Final Update - 1251995

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petunia
Final Update - 1251995

My best friend, my mother, lost her battle to this horrible disease on December 22 at 10:43 in the morning. We were all by her side holding her and telling her how much she is loved. My life as I knew it is now over and I need to find a way to cope with my new life. I am still in shock and cannot believe she is gone. Ever since the brain mets and WBR she was never the same. It has only been 10 months since her diagnosis. It is crazy how quickly this disease can change someone. I am at home, alone, by choice. I know my mother would want me to go on with my life but how do I do that? I am glad she is finally at peace but it just all still seems like a cruel joke, a nightmare. She was my everything and now she is gone. This just sucks. I hate everyone and everything. I hate the world.Thank you to everyone who answered my questions or concerns.

tammy11201959
Reply To: Final Update

Oh, I wish how I could hold your right now. While we who have a loved one with cancer do have a grieving process that starts long before the loved one passes away, it's never easy when it happens. That ache and empty feeling will still be there, the anger is natural. The overwhelming feeling of loss is natural, the denial is natural. You will find a way to get through it, and you will go on. Keep your mother always in your heart and she will help you though. Trust me on this one. I lost my mother, my father and my husband all in less than two years. All my grieving had to wait until the last one, (I love to shove stuff under a rug), and now it's all coming out after my husband passed away in Sept. When I was finally able to relax and grieve, my mother came to me in one of my dreams...Oh, I'd seen her at a distance in several before, but the specific one I am talking about, she was back to being healthy, she looked like a million bucks, and was at peace, which in turn gave me peace. She died of complications of bladder cancer and had numerous other health issues as well. My father, also a lung ca patient, who the cancer was not his health issue could not deal with having mom gone, died of pneumonia (doc said it was a broken heart), four months later, and then my husband just this Sept. I have not had my dreams about them yet, but seeing my mom, who was my best friend helped me. I know that some would say this is just one's mind trying to cope, and it might very well be, but I have found that from past experiences when I've lost people that I love, the dream thing happens, and it has some type of comfort that I'd never been able to find or explain in the awake world. I pray this happens for you.
I don't know what your religious beliefs are, and I promise I won't preach, but the Serenity Prayer helped me through some horrible times since about May of 2010. Even if someone does not believe in a Higher Power, the words make so much sense. Accept the things

tammy11201959
Reply To: Final Update

I cannot change, Change the things I can, and the Wisdom to know the difference. I think that as a caretaker we begin to thing we can fix everything and make it so much harder on ourselves when we can't.

Please know that I am keeping you in my heart as you go through this.

Tammy

tammy11201959
Reply To: Final Update

Oh and Petunia...sorry, I tend to think I need to write volumes. Sorry..
Just before my dad died, I'd gone in for a scheduled mammogram. The day after he died, they call me and want to do a biopsy....again, swept that under the rug, told them I would come in after the funeral. Day 1 after the funeral, all I could do is lay on the couch and cry, my poor husband didn't know what to do for me!! All I could think was this. Mom's gone...dad's gone, hubby is horribly ill..and now me!!! Day 2 biopsy...everything was fine and thankfully the clinic I go to, you don't have to wait forever for an answer, doc was pretty sure all was well, and path was back the next day. The point of the story? Well, I had a wonderful two day long pity party. We all need that...and I throw one heck of a pity party. So go ahead.. have one big pity party, it's ok..and don't let anyone tell you it's not...pretty soon you want to be back with people, and begin living again...it's ok to just hang out now...you need that!

christineleeds
Reply To: Final Update

Dear Petunia
What pain you are in .There are no words to help as everyone knows but it does get a bit better with time .
Do not try to get over it you will not be able to nor should you want to.In time you will remember the good things more and be able to be thankful for your mother rather than just missing her.The time of year makes it even worse I think
love to you
Christine

Dr West
Reply To: Final Update

Petunia,

I only wish I could provide more than the reassurance of many others who have been right where you are, have felt the same emptiness and pain you feel, but can tell you with the voice of experience that it will get better. I don't think anything will be a quick fix for now, but please know that you truly don't face this alone, even if just reaching out to others who know what you're feeling, and do remember that your mother's memory is honored by your grief, but she would want you to get through it and move on.

