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Im New To This But I Need An Outlet

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I don't even know where to begin. I'm new to this message board, and actually its the first one I've every done believe it or not. Anyways my mind is bewildered around the devasting tragedy of my mom passing away 3 weeks ago. It was both anticipated and sudden. She had been battling breast cancer for fourteen years. But it was extremely complicated in her case. She was first diagnosed when I was nine years old and then just when we thought things were getting better years later my junior year in highschool she had a reoccurence. She was having trouble breathing and the doctors found out it had spread to her lungs. She had an oxgen tank at home and we all began to lose hope again. But then another miracle happened and she got better and didnt have to use the oxygen anymore(despite the doctors saying she would be on it for the rest of her life). She continued to her tumor marker checked periodically and about two years later it had spread to her colon. Honestly I dont even know if two years is accurate because there were so many reoccurences to different parts of her body it is had to remember the exact times. So she was dealt more pain, more chemo and she just kept on fighting. I had grown up more by then and was a little better with coping with it all, wasnt still in denial. During my teenage years my Mom and I had a horrible relationship and I was constantly trying to reconcile it for fear of when she would die and feeling regret when it happened. Well luckily I was dealt more time and years passed on and she continued chemo treatment and she seemed to be doing better. "Seemed" is the key word here because obviously with cancer anything can change drastically and quickly as I learned. She had a scheduled MRI one day, and then the results came back, everyone's worst nightmare, she had a tumor in her brain. I thought for sure this would be my last chance. Our relationship had gotten better but I still wanted more time. My wish was granted yet another time because the surgery was successful and they were able to get almost all of the tumor. And suprisingly she was okay after the surgery, she was almost her normal self asking us if the house was clean, etc lol So then I became more faithful, thinking if she can survive now a brain tumor then she'll be okay and I'll have my mom now for a really long time.

Well what was supposed to be a long time really wasnt, at least not enough for me. About two years later 2008 when everything changed. I remember it was Christmas break and me and my boyfriend came home. My mom and dad had just finished building their new house and they were all moved in. We helped unpack and decorate and she was cooking with us and absolutely fine. One night her and I went to dinner and out to finish shopping and I thought she seemed really healthy and back on track. I was again fooled by the cruel deception of cancer. Two days after that outing the unexectable happened, my dad and her had gone to the movies and they had just gotten home. Me and my boyfriend were upstairs talking when all of the sudden my dad knocked on the door. He said to come here now. We go downstairs and she's in bed; she had fainted and threw up blood at the same time. Everyone was in shock, I couldn't believe it. I was stunned. I was bawling, afraid that this was it. She wanted my dad to call 911 instead of going to the hopsital themselves so they did and twenty minutes later and ambulance was there and they were pulling her out on a stretcher. I had never seen anything like before except for on tv. My boyfriend was keeping me from passing out myself and I felt like I was going to throw up. My dad told us to stay behind and he would call us when he found something out. A few hours later he said to go on and go to bed(it was like 2 am) and that they would know more tomorrow. I knew I wouldnt be able to sleep but I tried. It was the day before Christmas Eve the next day and my brother and his girlfriend came into town and my sister came into town that day too. We spent the day in the hospital and it was a nightmare, they had her on a feeding tube and an IV. We took turns coming in shifts because the room was so small. The next day was Christmas Eve, we went to the hospital almost the whole afternoon and then she wanted us to go to dinner at her friends house she had arranged(she was always the planner in the family) so we went , and were thinking of going to church afterwards. Halfway through the meal my dads phone rings. Its the doctor they want to do surgery and they are going to do it soon. We're all thinking, surgery, why? now?! So he races over there and calls us, we all talk to her for a second and then she was taken back. I'm numb now and wondering what the hell has happened. We go over and we wait. We wait hours. Finally the doctor comes out and says shes alive, (thank GOD), but "her liver is beriddled with tumor" and our jaws drop. My dad says, what, we never knew it was the in the liver. And the doctor looks at us confused and apologizes for her "harsh terms" but he thought we knew it had spread to the liver, and we had no clue. Apparently the CT scan had not picked up on it. The reason she had thrown up blood was because there was a tumor in her stomach that was bleeding and they got that out but there was nothing they could do about the liver they said.

