It's So Difficult....

rindalinMarch 27, 2005

I didn't know this board was here. Now that I found it I don't know if I will be able to read posts or not.

I went to visit my mother last Tuesday. She has cancer. It started out 2 years ago with a small lump on her breast. They did a lumpectamy (sp?) and said they got it all. A short time later, it came back.

She has gone thru radiation treatments, then chemo for a short time. The chemo almost killed her, after 2 treatments she was so weak and sick that they quit the treatments because the cancer was not hurting her as much as the chemo was. A few more chemo treatments would have killed her. That was a year ago.

A couple months ago she finally decided to go to Old Mexico and take the cancer treatment they give. It was working. She was getting better.

Thursday she had an appointment with her regular physician here in the states. He tried to drain liquid off her lungs. The procedure has been done many times during the past few months. This time he screwed up and pulled out more than he should have. He was standing there oh so calm said "oops". Mom has been going to that doctor every week for a long time. After he finished draining her lung, she ask about her next appt. and he said he would arrange for a hospice worker to start visiting her and she didn't need to come to see him anymore. About 3 hours later she couldn't breath so I rushed her to the emergency room and discovered that her lung collapsed!

The hospital doctor told us that the doctor who drained her lungs punctured it & made it collapse. He said she has anywhere from a few hours up to 6 months to live. He also said the longer it drags on, the harder it will be for her to breathe until she eventually suffocates and that the longer she lives the more pain shell have. Up until now, she hasnÂt had any pain. The doctor didnÂt mince words, he said it just like that.

½ the family believes she is going to die any minute, the other ½ believes sheÂll make it through this and survive. I feel like a pin ball bouncing around. I donÂt know what to believe. I just canÂt believe this is really happening!

The cancer treatment is working. The cancer was going away. I believe she would have been healthy in a few weeks or months.

Now IÂm a wreak. Every thought I have brings a new emotion with it. In the last 3 days IÂve gone from thinking she was healing fine, to believing death is a few hours away. IÂve been bouncing around not knowing what to think. One minute I believe sheÂll come through this and get well, the next minute IÂm in shock not sure what is going on, then terrified that she will die any minute, then excepting that we will lose her, then back to not believing anything. IÂm going in circles not able to think straight.

All this has happened in the past 3 days. Last night I couldnÂt sleep and about 3 AM I suddenly got a vision of her laying in a coffin. At the time of the vision I had a strange peace come over me and I excepted that itÂs not fair of me to want to deprive her of her heavenly reward that I know is waiting for her.

This afternoon I found a message on my voice mail from her that she had left the night before her lung collapsed. At the end of the message she didnÂt disconnect the phone and I could here her talking from far away. Emotionally I fell apart and couldnÂt listen to the rest of it. I donÂt know how long that message will go on, but a thought ran through my mind that it could be the last time I hear my mothers voice.

IÂm 52 years old and IÂve never dealt with the loss of a close family member. I donÂt know how IÂm going to get through this. IÂm putting on a brave face for mom and dad. I broke down in front of my little brother and sister, then I broke down in front of my daughter. I was ok with that. But I was talking to my uncle (momÂs brother) at the hospital and started crying. I just walked away. I couldnÂt face it at that time and place. I donÂt know what they all think of me right now, there were about 8 or 10 family members in the group. I didnÂt say anything, I just got tears in my eyes and turned and walked out of the hospital. I havenÂt been back. I came home today. I have been staying with mom and dad helping them, but today I got in my car and drove the 200 miles to my own home.

I can talk. I canÂt answer questions. I want to answer questions. I want people to ask questions, but for some reason I just went a little nuts trying to explain everything to my uncle. I was trying to tell him about the doctor visit when the doctor punctured her lung, and how the cancer isnÂt whatÂs hurting her now. I got part way through the telling and thatÂs when I turned and walked out. Not a word to anyone. I feel so bad about that, but I canÂt do anything about it here and now. I want to see my uncle and tell him IÂm sorry for walking out. I hope they will understand. The whole family group was my uncles, their wives, and some cousins, at least one family friend. IÂm not sure who all was there. My little sister was standing beside me and walked out with me. I donÂt know if she said anything to them or not.

I think I will take a day or two and try to gather myself together and then I will drive back up there. I donÂt know how I will get through it all.

IÂm so glad that there is a place where I can put these feelings into words. No sympathy please. I don't want anyone to feel sorry for me. I just want to be able to talk without someone trying to hold me and comfort me. I need to talk and it's so difficult to do that. When someone tries to comfort me I want to lash out at them. Why would I want to hurt someone for trying to comfort me? I hope I'll be able to erase this post later. Tomorrow I'll probably read it and totally regret saying any of this, but right now I feel like I have to say it or I will explode holding it in. I donÂt want anyone to feel sorry for me. I just want to be able to talk without someone trying to hold me and comfort me. I want to talk and it's so difficult to do that. ThereÂs no one to talk to now. Like a idiot I went and drove 200 miles away from everyone. IÂm the one that moved away. The rest of them all live up there.