-Dr. West

+++++++++++++++++++++++++
Dr. Howard (Jack) West
Associate Clinical Professor
Medical Oncology
City of Hope Cancer Center
Duarte, CA

Founder & President
Global Resource for Advancing
Cancer Education

laya d.
Reply To: Final Update

I'm so very sorry sorry Petunia - - You and I seem to be walking the very same path right now. I - - like you - -also feel completely lost without my Mom. It's an incredibly primal feeling - - very childish, in fact. I have to constantly stop myself from screaming out loud and tantruming all day long. They say it will get better. For both your sake and my sake, I hope so. . .

Laya

cpmcg
Reply To: Final Update

Oh, Laya! I've been away from Grace, and am so heartbroken to hear about your mom's death. I'm sorry I never got to meet her - she sounded pretty special, and I would have liked to tell her what a wonderful girl she raised - but I know she knew that.
There is nothing to say to make it OK. Just remember her every day (of course you will!), and help your children always remember her, too.
I've struggled these past two years with my mom's death, and not being a believer in an afterlife has made the break more difficult. It's a long road and a painful one. For me, my children have been kind of a bridge to her - their memories of her comfort me.
This is not something you get over, but you will survive. Cry, yell, break coffee cups in the driveway (I broke many after my husband died). Life isn't fair or easy, but here we are.
She knew how very, very much you loved (still love) her.
Email if you want: toobzy2w8@aol.com.
Much love,
Candy

laya d.
Reply To: Final Update

Thank you, Candy. . .

petunia
Reply To: Final Update

Thank you all for your words of advice and prayers. Tammy...your words touched me very much and made me realize something that my mother gave me. Two years ago I was going through a rough time in my life with my marriage/life choices. My mother bought me a bracelet with a saying on it. I looked at it and put it in my jewelry box and never wore it. Then, I read what you wrote about the serenity prayer.. so true that your do not have to be religious to understand how powerful the words are. I ran to my jewelry box and there it was still in the box...the bracelet with the prayer on it, I have been wearing it since. It is such a true saying that is truly helping me with my feelings and choices that I will have to make,
Laya, I am so sorry about your mother. I have followed your posts often and always loved your picture because it reminded me of the bond that I have with my mother. I am sending you and your family hugs and good thoughts. I am not sure how we go on. I do not have children and my beautiful mother never had any grandchildren (the one thing she always wanted.) That makes me so sad. I think we have to try to make a new normal. I am not sure what that is because I just got out of bed today to face the world. I have isolated myself from my friends and family and am just now beginning to open up. I just know that I will never be the same person without my best friend. I do know that my mother would want me to go on with my life and that is what will keep me going I suppose. Oh Laya, I so feel your pain.
Dr. West, thank you for all your advice and words of wisdom it has meant a lot.
Here is to a better 2013 than 2012 to everyone.

heartspy
Reply To: Final Update

Hi Laya & Petunia~ Usually I remain quiet while others grieve- allowing them the privacy they deserve. However, you two women have touched my heart and compelled me to post.
In 2003 we burried my dad, I thought my own heart would stop beating.He died from liver cancer- horrific death. In 2010 we burried my mom and I thought I would lose my mind. She died from CHF- brutal ending. Despite my fears, my heart still beats and my brain still functions (somedays better than others- haha). I was haunted by the sound of my father's death rattle and the image of my mother suffocating for many months- but I want you to know those images have been replaced with memories of their genuine "happy to see me" smiles, the laughter we shared and the love generated by their 52 year marriage. Their deaths did not undo their lives or mine. I've come to believe that our parents never really leave us- they simply move ahead of us.
While I face these frightening, uncertain times, ahead with my husband, I find comfort believing my parents can do more for him now than they could have ever done for him while here on earth.
The partially good news is you owe no-one, any explanation, for how you feel or act, over the next year. You get an automatic PASS- Enjoy that. :)
Peace be with you. Sending Sympathy & Support
___________________________________________________________________________________
43 y/o husband- Native American/Non Smoker - dx metastatic adenocarcinoma with EGFR+ mutation in 3/2012. 16x palliative radiation @ T7. Started Tarceva 4/2012 @ 150mg then reduced to 100mg due to overwhelming side effects. Was doing well until last CT in 11/2012 showed acquired resistance/ progression. Hoping for medical miracle.

laya d.
Reply To: Final Update

Heartspy: you just said it all so nicely. I'm having a good tantrum-free day today... I actually have hope that bluer skies lie ahead (although I also recognize that this is going to be a hapless roller-coaster ride for quite some time). I just miss her so badly. Her decline seemed so fast relative to everything else. I can't fathom the "foreverness" of it all. But, I have no more options left in this regard. She has passed on. And, i (we) have to move forward, irrespective of how painful it is at times. Cancer, unfortunately, doesn't play fair. But, thank you so much for your comforting words. I really appreciate it. And I wish both you and your husband all the best...

