Don't grieve alone; 14,000 members and growing
We didn't expect it. She went to the hospital on the 2nd because she was throwing up since New Years early am - almost 24 hours. They decided to admit her. Lisa had been in the hospital before, we both figured it was a find out what's not right, fix it, go home. We were going to go to zoo lights on the 5th; latest the 9th when it closed. She was nauseus - that's normal with chemo. She had acid reflux - that was normal sort of ... it happened before with chemo. She had a light headache or maybe it wasn't so light. She had a headache and sometimes it was worse than others. Sometimes that happened when the anti-nausea medicine wore off, sometimes it happened when the weather changed, it could have been a sinus headache, she had just finished whole brain radiation for 4 spots - 3 small (<4mm) and one larger (1cm).
They admitted her because she was dehydrated and her electrolytes were messed up. Well she hadn't been eating well and she did spend the last 36 hours in the bathroom or puking into a bucket so everything is still making sense here. Plan for Day 1 - Find out what's causing all the upheaval and get it fixed. Stop the puking. Lessen the pain level. We're having normal conversation. She's trying to get as much rest as possible. Day 2 - Lisa needed 2 units of blood. Endoscopy shows bleeding in the esophagus. Cauterized - no more bleeding. She is still trying to get rest and have the electrolytes stabilized. She still couldn't eat real food. Still nauseus with a headache not hungry. I slept in the hospital recliner that night. I was hoping to be there in the morning when the doctor came by. No doc. I left for school. Back that night. Plan B zoo lights over the weekend; it was almost certain we would miss Wed night. She might get to go home but zoo lights would be a stretch. We talked about mundane things. I watched her sleep. Day 3 - Wed - saw the doc in the morning. He said reality was a few weeks to a few months. That took a little time to sink in. I still went to work. Lisa was mostly resting. When I went back after school she was visiting with a friend. The friend left and we started talking about the doc's conversation this morning. I asked her if she felt like she only had a few weeks left - you seem like you're feeling better, you're alert and having conversation. She said not a few weeks but I don't think I have a year. I nodded. The nurse came in and gave her atavan to help with the headache, the nausea, the restlessness during sleep. We said goodnight. I got set up on the recliner for the night again.
That was it. Our last real conversation where I was certain she knew what I was saying and I was sure she knew what she was saying. The next few days I'm hoping she would come back and be alert, be lucid, know me and know us but instead she was confused and sometimes frightened and then she just didn't respond anymore. I took her to hospice 1 week after I took her to the hospital. She passed away in hospice 8 days later. The hospice people were great. They kept her medicated so she didn't feel pain. I feel cheated. If I had known Wed was going to be our last conversation I would have said something more than just goodnight.
I am sorry for your loss. My condolences.
I can relate to your story. Mine is very similar. Too similar. We didn't say goodbye either. Like you, I thought it was another hospital trip to get her fixed and come back home, like so many others. But this one was different. She didn't come home. And I am still reliving that day over and over and over. Those final days haunt my mind because if I had known, we would have talked of so many things. I would have said so many things. Now all I do is cry.
my condolences on your mom's passing.
my mom passed 21 years ago March 7, 1990. I couldn't be there. She was on a morphine drip and she wasn't coherent anymore. I don't remember too much about those last couple days. I knew she would pass that day. I left a few hours earlier to get clothes from my apartment about 2 hours away. I couldn't stand the idea of watching her take her last breath.
On the other hand with Lisa, I felt the need to be by her side until the very end even though she couldn't communicate with me. I think maybe I just wish I could have told her one more time that I loved her or rather that I could have heard her tell me one more time that she loved me. She used to ask me if I knew, really knew that she loved me. I did. I told her I did. I loved her too. I just miss her.
I appreciate your sharing. You sound positive and hopeful and I struggle with the hopeful part right now.
My dad passed away at 3:00 am 20 years ago. No one expected it. Although he was sick and kept promising mom he would see the Doctor. On friday morning, he finally called and made the appointment for Monday. He died that sunday. It was very hard for the whole family not being able to say good-bye and letting him know we loved him.
My father was creamated. The folks at the creamatorium were awesome. They let us have a private ceremony (showing) before the creamation. It was just the immediate family members there. When they had learned that none of us got to say good-bye, they told us how some other families coped with this problem that helped them bring closure to their lives.
Write a letter to the person or persons and tell them what you want to tell them. Tell them everything. Then take it outside or burn it in an ashtray. It is said the words float to heaven and to the heart of the person it was meant for.
We all went home from the creamatorium that day and we all wrote letters, Mom, my 2 sisters, Grandma, and we helped the 7 grandkids compose letters. When we were all done we took them outside and burned them the grill. We all felt better afterward.
Anyway, I just thought I would share this with you.