Topic: I lost my mum a year ago

Its just over a year now since I lost my mum to cc, she was 61.

I've been looking at the different stories and am sat here in tears for all of us with stories.

I know that this is a quick disease, but we got the official diagnosis 5 days before we lost mum. We knew they were looking at shadows (found only when scanning for other problems) for about 3 weeks but got no response other than 'well it looks like a very rare type so we need to be sure'. Then a week before the end the consultant told mum & dad that there was nothing that could be done but we had no idea of how long we still had, so a couple of days later dad asked and was told it could be a couple of weeks and then 5 days later she was gone.

I cannot come to terms with the speed of everything, this disease is meant to take time and give you time to prepare / say goodbye but we had 5 days.

And in those 5 days we went through the whole process of mum reacting to the morphine, stopping eating, stopping drinking, stopping communicating which are all supposed to happen over a much longer period.

Luckily we are an incredibly close family and so the minute we found out we moved into the hospital (the staff were amazing) and were with mum right until the end but I still feel as though its not finished - does that even make sense? I mean, how can a disease like this do this to someone in such a short space of time? Mum was constantly being monitored for the last few years for her liver function and nothing was detected - did they miss something or was it just as quick as they said it was? Mum's tumour was on the bile duct, inside her liver and blocking a major blood vessel.

I can only image that there are people ( and I do know people who have had parents with other types of tumour fight it for 4 or more years) thinking this makes me lucky because I didn't watch mum suffer for a long time but believe me - the fast way is unfathomably painful too.

I am undergoing counselling, which is helping me come to terms with the fact that she is gone but I don't think I will ever accept how fast it happened. I just feel glad that I did spend hours and hours (and hours and hours!) talking to her throughout those final days, it just seemed to be my role through the experience. I told her all the things I wanted to tell her, promised her I'd do things that are now starting to happen and I was the one talking to her at the end when the look in her eye changed. At that point I woke dad who held her while we held her hands as she slipped away.

I'll always wonder whether when I that look came into her eye and I said 'we're all here, it's ok - you need to do whats best for you now' and she started to let go whether she thought I wanted her to go and whether I robbed everyone of those extra 5 minutes we all wish so much we could have again, and I think that's just something I'll have to live with and torture myself with.

I miss her so incredibly that I can't even put it into words, I guess I've just not got the point of acceptance yet but fail to see how that is going to make it any easier.

Wow, I really didn't expect to write all that and have just considered deleting it now that I've got it off my chest but will be brave and post it.

Thank you to anyone who has taken the time to read this far, the invisible support of this forum is already helping.

D
x

Re: I lost my mum a year ago

Hello D, I just welcomed you on another post but welcome, again.
CC reacts differently on different people depending on how advanced it is when found, where it is and what kind it is.
No, I do not believe that you hastened Mum's departure by telling her it was OK to go. I believe that you cleared her way and made it easier for her. I have heard many times that when someone is close to Passing that they yearn to be told it is OK and you did that for her. I can tell you from my own experience, my dad passed 5 years ago and it took about 4 years for him to be around me. I find it in many ways and even in decisions I am making! I posted stories before, you can find them under Lainy but maybe this is a good time to repeat a very important one and maybe it will help you a little.
Dad was very healthy and at 93 had to have Gall Bladder surgery.  He went through it just fine but the day after he came home mom called me and said, "your father is sleeping and I can't get him to wake up." I ran over and sure enough I couldn't get him up either. He was in the most deep and peaceful sleep I have ever seen.  I called 911 and they came and could not wake him up. At this point I have to say he did not believe in things he could not explain. Like Magic, and especially the beyond. They finally did  a breast bone rub and he bounced awake. Mom said to him, "I was so scared, we couldn't wake you."  He answered, "I was dreaming, I saw Heaven and it was so beautiful." I heard it and he repeated it at ER to my daughter. He passed the next afternoon to that beautiful Heaven!.

Teddy ~In our hearts forever~ATTITUDE is EVERYTHING
Any suggestion I offer is intended as friendly advice based solely on my own experience. Please consult your doctor for professional guidance.

Re: I lost my mum a year ago

D,

It's been a little over a year since I lost my Mom.  She lived almost exactly one year from the time I diagnosed her CC.  (I'm a Cytologist). 

You can read my posts under the screen name Cherbourg.  I too have had many conversations with myself as to whether I did the right things.  Did I miss medical stuff before the diagnosis?  At the end did I do the right thing in telling her it was ok to go?  Could I have done more or said more? 

I believe now that I did all the right things but I've endlessly questioned my actions over and over.  Would I do anything differently?  I don't think so. 

I wish I had encouraged Mom to leave a video so I could hear her voice again.

I was so unprepared for how hard it is to grieve.  I thought all of the "anticipatory grief" would somehow prepare me.  It doesn't.  I've also been surprised at the emotional, physical and mental challenges of grieving.

Looking back I've come a very long way in the past year.  I'm not totally "there" yet.  Sometimes the strangest things can completely unnerve me.  I found myself tearing up in Walmart the other day after I passed a woman wearing my Mom's perfume.  I'm still a work in progress but it does get easier.  I have a great support system and this board has been a godsend for me.

