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Found 46 results

  1. The healthcare system has failed my mom. In 2013 she was found to have a lymphnode in her neck that had metastasized from an unknown site. Her pathology was sent all over the US where they eventually labeled her as having lymphoma. This was a misdiagnosis. They treated her with surgery, chemo, and radaiation. A year and a half later she was diagnosed with breast cancer. She underwent a lumpectomy and radiation. She has trouble swallowing and went to several doctors who told her it was from the first radiation causing scar tissue. She also noticed one of her nostrils was closing up and she had difficulty breathing through it, again this was dismissed. She went to ER due to a severe headache and vomiting where she was found to have a brain tumor. She underwent a craniotomy where the pathology was the same as the first cancer, a metastasis of an unknown origin. Further work up revealed esophageal cancer, no wonder she couldn't swallow. It had spread to her colon, lungs, liver, spleen, bones, and nose (the reason she was having difficulty breathing)She has undergone radiation to the nose, esophagus, and brain and currently going through chemo where her cancer is continuing to grow. During this time the insurance continually denied her treatments and follow up appointments, doctors were waiting far too long between scans and visits, and no one has told her how bad her prognosis is/life expectancy. She was in good health and lived a healthy life style, only 64, Active, vegan, exercised, applied sun screen daily, didn't smoke, didn't drink. I estimate she only has a couple months left and I'm having a hard time coping. How will I get through this? She will never see me get married or have children. I don't have religion to fall back on. Seeing my dad so upset over this is also termultuous. He has seen her everyday for the last 48 years. He is clearly not in good health either and I think he will pass shortly after she does. I will have no parents. I feel useless. I feel like the healthcare system failed us. How do people get through this? I'm so upset my heart literally hurts. How did this happen.
  2. My beloved cat, Starbuck, died on Monday, January 16th. He was diagnosed with cancer about a week prior, and the vets at his care center gave him his first chemo treatment the day after diagnosis. Starbuck's full story can be found here : Starbuck's GoFundMe Page (we are no longer seeking donations). Long story short (unless you followed the link), Starbuck got better, then worse, then a little better, then even worse, and through it all, the doctors continued to give me hope, saying things like, "If we can just get him over this hump, the chemo can do its work", and "If we can just get food in him for a few days, he'll be much more stable." I just wanted my kitty to live a little longer, and it seemed like a real possibility, the way they explained it, and all the research I did online seemed to support what they were saying. But after we'd spent $6000 on blood transfusions and a feeding tube and meds and oxygen and ultrasounds and centesis and hospitalization, we ran out of money. The vet called me Monday morning to check in, and let me know Starbuck was doing about the same. I informed him that we had to bring Starbuck home at this point, because we were flat broke. He said he'd write up some detailed instructions for home care. My dog died in November of 2016, we'd had to have her euthanized at this same veterinary facility. The cost was $900. My four children and I got Starbuck home around 1pm. He was MUCH worse off than I'd been led to believe. He was pitiful, and it was obvious he did not have long. My kids were seeing this first hand, and with the exception of one holdout, we agreed that Starbuck needed to be put to sleep, as a kindness. The one holdout, my oldest son, was fully on board with euthanasia by the time of Starbuck's death, which was at 2:30. Until the last minute, he'd still had hope we might find some more money, or that one more dose of medicine might help, or maybe if we waited long enough, Starbuck would improve. He was grasping for any straw out there, he wanted his kitty to live, and I love him for it. Unfortunately, we never had time to act on the euthanasia plan, even though I had found someone to come to our home and do it, at a price my parents were willing to pay, due to our current financial situation. I had read up on ways to comfort a sick and dying cat, and we'd prepared our home in every way we possibly could. He had a cozy bed and blankets in a warm, quiet, draft-free part of the house. His water dish and litter box were right at hand. We had quiet nature sounds playing, and soft, indirect lighting for him to see by. There was room for all of us to gather around him and pet him. We had tried to see to Starbuck's every comfort, and between the five of us, we were ready to provide round the clock care. It wasn't enough. His ending was awful. We were all there, petting him, telling him we loved him, saying that it was okay to stop fighting and let go. He gasped his last breath surrounded by loved ones, but it wasn't peaceful, it wasn't dignified, and I wished to god I'd had enough time to arrange a better ending for him. He was such a good kitty, he was so sweet and gentle and funny, he was so LOVED, and he didn't deserve to die like that, to spend his last moments on earth in distress and pain. I can't stop seeing it over and over in my mind, and it hurts more than anything I've ever experienced. How do I get past this? I can't sleep, I can't eat, and everything I see reminds me of Starbuck. I'm a useless person while I'm consumed with this much grief and guilt, and I want to get better. What do I do?
