Don't grieve alone; 14,000 members and growing
This group is definitely for me -- I really do miss my mom. Here is my story...
My mom was diagnosed with stage 4 pancreatic cancer on March 15th. She had been fighting nausea & weight loss for many months. She thought it was stress from caring for my dad, who was battling pneumonia. Then the vomiting started and she wasn't able to keep anything down. She had been to her family doctor, who put her on anti-nausea meds and told her to follow up in a couple weeks. She started feeling week, so went in to the ER thinking she was dehydrated from the vomiting. One test led to another and they found her abdomen was "full of cancer". Diagnosed as pancreatic cancer, but tumors were throughout her organs - stomach, kidneys, liver, lungs and colon. She was given 2-4 months, treatment was not an option.
We brought her to my home directly from the hospital and started hospice. For about two and a half weeks she was her normal self (other than the nausea) and surrounded by family and friends. She was baking, hanging out at the bonfire with her grandsons, feeding the chickens, etc. It was hard to believe she was battling this disease.
Then she went downhill, fast. Less than a week later, on April 6th, she was gone. I am grateful that she had those good weeks to see and talked to her loved ones. She had no regrets.
I was primarily responsible for her care. Initially, it was no big deal. Giving her meds, keeping track of visitors, trying to get her to rest. But those last few days were terrible. It is hard to remember anything else. People keep telling me that the happy memories will replace those at some point.
I'm just really struggling. Any advice?
Lynn, I am very sorry. My mom had good times and bad. There were times when I thought we had cleared another hurdle and then she would be sick again. Even when she was on hospice my mom commented that she thought mom was getting better. I knew better. This may be hard to believe but you are still in a state of shock right now. It's all very fresh. A caretaker has so many memories. Too many bad memories. We saw our moms at their sickest and that is hard to digest. There was a time when they were strong and took care of us. In the end, it's as though we became the parent for a while.
People say things too easily to help us feel better. I have a lot of happy memories of my mom, even when she was sick, but it has been three and a half years since she died, and I still have those bad memories, too. There is a reality here. We watched our moms die. That is hard, and it will always be with us. But there is some goodness in all of this. You were with your mom when she needed you the most. You didn't shrink away. You made her transition easier, and the love that you gave her is something that she was very aware of, and I am sure that it meant the world to her. Our moms gave us everything they had. They raised us. They took care of us. They sacrificed. They put their lives on hold for us. And though we can never pay them back in full, we gave back as best we could when it mattered the most. My mom used to look at me in those last days in a way that she never had before. She was proud of me for taking care of her. She could see how much I loved her. I can promise you that your mom felt the same way. As sick as your mom may have been, I can promise you that the love you gave her made her feel very good. It touched her greatly. You did everything that you could do to make her comfortable and she was aware of that. Your mom died knowing that her daughter loved her with all of he heart.
I don't know when it will get better for you. All people are different. All circumstances are different. You will always feel loss. Losing someone you love so much is like losing a limb. I miss my mom so much, maybe too much, but I do believe that it's not over. That we will see them again, and that we will never have to say goodbye again. Your mom doesn't have cancer now. Our moms had to deal with, not only sickness, but the fear of something unknown, something they could not control. We all have to face that one day, but that is over for our moms. They are home now. We will be with them again. And the next time is for keeps.
Thank you so much for your kind words. It means a lot to me that you would take the time to bring me some peace, which you have.
You and I experienced something very similar. You are not an anonymous person who lost her mother. I just wish that I knew the words that would make it all better. I don't. I'm still trying to figure it out for myself. All I know is that we both miss our moms. I've got your back.