn’t going to be positive.  I said ‘I hope you have some good news’.  He said ‘I wish I did.  It’s Cancer.’  In shock, I asked ‘how long does she have to live?’ Her doctor answered ‘I’m not sure…she could live 6 months or 5 years.’ He had NO IDEA how bad the Cancer was and how rapidly it had spread because just one month later, on January 20, 2003, my mother died.

Though my mother died from Stomach Cancer, she suffered from a disease called POLYCYSTIC KIDNEY DISEASE. With this disease, in most cases, a person’s kidneys eventually stop functioning. My mother’s kidneys stopped functioning when she was approximately 48 years old. When this happens, the person has to rely on a dialysis machine to work as their ‘kidneys’ . This consists of a person going to a dialysis center 3 days a week and being hooked up to a dialysis machine for approximately 2-3 hours at a time. There are people who are on dialysis that are considered disabled and can no longer work. Then there are the people who are on dialysis that continue to lead a normal life that includes working either part time or full time. My mother was able to lead a relatively normal life and she worked full time. She was never embarassed about having no kidney function; however, many people who are not familiar with this disease and hear of a person having no kidney function immediately believe the person has to be ’sick’. My mother knew this and for this reason, only her closest friends and family knew of her kidney disease.

 

Did My Mother Know She was Dying?

December 14th, 2006

Looking back, I do believe my mother knew she was dying. I remember I was sitting in her room a few months before her death (October of 2002) and she would talk to me about how horrible she felt. She would say things to me pertaining to her dying. I remember she said she wasn’t going to be around much longer. She felt it. I told her to stop talking that way. It upset me. Did she know she had Cancer and she was just keeping it from me. But I was in the room when the doctor broke the news. She was just as surprised by this news as I was.

The Death of My Mother - THE DEATH OF MY HERO

December 13th, 2006

MY MOTHER WAS AND STILL IS, MY HERO.  She lived life to the fullest until she took her last breath…It’s going on four very long years since my mother passed and it still feels like she died yesterday.  Her birthday, my birthday, the holidays, Mother’s Day…something always reminds me that I no longer have my mother.  Unless it has happened to you, it’s hard to understand the effect this has on a child of any age.  People who still have their mothers, try and give advice…as if they understand this loss…but, they don’t.  They have NO IDEA what it’s like.  I remember when I was a young girl I used to cry thinking that my mom might die.  She used to travel a lot.  I was always afraid the plane she was on was going to crash and then I would have to go live with my father and his wife at the time…I do not like my father let alone love him.  That was scary.       The planes never crashed…THANK GOD.  But my worst nightmare came true when she died from Cancer when I was in my 30’s.  

There are many of you who are visiting this site that just lost your mother.  At first, I personally was in so much shock that it did not really hit me.  It was like one minute she was here and the next, she wasn’t.  Every day, every hour, I started to realize my mother was gone.  I would dial her number, the same number I dialed to speak to her for years, just to hear a disconnected message.  A generic telephone company disconnected message.  I remember, like it was yesterday, walking into her place, right after her passing, and crying.  I looked around and the fully furnished place seemed empty.  It was surreal.  The same place I used to love to visit, was now a place that held only memories.  Memories of eating my mom’s home cooked meals.  Watching television with her.  Laughing with her.  Talking with her. It was hard.  And now, it was reality and life.  I remember the day after she passed, I walked into her bedroom and grabbed a pillow off of her bed.  I could smell my mom on the pillow.  I held that pillow and just cried. 

For those of you who want to share with the rest of us your story, please do so and comment.  All of us will listen to you.  Please know, that we understand. Tell us how you are feeling.  We want to hear about your mother, your hero and your loss.