Please come often.  We are all here for each other.  You are incredibly brave to post what you wrote.  I can tell your Mom raised a remarkable daughter.  You were with your Mum at the end and helped ease her passage.  One thing I find myself doing is asking myself , "What would Mom want me to do?"  Silly, but it helps clarify my thinking at times. 

Hang in there....we are all on this journey....just at different points.

Hugs to you!  You'll be in my thoughts and prayers.  Mother's Day is a hard holiday for me....

Hugs,
Pam

My Mom lost her one year battle with CC on April 3, 2009.

"A prognosis is simply an audit of how truly precious each day is.  Live each day to the maximum, celebrate what was, and what is - Don't spend your life looking forward to what will or might be." .... words of wisdom from my beloved son on hearing of his grandmother's CC prognosis.

Re: I lost my mum a year ago

Hi D,
I am glad you have found us.  My husband was 62 and passed away 7 weeks after his first symptoms and 1 week after we got the official diagnosis, so I do know how you feel.  I am so sorry that you and your family have also had to go through this.  My heart aches for all of you.  I found this site a few days after he passed and the support I have found here is what gets me by.  As I said, the whole situation was very similar to yours.  Please do not torture yourself with those memories. You did what felt right.  My youngest son did a similar thing for his Dad and I feel nothing but gratitude that he was there for us at the end. I am sure that your Dad and family feel the same.

None of this is easy and none of it is fair, but remember that your Mom will always be with you in your heart and memories.  Try to take comfort in the fact that even tho' we may have wanted them here longer, and it is really hard to absorb and deal with what all happened in that short time, atleast our loved ones did not have to suffer for a very long time.  For that we can be grateful.  Keep coming back here.  We are all here to help and support each other in any way that we can.  Take care and know that I am thinking of you.
Love & Hugs,
Darla

"One Day At A Time"

All of my comments and suggestions are just my opinions and are not a substitute for professional medical advice.   You should always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health care providers.

Re: I lost my mum a year ago

Hi all,
Wow, what can I say but thank you from the bottom of my heart for the warmth and caring that you have shown me and for sharing your stories too.

I do know people who have had relatives with the big c (I don't use THE word anymore but my counsellor is working on that with me among many other things) but have never been able to speak to anyone who has experience of cc before and am feeling a bit of a release at the moment in the knowledge that there are people out there who know how I feel.

Darla, for sharing your story which is so similar to mine I am eternally grateful to you. I honestly thought there was no-one in the world who knew what it felt like apart from my family who I feel obliged not to talk to about it too much in case I upset them (don't get me wrong we do talk about mum just not too much about our experience with cc) so to know that you have never met me but are kind enough to share those memories with me means the world.

Thanks again, I think I'm going to be visiting here on a very regular basis
Diane

Re: I lost my mum a year ago

Dear Diane,

I am glad you plan to stick around. I don't think anyone who has not dealt with CC or losing a loved one to this disease can possibly understand what it is like and how it affects us.  Everyone here does and it is a good feeling to know that you can talk freely here about your thoughts and feelings where you may not be able to do so with others.  Reading your postings has given me some insight as to how my sons may have felt and how they are feeling now.  It has given me something to think about.   So, thank you for that.  My sons are 40 & 42 and I am 61 the same age as your Mom when you lost her.  I have a wonderful daughter-in-law and now a CC "daughter".  smile

Love & Hugs,
Darla

"One Day At A Time"

All of my comments and suggestions are just my opinions and are not a substitute for professional medical advice.   You should always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health care providers.

Re: I lost my mum a year ago

I'm so glad you're here, Diane.  I'm very sorry to hear your journey, but very glad you're able to tell us.  Your experience will help others here, just as theirs will, I'm sure, help you.

Love Julia xx

"Time may be a great healer, but it's a lousy beautician."

Re: I lost my mum a year ago

Hello,

I wish you courage , resilience , strength , love and support. I also lost my mom to cc just over a year ago. You can be sure, that loosing your mom that quickly was one of the most difficult things you'll ever go through. And you can also be sure that although it was more challenging for you, it was definitely better for her. My mom was in chemo for over a year and then she spent 4 months in the hospital. I quite my job and slept there with her for 4 months. I cannot begin to discribe what she went through. The disease when it takes longer is crueler. it is not that way so that the ones left behind can cope. At  what expense? At the suffering of the person you care for? I got treated for post traumatic stress syndrome after having 21/2 months of terrible dreams after she passed and I am okay today. We could seek help, and get better, but nothing can change how much our mothers suffered. My father who was not ill, suddenly passed away 50 days before my mom did. I can tell you, that the shock of losing a parent suddenly, does not come close to seeing some one you love suffer slowly and for extended periods of time. I am since that time, a mother my self, and I know that the bond between mother and child is the deepest. Before she past, my mother said, 'be strong no matter what happens'.I'm so sorry for your loss. So very sorry.