So its Christmas Eve at 1 in the morning in the hospital. Everything absolutely a mess and ruined. We go in to recovery to see her and she demands to know whats going on and what they found. my dad breaks down and tells her. she sighs and says here we go again. I couldnt believe it, it was spreading abosultey everywhere and there was nothing no one could do. It was killing her slowly and now faster it seemed. ..Christmas morning we bring the presents to the hospital, she loved watching us open them and she even opened a few. She seemed okay. That night we had Christmas dinner because everything had already been prepared and it was weird not having here there. Christmas came and went and she came home after New Years. The doctors didnt know how the recovery would go but they thought it would be okay. She had a feeding tube at home and was severly losing weight. I had never seen her so thin before in my life. Weeks pass and my boyfriend and I go back to school in Bowling Green, KY. We came home lots of weekends but not Valentines day weekend when my sister and brother did and I wish I would've because apparently then was this "miraculous short term recovery" she was up and dressed and went out for the first time in months, went shopping and they took pictures and sent them and I thought she looked great. I thought well okay maybe she survived another round. But unfortnatley my hopes were shattered. The following week she wasnt eating again, she was weak and in bed the whole day. We came home every weekend and she would sometimes come out and watch tv with us and even one time she was halfway okay and we all played a board game. And then it was af someone said it's finally over. Spring break came and my boyfriend and I came home thinking we would visit for a few days and then maybe going to Gatlinburg. We all talked for a long time that Friday night we got home. I poured my heart out to her saying I was so sorry for our troubled relationship in the past and that she was the best mother I could ask for and I told her I loved her so much. I just had this bad gut feeling. And I am soo glad I said something that night. I had also written her a letter and she said she forgave me. She had really looked worse since I had seen her, lost more weight in her face and just looked very weak. She didnt even look like my mom anymore. She was coughing alot and was on oxygen again. She would be up all night coughing and then March 8th she started coughing up this dark fluid, it wasnt blood but it was fluid, which was worse. She could hardly speak and it was a nightmare. My dad knew it was serious and called my sister and brother and told them to come home because it didnt look good. They had called hospice and they were going to come. My sister got home the 9th and that night my dad told us to prepare our goodbyes because he thought she might go into a coma. We went in there one by one, I couldnt believe it. It didnt feel real that I was going in her bedroom and telling her goodbye. The saddest part was, was that she could barely even respond. She did say I love you too but she was just deteoriating fast. I didnt believe my dad though, I thought God would be on our side again and she would be okay.

The next morning I wake up, I am in the kitchen eating and my sister comes out and says we think she's in a coma. I rush in the bedroom. Sure enough, her eyes are half way opened and the other shut. She is breathing fine and my aunt is in there with us. My dad is at a counseling appointment and my brother hasnt made it home yet. My aunt leaves the room to give us some alone time with her. We are in there talking to her as if she can respond back and we are praying, I am praying for a miracle, but then suddenly there is silence. We stop talking and my sister says, "oh my God is she not breathing anymore?" We look over and sure enough she just stopped. No gasp for air, nothing. Just stopped. We call in my aunt she checks for a pulse, there is nothing. She didnt want to be recessitated so we dont call 911. We call my dad and he rushes home. We are all bawling. I am laying next to her as if she will wake up any minute. My dad comes in the room and falls to the floor , his hands on her face, he is hysterical. 37 years of marriage, gone. We knew it was coming eventually but not like this. And honestly the rest is just a blur. I will post a new one for that because this is already very long. If anyone lost their parent or loved one to cancer or to anything else I would love a response back. Because right now I am completely lost. I am trying to read a book about grief and I am having insomnia and I dont know how to go on. Thanks for reading.

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I am so glad you found this site. You are so early in your grief process, but I want you to know what you feel is perfectly normal. My husband and father both died of cancer, but it really doesn't make any difference what they died from, it is the fact that I loved them and now they are gone.

I am so glad you and your mom reconciled. I am a nurse and have seen people that didn't get that chance and have very hard time dealing with it.

For right now the best thing you can do is eat, sleep when you can, put one foot in front of the other and come here and write anything you want because sometimes that is the best therapy.

Good luck to you


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I am so sorry for the loss of your mother. Cancer is a very scary and sudden thing, and it can definitely pull our heartstrings with instilling hope in us and then dashing it away. That you were able to reconcile things with your mother and tell her you loved her, that is wonderful. :) My father passed away in November to cancer, and he went so quickly - within 2 months - I spoke to him on the phone one day, and the next, he was gone.

I hope the grief books you have feel helpful to you. Insomnia is a part of it, too. I hope that you can get some sleep, and if not, feel free to talk to us on here. That's why I'm on here at 2:30 in the morning.

It is very tough to deal with grief. We are all here to support you, and please feel free to use this, like you said, as an outlet. That is what we are here for.


Take care,


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((((((((((((Carissa)))))))))))) Hugs for you.

Oh hon I'm so sorry. Yes.. I lost my Dad to cancer. So I know something of your experience.

But I must say for right now...

I'm SO glad you were able to be there when she crossed over. I'm happy and relieved you were right there for her.

Please... do come on back and let us know how you are doing. This is hard hon.. real hard. Insomnia... sure, that and loads of other stuff is "normal" for right now. So don't worry.

We are here for you and understand much of what you are feeling.


