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New Here - Lost My Mom


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Hi everyone. I've been reading this forum for a few weeks now, but just finally felt the need to post. Today is two months since my mom passed away and I'm having a rough time dealing with it.

To give you a little background, she was diagnosed with stage 3 lung cancer at the end of last June. She had health problems throughout her life, but never anything so serious as that. She was a smoker for many years and we all tried to get her to quit, but she didn't until about 2 years ago. She had started feeling really ill at the beginning of 2010 and gradually got worse until they admitted her to the hospital in June and ran all of the tests that eventually led to the diagnosis. Her oncologist and team of doctors wanted to be "aggressive" in their treatments, and it seemed to make sense at the time, despite the fact that she only weighed about 90 pounds (she had always been thin, but that was low even for her).

She did two rounds of chemo and completed 45 radiation sessions. After the second round of chemo (mid-September), she ended up back in the hospital. She was down to 68 pounds and was just horribly ill from the treatments. She was in the hospital for a week and was then sent home, with treatment being on hold indefinitely. She seemed to get a little better once she was home and the chemo worked it's way out of her system. She still wasn't eating much, both because she felt sick and couldn't keep it down and also because the radiation did so much damage to her throat. She had several blood transfusions during all this as well.

Then, on November 11th, I got a call from my dad while I was at work. He told me that the neighbor called him because my mom was "throwing up blood" and that 911 had been called. He asked me to go over there because I could get to the house quicker than he could. I really don't know what I expected, but it was not what I found. My mom was collapsed, unconscious, on the floor in the living room and there was blood everywhere. It was horrific. Everyone seemed calm, so I tried not to worry too much. The EMTs didn't seem in much of a rush at all so I didn't think things were that bad. We finally got to the ER and the doctor started asking about hospice and telling us there was nothing they could do for her, except make her comfortable.

Over the next 6 days, she gradually got worse and worse. She had regained consciousness in the ER, but then the pain kept increasing so they essentially put her into a coma with all of the pain medication and anti-anxiety medicines. She had a heart attack in the ICU (and they think she may have had one at the house as well), they couldn't stabilize her blood pressure, they couldn't stop the bleeding in her lung, the tumor had apparently not shrunk at all despite all the treatments, she refused a feeding tube, and then the real kicker was that they discovered an antibiotic-resistant infection in her lung. There was one antibiotic that could cure it, and my mother was allergic to it.

After many discussions with various doctors and hospice workers, we had to make the decision to take her off of life support. We removed the blood pressure medication first, and when there was no change, we had to remove the ventilator. She breathed on her own for around 20 minutes and then went very peacefully with me, my husband, and my father at her side.

It all still feels so unreal. I can't believe she's gone and not coming back. I started some anti-anxiety meds a couple of weeks ago because I felt myself slipping further and further into a depression, but I don't like how numb they're making me feel. I'd rather feel the pain and the hurt and be able to deal with it, than feel distanced and weird like I do now.

I don't know what to do for my dad. It kills me that he's all alone in the house and that he wakes up alone and comes home to no one. I'm an only child and my husband and I only live about 15 minutes away, so we try to spend as much time together with him as possible. He seems to be doing ok -- better than I am anyway!

It also tears me apart that my husband and I haven't had kids yet. Now my kids will never know their nana and I just can't deal with that. She never pressured me at all to have kids, but I know she was just itching to have grandchildren. I know that she's still here watching over all of us, but I'm selfish and I want her REALLY here, to talk to and hug and experience things with me/us.

Thanks for letting me vent. Just reading through other people's experiences has really helped me to realize that I'm not going crazy and other people feel the same way I do.

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Dear BellaRosa,

Thank-you for sharing your very painful story. I am so very sorry about the loss of your dear, precious Mom. I, and so many others on this site know exactly what you are feeling right now. The feeling that you are going "crazy" is very normal I think, Even a year after my loss I still feel like that sometimes, and wonder if I'll ever be normal again ?

I lost my Dad one year ago, it was all very sudden. Like your Mom, they put my Dad into an induced coma,then inserted a ventilator, and that was it- I was never able to talk to him again. We removed his life support a week later. I almost feel like I died that day as well, I feel like I will never be the same. I know you'll read about many different forms of grief from everyone here, It's amazing the different ways that people handle it (or don't), This site has been a lifesaver for me ! At one year, I am almost still in as much pain and shock as I was the first month. I can't get over the fact that my Dad is never coming back, and all the things I wish I had said to him ,etc.

I also got a prescription for anti-anxiety drugs , I take them every once in awhile when I'm having a REALLY bad day. Do you have any support groups near where you live ? I started going to one a month after my Dad died, and I'm still going !! Of course nothing can take away the pain, but sometimes it's nice to just let it all out (in person) and have the hugs, etc.

I can only speak from my own experience when I say don't be surprised if your still feeling like this for months. :closedeyes: I know that you are so worried about your Dad right now, it's great that you live so close to him. Do you work right now ? I just wondered if you had the added stress of trying to "function" like normal in a workplace ??

Well, I hope to read more from you, We are all here for you. I wish you Peace and Comfort.

I'm sending you a BIG hug,

Love, Jodi

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Hi Jodi,

I'm so sorry to hear about your dad. It sounds like you went through something very similar and it's just awful.

