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Lung Cancer Stole My Mother From Me...

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i applaud the person who thought of bringing this forum to assist us in the mourning 'process.' at this point, it is a way of life for me, with no end in sight.

i am 45, and i just recently lost my mom at 68, on st. patrick's day, which perfectly suited her, since she was a saint to all of us who knew her. she lived for her kids and we always knew we were her prized creations. my mother was diagnosed about 2 years ago, after being misdiagnosed with pneumonia. upon closer examination, an x-ray revealed the malignant lung cancer. she freaked when she learned of her illness and suddenly felt that her days were numbered and stopped making plans more than a week or two away. since my brother is a doctor, he immediately took control of all her services, testing, and latest medications. the first year, u would never know she had anything wrong. thru all the chemo and meds, she still looked beautiful and carried on a very normal life. i would tell her that she made cancer look good, that there didnt seem to be a death sentence linked to this disease like people said. she was feeling very good too, but still cautious about making any longterm plans over a month in length. we all thought she had this under control. my brother then enrolled her into this experimental cancer drug program where they test the latest drugs on patients, looking for that miracle cure or at least a beneficial one. again, she did extremely well on it. then, in february 2004, they said the cancer had spread, that the meds werent aggressive enuf. to keep it in check. so they sought another experimental drug. this one, had been successful on cancer patients, but never given to lung cancer patients, until her. i remember perusing over all the paperwork stating the side effects that may or may not occur, and the one that scared us the most, besides loss of appetite and nausea, was death. well, she did this program for 3-days in sloan-kettering, and by the following week, she had suffered all the side effects listed on that form. luckily for her, and us, my brother was able to keep her anxiety and any discomfort at a manageable state with enuf drugs to keep her as comfortable as possible. we were so grateful that he was there for her, and able to coordinate her care with the hospital staff as well. but with all this going on, we were losing her. i had no clue. i thought it was a temporary setback, that she would be out soon. i went to go see her with my 18-yr old daughter at the hosp. and was shocked to see that she was out of it and on oxygen. she looked totally diff. from the day b4, and while i was trying to let her know that we were there, my daughter fainted right next to her bed! when she came to, i brought her outside the room to sit down, and then she vomitted all over herself, the chairs, the floor! i couldnt believe what was happening. when i went back in the room my mothered mumbled if my daughter was ok, and i was happy to see that she was aware that we were there, so again my hopes were better. after all this, my daughter wanted to go home since she couldnt deal with seeing her grandmother like this, and needed to wash up. my mother heard this and asked that i dont leave her. luckily my daughter's boyfriend was with us, so i told them to go on, that i would stay behind with my mom. she was so relieved. and i was so glad that i could somehow bring some comfort to her, even tho i wasnt a medical professional. well, that night will never be forgotten. i didnt sleep more than 10 minutes that whole night. she had so many panic attacks thru the night, and called out my name, and her deceased parents. i was constantly telling her that i was there, and holding her, and shed thank me so much for being there for her. how much she loved me. we were totally alone in this dark room with periodic checks from nursers every couple of hours. i had no idea that she should have been on higher dosages of meds to calm her anxiety from the lack of oxygen she had to breathe. all i heard all night long was gurgling, then silence, then gurgling again. it was a nightmare. by the next afternoon, my brother the doctor, decided that he would stay the night while i went home to rest for the next shift with her. when he saw what i had gone thru the night b4 he immediately increased her meds to a level that pretty much calmed her to the point that she could hardly interact at all, but we didnt want her to panic anymore. then the floor doctors came in to tell us that we should prepare for her needing a private nursing service if we want to take her home, but for now, to just discuss it. then, about an hour later, i asked how long she had left, and they could not be specific, but probably 'days.' boy, was that a hard one to swallow. all i wanted at that point was for her to remain calm. it still didnt dawn on me the lack of time left with her. about three hours later, the doctors came back, and told us not to make any plans for her going home, that she would probably not be leaving the hospital. at that point, i asked how long she had, if that was the case, and they said: hours! so i said how many? they said less than 3! i couldnt believe my ears! this was like a nightmare that would never end. but at that point i was still calm, because i could see how comfortable she was in her bed. then they asked if we would like her to be blessed with her last rites, and we all said yes, of course. i am still in disbelief of the final minutes i have left with her! i could hear her breathing getting shallower, and pausing, and my heart is pounding so hard! i cannot believe that i am witnessing the end of my mothers life, right b4 my eyes. she still looked beautiful thru it all. even at times when her hair fell out from the chemo, she still looked gorgeous with her little crew cut. so chic and elegant. u could easily see why she was a model. it didnt matter if she had hardly any hair or makeup, she didnt even need it. and there she was, lying there so peaceful and rested, with us all around her, and the snow coming down in nyc. there was something beautiful about it as sad as it was. i couldnt bear to see her take her final breath and feared what sounds i would hear, so i just looked out the window praying to god to please take care of her, while my brothers and father stood around her. i could only hear the pauses between each breath grow longer and longer until they just stopped...it was surreal. i could hear my brothers and father aggreeing that she was indeed gone. and then i just grabbed her feet and cried my eyes out. even then, i was so grateful that she left so peacefully, that i thought the worst was over. i had no idea the real suffering was just beginning for me. thanx for reading my story

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