Guest CindiB Posted July 2, 2004 Share Posted July 2, 2004 I've posted a few times on this board since my wonderful mother, was diagnosed in Oct. But I have lurked, and read, suffered and celebrated with each of you. I am 44, an only child, my mother's caregiver, she was 67 when she was diagnosed with stage 4 NSCLC, they gave her two weeks to live. But not MY mother, she did everything on her terms. It was too close to Halloween and my children would've suffered even more. So , with an opening the size of a drinking straw to breath through, she had laser surgery, which was unsuccessful, to open her passages a bit. She was convinced that it helped, and two days later went home, with no oxygen. She had radiation two weeks later, which shrunk the tumor which had collapsed and completely encased her left lung, dramatically. Against all odds, her lung reinflated, and her breathing eased. Finished radiation in Dec, started chemo (which the dr's said she'd never be strong enough to take) in January. In April we had another MRI , which had to be done in the hospital due to the pain she was in. Not that she EVER complained. The MRI showed mets throughout her body, that her bones were nothing more than fragile dust filled shells. The dr's said it was impossible for her to walk, though she showered and dressed herself before she went to the hospital. They said she'd never leave the hospital. She thought differently, it was too close to my 21st wedding anniversary. On Wed, the onc said she wouldn't live through the weekend. On Thursday she was out of bed doing PT to be able to walk to the potty chair. She was determined not to ever have to use a bed pan.And she wanted to go home. On Saturday she stood, and her hip collapsed due to the cancer damage. They said she'd never make it home. On Tuesday she came home, two weeks after entering the hospital. She wanted to come home to MS to see her brothers and sisters. We got her into hospice care on Tuesday and left on Thursday in an RV taking her from Missouri to Ms. The onc said he had never, in forty years of oncology, seen anything like it. On my anniversary, April 29 we arrived in MS. I set up hospice here, rented a house, and got her settled. Hospice said she would never live a week, that the pain would kill her long before the cancer did, she had cancer in every organ in her body and her bones began collapsing. She walked to the potty chair assisted every time she went. I bathed her and did all the necessities, but my mother would NEVER have allowed anybody to wipe her 'hineybooty' as she called it. She was always a lady. She never stopped saying, please, thank you and if you don't mind...she never asked for anything, never complained, was never grouchy or mean. She had bouts of confusion and forgetfullness, and trouble remembering my name. On my birthday, of course she didn't know the date, I asked her if she knew who I was, and she said of course I do, you are my dearly beloved daughter, you were born 44 years ago today, May 16, 1960 and I can't remember your name, but I remember every moment of our lives and I love you. How did she know the date of that day?? I guess I'll never know. On May 26th, she told me that I (she alwasy worried about me and even when confined to bed was constantly asking if I was ok, or if she could get me something )was exausted, that I needed to rest, and that it was time she was done with all of this. Less than twelve hours later she left us. She never gave up, she did everything on her own terms. She told me when she was diagnosed that she would NEVER die on anyone's birthday or a holiday, a struggle with a family our size. But she did it. Seven months longer than they told her she'd live. When the cancer spread to her brain , hospice said she would have seizures, but not my mother, she would never do such an undignified thing, and though the shaking would become difficult for her to control, she never gave in to a seizure. She was an amazing, incredible woman, who lived her life with dignity, and organized her death the same way. She was a hero, mine, and everyone who knew her. Now I have to learn to live without her, and it's getting worse, not better. I have lost my mother, my best friend, my mentor, my other half. I don't know what to do with myself. And the pain seems neverending. As does the guilt, though my husband says that I was superwoman taking care of her, nothing, as far as I am concerned, was ever good enough. Someone please, tell me that it gets better. I am heartbroken. Cindi Quote Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...
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