Topic: My mother...

Hi everyone,

My name is Cooper, I am almost 15 years old. I live in Oklahoma. My mom, Brenda,  passed away of this dreadful cancer on September 25, 2004. She was 49 years old. I'd like to share the story of my mom with you all.

For quite some time she had experienced a pain in her right arm. Somewhere in 2003 or early 2004 she went to the doctor to find out what was wrong. It was a dull pain that seemed to have bothered her a lot, but not all the time. They didn't find anything wrong with her and the pain continued. On April 27, 2004 she went to the doctor again to get a full body check (or something). That is when they found the cancer in her liver. I have no idea whether the pain in her arm had anything to do with it, but I know they found "legions" (spots) on her liver. They told her she was in Stage 4, which seems to be the last stage (i just found out tonight from http://www.cancerbackup.org.uk/Cancerty … uctcancer). She was a very determined person. Very strong. She fought with everything she had.

I helped her out all of summer '04. I got a lot closer to her during that time, seeing as I was the one who took care of her each day. My dad would be at work til about 6p.m. and my brothers were gone most days or didn't want to see her suffering.

In July, she had scheduled an appointment with M.D. Anderson in Houston, TX. She had planned everything and was about to start packing...when she got a call from them telling her that the doctor who specialized in her type of cancer had gone on vacation.......I was the only one home that day and ....let's just say I was very very frightened and sad. It was a bad deal. She got very angry with M.D. Anderson and didn't associate with them from that day on (of course that is after she called back and chewed them out...haha..).

Sometime that summer she spent a lot of time seeing different doctors and I don't really remember where all she went. Now, i'm not completely sure on all the information but i'm pretty sure that I remember, sorry for any mess-ups. I do know that she found out about a treatment illegal in the U.S. because it includes giving the patient a fever to boil the cancer out of the body...i don't know... I'd have to ask my dad. Anyway, that treatment was in Bad Aibling, Germany...and she left during the hurricanes in Atlanta, GA on September 16, 2004 ( a thursday). I had just started junior high and it was really weird not being able to tell her all about it. She flew from Oklahoma City to Atlanta and had to spend the night there because of the weather. The airport was planning on sending the passengers on the flight to Munich to paris and then boarding another flight to munich from there, but my dad pleaded with them to go straight to Munich because my mom didn't seem to have much left in her and there was little time. They obliged and my mom spent one week in Germany in the most beautiful place she had ever been....I got to talk to her a few times...she could barely talk, but it was better than nothing. I really thought she would come back, and I was shocked to hear at 11:37p.m. on Sept 24, 2004 that she had passed away on the morning of September 25, 2004 at around 9 or 10 o'clock.

She was a great woman. She is deeply missed.

Thank you for reading her story, if you have any questions, i'd be glad to answer them....but keep in mind i'm only 15 so i don't know tons of medical terms.

Thanks for reading,

Cooper

p.s.:  Oh! I forgot to mention... I do know that she had ulcerative colitis and had an ileostomy when she was around 21 or so. if you don't know what that is, look here--> http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ileostomy

Re: My mother...

cooper

I am so sorry to hear about your mum.  she sounds like a very brave woman to fly to germany like she did.  The heating up treatment is called systemic hypothermia (heating the body to 40 degrees to enhance chemo effectiveness).  I am sorry that it did not help your mum.

my thoughts are with you

- jules

Re: My mother...

Cooper,

We are very sorry to hear of the loss of your mom.  Thank you for sharing her story with us.  Our thoughts and prayers are with you and your family.

Re: My mother...

Cooper:
We are so sorry to hear about your Mom! What a very brave woman she was and you too are very courageous for taking care of her like you did. It must have been very hard for you, but out of this you will emerge a much stronger, wiser and more compassionate Cooper.   Thank you for sharing your story with us.

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: My mother...

Cooper,

I am so sorry that your family had to face this horrible disease.  Thank you so much for sharing your story. 

You took on such a huge burden at such a young age, and should be very proud of yourself for everything you did for your mom.  While the memories are undoubtedly sad, I hope that the time you spent taking such good care of her is also comforting. 

You and your family are in our prayers.

- Sara

30-something caregiver

Re: My mother...

Hi Cooper,

Although you're more than ten years younger than me, I just wanted to let you know that I understand what you've been through and that you're not alone.

My mom passed away from this horrible disease just last month - June 27, 2006. It's still really hard and some days are more difficult than others, but we are trying to get theough it the best we can. It's just my brother and I - he's 19 - but the rest of my family (grandparents, aunts, cousins, etc.) and friends have been very good to us.

If you ever want to talk, please feel free to e-mail me. It's unfortunate to make friends this way, but I think it helps to have an ally who knows what you're going through - firsthand. This goes for everyone on the boards...I've been finding comfort in talking to people and sharing experiences.

Thanks and take care,

Karen