And petunia: our paralell lives (and losses) have made us cyber sisters for life. I wish you peace. Please let me know if there is anything I can do to help ease your pain.

petunia
Reply To: Final Update

Thank you for allowing me to owe no one for my childish behavior without my "mommy." Thank you for that pass, because I do feel like I need that pass. My behavior right now is so not "who" I am. I am not my self. I cannot sleep without help...meaning pills, and I do not want to be that person. SO I am up, here, by myself, hating life. I know it will get better because I am not the first person who lost her mother/best friend. I am just waiting for when.it will get better.. I may not have been such an active member and only because I did not have time,,, but I just feel like I need to be more active, have more of a purpose with this horrible disease. Laya..yes, i do feel like we are one of the same....our mothers are our best friend, our life. Yes, I need to stay in touch with people because I feel like once I lose you all... I lose the reason behind my mother's death.

petunia
Reply To: Final Update

It has been over a month and my anger and sadness seems to be getting worse. I finally went back to work, which is saving me because I work with children. I am fine from 8:00 to 3:30 and then I am a lunatic. Some days are better than others, but overall they are all bad. I try to keep busy and then I can be in the middle of a store and just break down in tears. It is like I want to scream at the top of my lungs that my mother, my best friend, is gone and had to suffer. I cannot think of my mom yet because when I do all I do is relive what she had to go through during her last 10 months of life. I do hear the death gurgle, I do see her tears during her treatments and bad news, I do think of how I lost my "cool" at times during the time I was caring for her, I do think of this beautiful perfect woman having to go through things that I wouldn't wish on my worst enemy. I cry more over the fact that she had to go through any of what she went through, rather than the fact that I am alone in this world without her. I want to think good memories of her but I can't. Then I feel guilty that I can't think of her, like I am not honoring her. If I think of her, all I think of is the past 10 months and then I find it hard to breathe. Tammy- you mentioned the dream. I did not dream of her yet and all I want to do is dream of her. Others have told me they had a dream about her but I have yet not. Some days/nights all I want to do is sleep and others I cannot unless I take a xanax or tylenol pm. Layla I often think of how you are doing since we lost our beautiful mothers just days apart. I feel like I can't breathe when I think of the past year. I feel like it is still a nightmare. It is going to be a year since this nightmare began and I still don't believe it. My family is suffering but they are going back to their routine; my mother was my routine. I just feel like my entire world is gone. It just has not been a good week.

Dr West
Reply To: Final Update

Perhaps there's a grief counselor you can speak to, or at least a support group. I definitely appreciate that you're having a very hard time, but I also know that many others have felt a lot of the same things, and that could help you work through these issues.

Good luck.

-Dr. West

+++++++++++++++++++++++++
Dr. Howard (Jack) West
Associate Clinical Professor
Medical Oncology
City of Hope Cancer Center
Duarte, CA

Founder & President
Global Resource for Advancing
Cancer Education

heartspy
Reply To: Final Update

Dearest Petunia ~
Yes, grief is a soul sickness. They cannot cut that out for you, but it hurst like your heart has been removed- that deep down pain. Two things that I found helpful: 1) cursing - tons of f-bombs seemed to help subside the ache, for short periods of time (hope that doesn't offend you.) and 2) something someone whispered in my ear: " As long as you breathe, your mom lives" - somehow, that resonated with me- still does. If I am here, so is she. (and my dad, too!)
Dr. West's suggestion for a grief counselor or group is good advice. I know Hospice offers such a service and it's free, even if you did not involve them in your mother's journey. Sending hugs filled with support.

heartspy
Reply To: Final Update

oh, my signature must have been napping: 43 y/o husband- Native American/Non Smoker - dx metastatic adenocarcinoma with EGFR+ mutation in 3/2012. 16x palliative radiation @ T7. Started Tarceva 4/2012 @ 150mg then reduced to 100mg due to overwhelming side effects. Was doing well until last CT in 11/2012 showed acquired resistance/ progression. First Round of Carbo/Alimta on 1/25/13. Still Hoping for medical miracle.

