On March 21st my mom was taken to the RAH emerg because she fell at home and couldn’t call for help. We thought she had a mini stroke. But after a bunch of tests and a few hours the Doctor told us about the huge mass in her lungs and a small one in her brain. All her results suggested she had a lung cancer. She was admitted to the pulmonary unit where further diagnosis determined it was a stage 4 non small cell lung cancer which spread to her brain, adrenal glands and bones (shoulder, femer, hip, back). The radiologist suggested whole brain and lung radiation right away to reduce swelling in her brain and stop/shrink the growth in her lungs. The growth in her lungs was so bad it almost completly restricted air flow and because it rested on nerve she could only whisper to talk. The doctors tried being optimistic saying she could survive weeks-5years. But they also said it’s likely only weeks. It was a total shock to get such a harsh diagnosis. My mom also suffered with chronic pain from her trigeminal neurolgia and she had bronchitis frequently so her symptoms (although there) were just associated with her current health conditions and the strong meds she already took to relieve her pain. She was strong while in the hospital but she had her weak days. We transferred her to unit 43 pallative care at the grey nuns because they specialized in chronic pain management and she was happy and seemed to thrive. She would sit in her wheel chair every day and did her best to stay awake for company but her body was tired. She started radiation and completed 5 treatments before I found her just laying there friday morning (april 19). She couldn’t awake at all. She was annoyed and her body just wanted to sleep. That memory burns deep because I can still hear her voice talking to me and see her sitting up visiting me and then she was just like that. From one extreme to another in one day. Things went down hill fast from there and she was just in a deep sleep unresponsive to touch. Monday night she mustered up the energy to open her eyes and say her final goodbyes. One by one she told my sister she loved her. Then turned her head to tell my neice she loved her and looked at me and did the same. It must of took everything in her but she did that for us. My mother was so strong, even till the end. I stayed up with her till 3:30 playing some of her favorite songs and singing to her. I prayed for her and held her then finally shut my eyes to the rhythm of her breath. At 6am the nurse came in to give her pain meds and again Then came back to change her. I listened to her breath then went beside her to hold her hand while they changed her. The nurse started calling her name in a loud voice and turned to tell me she was gone. She never struggled nor gasped for air. I held her hand, kissed her head, prayed and looked up to see the most beautiful sunrise ever. My heart was filled with peace for her. My mom hated pain but she stayed strong for her family. It’s been tough but I am also happy that she doesn’t have to suffer. She suffered sooooo much. I want my mommie back more then anything but I don’t want her in pain. Letting her go on Tuesday April 23rd was the first time in a month that I was at peace. I know shes pain free and happy as can be. The ache in my heart will take time to heal but I was so fortunate to learn so much from her. She taught me how to stand up for myself and how to be strong. Her family was her life and no matter our faults she always stood beside us. I can honestly say I never went ‘without’ in my childhood and I am who I am today because of her.
I love digital scrap booking and I used it as a way to deal with some of the pain I felt. Below I will share some of the memories of my mom. My Gallery at The Lilypad has the materials and credits used on these pages.