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Why so fast?


Purplemom

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Please forgive me for not posting in quite some time. I read when I could and celebrated and grieved with you all.

My mom passed away on 12/30/06. I knew that she would leave me one day but I guess I was so busy taking care of her that I NEVER thought about how much I would miss her every single day. She would call me 5-10 times a day. I still check the phone to see if she called.

She had been battling small cell lung cancer and uterine cancer for almost a year. I moved her in with me in November. She took my room, the only one downstairs with a bathroom and my husband and I slept on air mattresses upstairs. Well, after a week I moved to the couch near her room just in case she needed me. I gave her a bell but I was afraid I wouldn't hear it.

On 12/15 her onc told us her disease was progressing despite the chemo and she was too weak to try more. He gave her 6 months more or less. He suggested hospice. Mom was not really ready to hear that so we decide to get hospice for pain management and we would discuss everything else after the holidays.

Hospice got her set up with meds and lift chair and other items very fast. By friday 12/22 we had met most of her team including her nurse David who was so kind.

Christmas eve she was fine. Talking, eating, drinking, walking.

Christmas morning she couldn't stand on her own. Hospice said it could be the effect of the new meds. We brought my youngest son to her room to open gifts. My last picture of her is them hugging. They were best buddies. She had watched him for me for a year and a half when I was working. No one made her a happy as he did. After that she seem better for a bit then she started to get aggitated, wanting to sit up, stand up, lay down, and not always making sense.

We called hospice and it took the on call nurse a few hours to get to our house. it was about 10:00 pm. By that time, mom finally had passed out from all the meds. My husband and I had been holding her up and she had been rambling for about 2 hours. The nurse decided to have her regular nurse come out in the morning since she was finally resting. Right before my mom fell asleep, I was sitting by her bed crying, she looked at me very clearly and said "No crying, I told you before don't cry", that was the last lucid thing she said to me.

Her nurse, David, came the next morning and was shocked at how fast she had declined. He called for a transport to the hospice unit at the hospital. I rode with her to the hospital because she would have been all alone back there and I know that the ambulance rides always scared her-being strapped down and all.

The doctor there said this was the being of the end. She had all the signs, aggitated, not making sense, talking to people who had passed before her.

We decided to keep her comfortable. Part of me kept thinking, no take her over to the hospital and save her, give her more time, but more time would just mean more pain, so we stayed. It took them a while to find the right dose, to keep her out of pain. I stayed with her for 4 nights. I didn't want her to die alone. We were with when she passed, but it still doesn't seem real.

I just don't understand what happened. I knew the doctor was being generous when he said 6 mths but 2 weeks? She wasn't ready, I wasn't ready. We never got a chance to talk about it. To say what we wanted to say. She must have been so scared. Looking back now I can see more signs that I just didn't see then or I attribute to something else.

Could the small cell have gone to her brain? The PET scan of 12/11 didn't mention this but it also said it was done from the base of skull to mid thigh. Was it there and not seen. The PET also showed her colon lite up. Could it have been colon cancer too. I asked her onc about it when we were there and he said even if it was colon cancer there is nothing they would be able to do for it at that point. I know the end result would be the same I just wish I understood why it was so fast.

Thank you all for letting me tell my story and God bless you.

Lisa

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Lisa, thank you for sharing your story. You are a wonderful daughter and gave your Mom the most precious of gifts - to care for her so generously. I know she is so proud of you. My heart breaks for you. I am so sorry that you are hurting and I am so sorry for your loss. May God grant you some peace and comfort and may you hold your memories tight forever. Please take good care of yourself and be gentle with yourself.

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Lisa,

I am so sorry; I know how hard this is. As we all read your story I am sure we all share similarities. It's been a years for me and sometimes I am still wondering.... how the end happened so fast. Me and my mom (when she wasn't at my house) would talk 5 times or more at day. After a year I still find myself picking up the phone to call her. It does get easier the pain gets a little bit more bearable.

Take care!

Martha

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Im not sure too fast is a bad thing, I watched my mom suffer and slowly decline for 4 years you would think that would better prepare you but it does'nt. We kept thinking mom had unfinished business she needed to do or so that is what hospice told us. Which ever way slow or fast it is hard, stay strong and remember the good memories....

Prayers..

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I know it is so hard, but you have to let go of the desire to know what happened. The details of where the cancer was are not relevant, because the reality is that the cancer so taxed her body systems that she had a rapid decline.

I can completely relate to this. My mom was gone 9 days after signing up with Hospice, and I and my brothers had to convince her that it was, indeed, time for the "H" word.

I think we get so accustomed to "fight" mode that we often lose sight of the reality of what is happening before our eyes, so it is hard to accept the signs of the inevitible.

I hope the pain of the loss will abate. It's just so new and raw for you right now, and it just plain stinks!

~Karen

your sister in the Motherless Daughters and Sons Club

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Dear Lisa,

I just lost my mother 1 week ago today. She too went down hill so quickly. After she stopped treatment, the doctor said she should have about 4 months. She only had about a month and a half. However, it didn't even seem that long. She was in the hospital and rehab for 5 of those 6 weeks. When she got home, we thought she would get stronger and maybe we could try some more chemo. In 8 days, she was gone. I am still in shock. I still feel like we should go visit her in the hospital... I also don't understand and am sure that I never will. My heart goes out to you.

-Mindy

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Lisa, I'm so very sorry to hear of your loss. It sounds like your mom was a brave and wonderful woman, and I know how unfair this disease is. And I so relate to your confusion and your shock of what happened so fast when she seemed okay - small cell lung cancer is famous for that and I experienced the same thing with my mom. One month her PET scan was clear and the next month she was gone. It came back with a vengeance, pleural effusion and all.

I didn't see the signs either toward the end...I mourn the fact that I didn't know how bad she was (I thought there was still hope) and I didn't take advantage of lucidity while it was there. And when the doctor broke the news that there was no hope and recommended hospice, he gave her weeks, maybe months. But she was gone in a few days.

Just writing all this makes me cry, for you and for all of us. But you know what, you were there for her...and she knew it. I know she felt your loving presence.

You're in my prayers tonight...

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Lisa,

I am so sorry about your Mom. I understand how you feel. Sometimes there are no answers. They told us everything was looking better for my Mom, she played golf with her friends, and 3 weeks later she was gone. You did everything you could, I myself wonder what happened, unfortunately even after 3 years, I will never know. Her and God only know. You are in my prayers.

Donna

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Thank you ALL so much for your replies. Everyone here is so caring it warms my heart. I pray that all of us are able deal with these terrible situations and become stronger. And that a cure for this awful monster is found soon.

Thank you again for all of your support, you are all amazing!

Lisa

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I am so deeply sorry for your loss. There are just no words.

I agree with what someone said, dont keep looking for what made it go quicker. It doesnt matter. There was nothing you could have done differently that wouldve produced a different outcome. We are never ready, there is never enough time. The doctors can only guess.

And, yes, you never realize how much you can miss someone.

Just know there are others out there that do understand.

Linda

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