tammy11201959
Reply To: Final Update

Petunia, YOU ARE NORMAL! Just this morning, driving to work at 5:30am, all of a sudden I start crying, I am not even sure what prompted it other than I have been missing him terribly, it's only been 4 months and 10 days. The other night, we had a colossal thunderstorm, Michael and I enjoyed storms together, I've always loved them before I met him, yet after the first sound of thunder, I thought, "how can I do this without Michael", which makes no sense other than I really miss him. So what's coming to surface now is all the gee, I miss when we did this, I miss when we did that. My mind right now is still grasping my mother's, my father's and my husband's deaths in less than two years. My dreams of both my parents have involved at this point only being at the same place at the same time, but no interaction. I did have my first "Michael" dream the other night, he and I were shopping for a fifth wheel, yet there was no interaction between us, I watched him check the mechanics of the trailer is all that happened. I was comforted when I woke that day that I was able to see Michael the way he was before, healthy and doing what he did best, check things out. But like I said, I think my minds is still pretty messed up with three of them as when Mom died, then Dad only four months later, I just kept shoving the out of the way as I was so busy with Michael, work, and Dr. trips. I knew during that time that I would pay for it later and so far, I am a total space cadet! My short term memory is shot, I can't make a decision about the simplest of things. I want so bad to go back to the oncology office to visit the staff that became our second family and take them some treats, but every time I drive past the place I get sick! I would love to go visit the nurses that took care of him the 6 weeks he was in the nursing home but I can't bring myself to do that either. So I have decided to just chill. One of my best friends and co-workers lost her husband 5 years ago to

tammy11201959
Reply To: Final Update

cont. esophageal cancer, so she has been a great help to me. And I lurk here. It seems that cancer and it's treatment and research was so much a part of my life for a year and a half that it's hard to be around people that don't know what it's like. Before Michael died, I was so angry, at the disease and funny thing is, my favorite aunt. For not calling me and checking on me. It was childish and I knew it, but I'd lost my mom who I could talk to about everything and I needed a mom at that point so bad. Michael told me that I was very much loved by her and she must just be busy, but I guess I needed to be mad at someone. Michael was of course right about that, but yet, me being driven by grief, when Michael died, I didn't call my aunt, I justified it by thinking if she could not call me, I guess I am too busy to call her. Only to find out that she was going through a horrible crisis herself at the time. Thank God the family I came from are very forgiving, this could have turned out really ugly! Anyway, last weekend was the first weekend I spent my days off at my house, I could not stand to be alone in "our" house. Thankfully, both my kids live nearby so I've spent lots of time at their houses. What I'm saying is this, we are all in just the beginning stages, even if we had some grieving time prior, but we have these processes to go though, and hope our families love us enough to stick by us as we yell, cuss and cry! I am sure they will. And I am sure that I will have great interaction dreams with my Mom, Dad and my Husband soon. I did with my Grandmother and still do, but I think the newness of the situation needs to wear off more. I will say this however, the past few weeks I have been feeling a very close presence of my mom and it is so nice. They are correct on the greeting cards, we keep them in our hearts!

bh
Reply To: Final Update

Dear Petunia, so very sorry for your loss, empty words they may seem but my heart breaks for you. I lost my dad to a massive heart attack and felt then that it would be easier to lose someone who has battled with a disease than someone you love in an instant with no fore-warning. I was wrong, ever since mom was diagnosed with stage 4 lung cancer, I die a little every day, it is like a ticking time bomb waiting to go off. Sad to see her suffer the effects of the stroke and her dignity stripped away. But Dr. West is right, time does heal, I thought it was hogwash when people told me the same thing when my dad passed but I can now think back about him with an ache but not the gut wrenching hurt anymore. I wish you all the strength to get through these rough times.

Dear Laya, I have not visited the forum in a while and one of the reasons I logged on today was to check up on how your mom was doing. My so very sorry for your loss, I don't know what else to say. Please take solace in that you did all you could to help her fight the battle as best she could. Big hugs!

My prayers are with both of you.

BH

petunia
Reply To: Final Update

It does help to think "I breathe, therefore my mother still lives." . It helps to know that what I am feeling is normal, that maybe one day I may not be so sad and angry. I take it not day by day but minute by minute. It is the big debate: what is better, someone dying suddenly with no pain but no chance at saying good bye or watching someone slowly die but being able to spend that time together. I still cannot believe that I will never see, touch, hug, talk with my mother again. I can't stop thinking of all she had to go through the last months of her life. It is going to be a year since her diagnosis and I never thought that she would already be gone. This disease is just horrible: cancer in general.

laya d.
Reply To: Final Update

Thank you bh. . .I really appreciate your kind words. . .

And Petunia, I am walking on the same path with you. . .And, in Ann's honor, here's to bluer skies ahead...

Laya