When I got home I called my older sister and talked to her for a few minutes and promised her that IÂll call her at the hospital tomorrow. I forgot that tomorrow is Easter. I should be there with mom on Easter. This might be the last holiday we could be together.

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Is there a grief group in your area you can go to? Check with your hospital/medical group social service dept. Look in the paper. What you are going through is normal, and sometimes outsiders are better to deal with than family/friends. Do you go to a certain church? Check the churches in your area for support groups.
I would also talk to a lawyer regarding the Dr's mistreatment of your mom. Not so much for the money, but to make sure it does not happen again.
Just sending you hugs

    Bookmark   March 27, 2005 at 11:46AM
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I was typing a reply. I just got the call, we lost mom this morning at 5:25. I can't believe how calm I am. I keep thinking that mom would not want us to be sad, we should be happy for her to now be in heaven enjoying the great reward she has worked for all her life. I will be driving back up there and I know I will be ok.

Marie, thanks for letting me know my emotions are normal. It helps to know that.

    Bookmark   March 27, 2005 at 12:45PM
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Marie i am sorry to hear of your loss.I lost my mom to cancer 2 years ago and she also expierienced a collapsed lung during a bronchoscopy.She had a emergency chest tube inserted and was never the same again.This all happened on my birthday.Mom died 5 weeks later.For closure and to prevent the MD from hurting anyone else i sought legal advice.The lawyer said Mom signed a consent prior to the procedure which explains all that can go wrong and a collapsed lung is one of the things listed on the cosent form.Very weak case if any he said.It would cost more to prepare than would be awarded.As if that was not enough--in October 2004 my Dad died,and a month ago i ended a 3 year relationship with a wonderful man who has the disease of alcoholism but denies it.I was numb and calm when mom and dad died,but fell apart after this relationship ended.It all came to the surface,and i do not know if i will ever stop crying.I am depressed and angry and feel very alone.I know these emotions are normal,but wonder if i can cope.

    Bookmark   March 27, 2005 at 8:51PM
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I am so sorry for your loss. I just lost my dad in August and losing a loving parent stinks. I also live 200 miles from family so I know the push/pull you feel of wanting to be in two places at the same time. I am glad you were able to spend time with your mother last week and give her your love and support. Hugs to you.

    Bookmark   March 27, 2005 at 11:40PM
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How are you doing rindalin?? I know your Mom passed away on the 27th and i am very sorry for your loss.I just wanted to check in and see how you are.Concerned griever..Maryann

    Bookmark   March 29, 2005 at 12:38PM
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I just wanted to say that I am sorry to hear about your mom. When I read your post, it hit home for me, my mom just died 2 months ago. We were as close as a mother and daughter could be and I feel so alone since she's been gone. I can understand how you are feeling. You will feel so many emotions over the next while, almost like your head is going to explode. I have found that it helps to write my feelings/thoughts/dreams etc. down in a journal. It is just for me and for no one to see (or judge). Sometimes I just don't want to talk to anyone about it because they don't understand how I feel anyway.

Be close with the people who truly care (you will know who they are) their love will help ease the tremendous pain that you are feeling.

The last two months have been a blur for me but these are a few things that have helped me.. I hope you find them helpful too.

Take care,

    Bookmark   March 30, 2005 at 9:15PM
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rindalin, I had the same trouble when my mother was dying 2 years ago. I just fell apart and cried most of the time. Finally I had to get some medication from the doctor to settle down so I could function. It was almost like grieving before her death.

I'm so sorry for your loss, and I know you will miss your dear mother terribly. Even though our parents are supposed to die before we do, it is still a stunning loss, especially a mother. Please let us know how everything is going.

    Bookmark   April 1, 2005 at 1:11AM
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Hi everyone,

I'm at a internet terminal about 200 miles from home. We all got thru the funeral ok. It was hard, but we are ok. I would have been going home tomorrow, but a lady ran into my car and now it's not driveable. I'm trying to get her insurance to fix it quick since I'm so far from home. I think I'm going to have a problem since she called my insurance... I hope for the best, but expect the worst. At least I'm staying busy and that is a blessing.

Thanks for the concern. I don't know when I'll get access to a terminal to post again but will let you all know when I get home.

I hope my post isn't full of links. The computer I'm on has added 7 llinks to my post. I don't see any way for me to remove them so if they show up... know that they are not from me.

    Bookmark   April 4, 2005 at 5:12PM
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I came home today for the weekend. I will go back Sunday. I've been staying with dad. My car is still setting in front of his house, but I will get it repaired next week and come back home to stay.

I don't think the reality of loosing mom has hit me totally. While I"m at dad's house I know I have to be brave for him. I'm wondering how I'll feel when I come home and will be here alone with lots of time to think.

    Bookmark   April 22, 2005 at 3:32AM
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