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Hi Carissa,

My story is a lot like yours. My mom battled cancer for two years, and even though she was "terminal" she had this amazing will to live--I often forgot she was even sick. I guess some how that made me feel like she wasn't really going to die. Every time she had to go into the hospital I knew she would come back out. She had colon cancer that spread everywhere, but liver failure is what finally took her. She too was on hospice care, and died at home with me right beside her. She was in a coma, with her eyes half open but you knew she wasn't really there. Then she just, stopped breathing, no gasping, no nothing.

As ironic as it may sound, it's good that you are grieving. My mom died last October, and I have just in the past few weeks started to mourn her death. I just would take all the painful thoughts and push them away. I ended up having an emotional breakdown and I'm on depression medication now. Please don't file away your grief like I did. The only way to get through grief is to grieve. There are no short-cuts.

I've found that writing in a journal helps, and I also meet with a grief counselor. The hospital system where I live offers grief counseling free of charge to people who have lost loved ones to cancer. You could look into something like that in your city.

Coming here has also helped. It's nice to know that you aren't the only one going through tough times.

As for the insomnia, just remember that it will eventually pass. Go easy on yourself, cut back on extra activities if you have to. The most important thing is to just sit and feel. Feel every emotion that passes through your body. Even the ones that are uncomfortable. This will get easier.

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Wow I wasn't expecting this many replies at first. I am sorry for your losses. I cant even imagine how painful that must be. I am glad too that I got to reconcile with her, it has made the guilt part a lot easier. I am really glad that I found this site too, it helps to vent and get others support. Thank you for your support. I appreciate it.

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Hi, thanks for your reply. My mom had an amazing will to love also, she was always so positive, it was so sad to see her in pain when she was acting happy. I am sorry for your loss. I am trying not to file my grief away but it is very hard, because when I'm in denial its easier for awhile but then I start thinking about it and it hurts. I am getting ready to move back home so I will be in therapy then because I definately need to be. I hope it does get easier. I am on depression medication as well but I am going to my doctor to switch because I am having really bad side effects from it. If you don't mind me asking, what are you on? I am just curious because I have tried a lot of different meds and not had much luck. Well thanks again for your response. Take care.


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I know what you mean about watching her be in pain. Right after my mom died I was relieved because it was easier for her to just not be here than it was to watch her suffer like she did. I definitely was in denial that my mom was gone; it was like she was just at a meeting or on a trip or something. I felt like I had to be strong-and to me my idea of strong was not feeling any pain; so I would just shove it down into the pit of my stomach and not think about it anymore. Like I said, that worked really really well for almost five months. Than last month I turned 20 and got engaged; both huge life changing moments. That's when I finally "woke up" and realized she was gone. It totally turned my life upside down. I started having panic attacks, I couldn't eat, and it got to the point where I was in a constant state of anxiety. I had to quit my job and I couldn't even drive. It was terrible. My doctor put me on Lexapro, which treats both depression and anxiety. He also gave me clorazepam, which is an anti-axiety medication to use until the lexapro takes full effect (usually 4-6 weeks)

It's only been two weeks so far, but I've seen tremendous changes already. I started feeling better after the first week; and now I am starting to feel like myself again. I don't have any side effects really, and the ones I do have are so mild they don't even bother me.

You are so early in the grief process, are you sure medication is the way you want to go? I've heard that taking meds early on can take the edge off of the grief, but it just numbs you so you don't actually work through the pain. Maybe the side effects you think you are experiencing are just side effects of grief? I know personally that I constantly have a headache and a stomach ache; just from the grieving process. Anyway, I'm not trying to judge you or anything like that, and I don't know your circumstances or anything, I guess I'm just thinking out loud here. But lexapro has been a miracle for me, you might want to ask your doctor about it.

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  • 3 weeks later...

Hi- Like Carissa I'm new to any discussion board..so bare w/ me here. I'm 38 and recently lost my mom to lung cancer metastisized to her liver. Mom was diagnosed on Nov 19, 2008 and passed away on March 16, 2009. I'd never in my wildest dreams imagine I'd be going through this at such a young age. My mom was only 58 yrs old. She was my best friend and I miss her so much I can't even type this without crying. She fought so hard for my sister and I and we both felt so helpless because we couldn't do anything to help. My sister took a voluntary layoff from work to be able too stay home and care for mom. I have 3 boys so it was harder for me to do the majority of caregiving. I shared EVERYTHING w/ my mom and even now I find myself picking up the phone to call her because I have just have to tell her something...then it hits me like I've ran into a brick wall...complete w/ the breath taken out of me. My sister and I talk all the time and we try to help each other but 1/2 the time we can't even help ourselves let alone help each other LOL! Our dad is young too, he's 58 as well. He's doing ok but is really missing mom. They would have been married 40 yrs in July 09, but have been together since they were 15yr old. I'm the oldest and its so hard trying to keep it all together for everyone...I'm so glad I found this discussion group.

Thanks all for letting me share my story.


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