I am working and it's very hard, I have to admit. I was out from November 11-29 while my mom was in the hospital and then for a week or so after she passed. Sometimes I wish I didn't have to work because it's so draining trying to be "normal" here, but sometimes I'm grateful I have a reason to leave the house. Yesterday was rough and I ended up spending quite a bit of time in the bathroom crying, but then I went back to my desk and pressed on.

I'm not in a support group, but I do have a good support system if that makes sense! My dad and I talk openly and cry together, and I do have a couple of friends my age who have lost one of their parents. I'm only 29, so it's hard to find peers who truly understand what I'm going through. I've debated seeing a grief counselor or even just calling the bereavement hotline we have access to, but I don't know that I'm ready to speak to a stranger about all this. It feels more comforting to come on here and read other people's stories and find a connection that way.

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Bellarosa,

I am so sorry about the loss of your mom. It is a difficult thing to deal with.

I have lost both of my parents within 10 months of each other - mom 11/30/09 and dad 10-4-10. I have 2 children and they keep me busy but, I struggle with the whole finality of it all. I am so sorry you had to find your mom in the condition she was in. It's a good thing that you live so close to your dad. I'm sure he appreciates seeing you often. I'm sorry your mom had to endure all the "therapy" and that you had to watch it all happen. These images play like a movie in my head and I just can't get rid of them no matter how I try. I am told it gets better in time. I just don't believe a word of it right now. My dad was diagnosed with stage 4 prostate cancer on the day my mom died. He only lasted another 10 months despite the aggresive chemo also. So many side effects that I thought often that maybe stopping it completely would have been better to have some quality then to suffer through the short time he had left. Of course, hindsight is 20/20 and we were hopeful,at the time, that he could last a bit longer to enjoy us and his 2 grandkids and us to enjoy him.

As far as you having kids and your mom enjoying them - when it does happen she will enjoy them, just from up above. I know that is no consolation right now but, I do believe it's true. It helps me to think they are in a much better place, not suffering anymore and smiling down on us. Although, sometimes I have moments of feeling like "what about me left here to deal with this"? Very mixed.....

Everyone handles their grief differently so I won't tell you how to handle yours - that's for sure. I haven't taken any meds and I do feel hopeless, depressed and just down at times. I just feel like in order to get through this horrible grief "process", I have to deal with it head on. I hope that this site can help you with it all also. I feel that writing it down and reading others posts helps tremendously to make you feel like you are not alone and feeling like you're going crazy.

Anyway, please keep coming and sharing/reading when you think you can.

Peace today, tomorrow and always.

2sweetgirls

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Hi 2sweetgirls,

I've read bits and pieces of your story in various threads on here. I'm so sorry to hear about your mom and your dad. I can't imagine having to deal with two huge losses like that in such a short period of time.

I know what you mean about hindsight being 20/20. My mom mentioned a couple of times that she wasn't going to continue treatment, and my dad and I pushed her. I just couldn't believe that she was going to "give up" -- I really thought that she was going to get better and have much longer than just 5 lousy months. Had I known that, I think I would have agreed with her and told her to just try to enjoy the short time she had left. But of course that's easier to say now. At the time, fighting seemed like the only obvious choice since she was only 61 years old. I think deep down she knew that she wasn't going to be around much longer. She knew that she was much worse off than what she told us.

I do believe that she's still around, watching over us, and that she'll be here to see her grandkids, but it's not the same and I'm not ready to accept this compromise. I want her physically here and nothing else is good enough right now, you know? I'm sure that feeling will lessen in time and I'll be able to have kids and enjoy them, knowing that she is right there with me even if I can't see her.

I'm just so caught up in the unfairness of it all right now. It feels like there are so many horrible people in the world and they're all still here. Why? My mom was such a good person, so why did she have to die so young? Why did she have to suffer so much? It's frustrating because there are no answers to those questions.

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I definitely understand how you are feeling. Seriously, I don't think any of these feeling will lessen in time. I just really can't see it.

As far as your mom knowing she was sicker than she let on. I am, oh, too familiar with that. My parents both would minimize their illnesses. Mom had been sick over the years and always pulled through with flying colors. We all knew she had heart disease and that she wasn't doing well but, I still thought she would pull through like always. I was in major denial. When we realized this was "it", we booked our flights and were on our way when I got the call that she had passed - devastating. I will never forgive myself for not being with this beautiful woman - holding her hand, telling her I love her so much - that would have given me the shirt off her back.

Now with dad we had "experience". We booked the flight the minute it seemed that it was taking a turn. He fought a strong fight and wanted to live but, it just wasn't to be. My parents were very big on destiny. In fact, mom came to me in a dream shortly after she died (still unreal to write those words) and told me that this was her destiny. It is still hard to accept.

I know that nothing other than your mom being here in this world is acceptable. Of course that's true. I feel it too.

My husband keeps saying the same thing as you. There are many horrible people in this world and they are still alive. Why is a great question. I wish I had the answer for you. All I can do is listen and share my thoughts. Hopefully, you can feel a bit of comfort. I am so sorry for your pain.

Please take care. Sending you a great big hug ((((((()))))))

2sweetgirls

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