minnie Posted June 28, 2005 Share Posted June 28, 2005 My mother died June 13, 2005. I can't even explain how I feel. I got a call from my sister on May 20 that mom couldn't breathe well and was going to ER. As, these hospital visits happen often, I asked my sister if I should come home. She said yes. I flew out the next day. My mother was already swollen from extended steroid use. (She had brain mets that had not changed much in over 20 months even with use of Temodar, gamma knife and other WBR.) She was preparing for neurosurgery when two more spots were found on her lung after being clear for over 2 years. She was admitted to hospital. She had a lot of trouble digesting food. Her stomach was very extended. GI doc says it had basically shut down. About 2 weeks into hospital stay after bronchoscopy, my mother began hallucinating and talking nonsense and went into respiratory distress. Was rushed to ICU and placed on ventilator. My mother never told my sister, brother or me what she wanted in a case like this. When we tried, she just told us that she had a husband who knew. She never did a living will or advance directives. After three tries to remove her from the ventilator, she finally was able to stay off. She made great progress. The cancer was, however, in her lymph node system. She still wanted to continue chemo. Her oncologist also recommended she finalize her plans. He asked her about life support, etc. ad she said she did not want it. He drew up modified DNR papers. She was not sure about IV therapy. After another week in ICU, my mother was moved to the cardio pulmonary unit. She was doing better. Ordering me around, telling me what to do. Laughing, joking, it was almost as if I had her back again. I spent the night with her, and the next night my sister stayed. It was the first night in over three weeks that I did not spend the night at the hospital. The phone rang at about 1 a.m. and my sister was telling that us that my mom was being rushed to ICU again. My father and I rushed to the hospital and made sure that she was not put on a ventilator again. I could hear her screaming in the ICU waiting room, and went in to see what was going on. She was fighting the nurses and trying to pull off all the sensors and IVs from her body. The nurses were still trying to draw blood for blood gas levels and she was telling them to stop. I told my dad that I thought she was trying to tell us to stop. She said that he wasn't doing anything. She told me to get her a cup of tea and I made it for her, She took two sips and told me she loved her and never spoke to me again. That day, I told my father that me and my siblings trusted that he would do the right thing according to her wishes. He asked the nurses to call her oncologist. He told the onc that he wanted all life-saving measures stopped and to have her placed in hospice. My brother, sister, dad and I were all there in the room when they disconnected her IVs. She looked relieved. She didn't fight at all. We wanted to take her home, but the onc didn't think she would make the trip home. So we moved her to a private room. She hung on for four days. My sister and I realized that she began to push our hands away. My sister and I talked and decided that she probably wanted to spare us the anguish of watching her die. We left the hospital around 9:30 p.m. June 12. My mother died at 12:02 a.m. June 13. We knew when we left that we would not see her alive again. It was no surprise when my dad came home to tell me. The week of the funeral was a blur. I didn't really cry until the dirt was poured over my mother's grave. I'm told I should feel angry, sad, and go through a bunch of emotions, but I don't know how I feel. All I can remember is that I had a great mother, and I hope to be just half as good a mother as she has been to me my brother and sister. Minnie Quote Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...
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