My mother moved from PEI to Ontario in April 2011 to be closer to me, my two brothers, and her four grandchildren. Life was good and my mother had no health issues at all. We spent lots of time together doing various things. In March 2012 she became ill with a persistent cough and was having trouble keeping food down. After two visits to the medical clinic enough was enough...we went to the emergency department to get an x ray. Pneumonia was their conclusion but the dr on duty also noticed some nodules on her lungs...as my mother was not a smoker he didn't seem very concerned but did arrange for a specialist appointment for a follow up. That appointment was made for July 2012, there was nothing sooner. So off we went to take the medication for pneumonia with hopes that everything would be better. Two weeks later there was only a little improvement in her cough...she still had problems keeping food down and started to become short of breath. Off to the hospital again...the verdict at this visit was her heart was beating to fast and that's why she is short of breath and heart meds were now prescribed along with a new appointment to a cardiologist and various tests. After a serious of tests the dr said that medications should control her problem and we scheduled a follow up visit. May 6, my birthday, we had a family bbq and it was becoming more obvious that mom wasn't well and didnt seem to be improving much. She pretended she ate the food but my brother and I saw her throw it out, she didn't want us worrying about her. May 12th, we had planned months earlier that we would go see the Johnny Reid concert that was coming to town, mom was weaker and I didn't think she would be able to manage the walk. So since she insisted on going we bought her a wheelchair. For her to sit in it proved even more that she was not well at all. May 13th, Mothers Day, my children and I spent the day cooking with her, watching movies and enjoying the warm summer weather we were having. May 17th, when I called her in the morning I knew we couldn't wait any longer...the next dr appointment was only a week away but mom was so short of breath that she couldn't hide it anymore. By noon on the 17th, we were once again in the emergency department, checked right in as she was in excruciating pain and I thought she was having a heart attack. The doctor that seen my mother was very cold at first, and i got upset with him as he was acting as if her pain was not real. After another series of x rays, cat scans and other tests...my mother was diagnosed on May 17, 2012 with lymphoma. she never did get to leave the hospital after that day...only for short walks with me pushing her in a wheelchair outside. She tried everything she could to fight this demon that was living in her, the first round of chemo nearly killed her and she had to have a series of blood transfusions. Eventually there was nothing that could be done and she was transferred to a palliative care centre, for end of life care. The care was great, but the environment, families losing other family members daily was a horrible thing to have to watch. All the while you know that your time will eventually come...weeks went on and we basically moved into the room with her. We would take turns going home to run a few errands, make some food to feed all of us, back and forth, back and forth. We enjoyed and cherished every minute that we had as we also ached inside and slowly watched her fade away. I never did see my mother cry...she was brave and strong and again I know she didn't want us worrying about her. Finally, on August 10th, I knew the end was near...her breathing changed, she was in a come from the previous evening....this was to be our last day with mom. Shock is what I think we all felt, how could this be happening to her!? After a brave battle she passed away ...I am missing her so much although I know she is now at peace. Life just isn't the same...she was our angel...
"Different today. Hurts as usual, but not like yesterday.
My stress goes through the roof at the slightest change in routine.
I have to break free of the pattern, the ritual, of Friday nights and Saturdays. My mother died on a Friday. But I cannot…"
"Today, I feel it.
It has been like this every Saturday since June, since the nurse at the care home called me to notify me that I could pick up my mother's effects. My mother died in April.
I am overwhelmed.
I am crushed.
I love you, Mom. I…"
"Sixteen weeks ago today, my mother died.
For some reason, I do not feel crushed today.
But every Friday is going to be like this, a reminder that she is dead. Not quite the kick in the stomach reminder that she is dead that I feel when I wake up…"
Carla is now a member of Online Grief Support - A Social Community