  3. This is written for my most wonderful shaded silver Persian cat, Flutter, who passed away at 10:45 pm, New Year's Eve, December 31, 2007. I remember wanting a chinchilla Persian from the time I was 4....but it would not be until some 25 years later that you walked into my life. And even then, it was a lucky accident because I wasn't even searching for a cat like you. I wanted a brown tabby Maine Coon, Norwegian forest, or another that looked like the 12 year-old cat who had just passed. I found you at a cat show, playing with your brother and sister. You were all 6 months old and so energetic--and I stood there mesmerized. Before I knew it, I had made arrangements for your purchase and adoption. I was to bring you home the next day. I was initially unhappy--because you were. When I brought you home on Sunday, you hid under the radiator. You wouldn't come out at all. On Wednesday, when I brought you to the vet for your first visit, there was progress of sorts as you actually came out of hiding at 6 pm and ate! You even played until I went to bed. And so it was like this for the next few weeks when you would hide behind the sofa for much of the day, only to emerge at dinner....I joked that I should have named you Casper the friendly ghost because you only ever appeared when it was dark outside. You began to snuggle with me at night....so much that I wound up with a nasty rash for weeks that made me wonder if I didn't have a cat allergy. I was even beginning to think that I might have to bring you back to the breeder who was understanding enough to say yes. But I also began to love you so much that I knew I just couldn't do that--not when we had started to bond. And just like that Disney hit that appeared at this very time, we were beauty and the beast....you, of course, were the beauty with your big green eyeliner eyes, pink nose, fluffy white fur--and I, the beast. "Tale as old as time True as it can be Barely even friends Then somebody bends Unexpectedly Just a little change Small, to say the least Both a little scared Neither one prepared Beauty and the Beast" You became attached to me. You seemed to know my daily schedule. You'd sleep under the dining table as I worked, grading essays online. Then at 4, when I was done, you would join me at the sofa, sitting in my lap for a few minutes before taking your place by my side. You, unlike my other cats, enjoyed "people" food too: you would clamour for yogurt, ice cream, pizza, steak, and lamb. And you would be there until it was time for bed: and you always knew when I was going, even when I went very early. You didn't like the dark; if I put my head under the blankets you would meow until I petted you just like you would wait for me by the door when I returned at night. You always seemed to know hen I was sick: you'd sleep by me, and look as though you were taking my temperature when you put your paw on my forehead. You also knew when I was going away even though I'd try to hide it. I can still remember that day when you walked me down the hall when I was leaving to see a friend. And when I returned, you were overjoyed, following me everywhere. Years went by....in early 2006, you began to have problems, even though you had always been healthy. It started with your unwillingness to eat. I remember how you bit into your food and yowled such that I immediately knew you must have had problems with your teeth, but the idiot vet insisted that all your issues were intestinal and/or psychological! That summer, you had a feeding tube inserted. It wasn't until I brought you to a veterinary dentist that I realized I was right all along when she discovered that you had a mass in your right jaw....but that it would have be seen by a radiologist. That was one of the worst and best days of my life. I still remember how mom and I were told by the radiologist that it was cancer and that it was probably inoperable. We were almost ready to put you to sleep....until the surgeon told us that it could be done. So you were there for the operation and two additional days. And then nearly, a week later it seemed like a miracle when you started eating by yourself--and playing too! Not only that, but the pathologist discovered that you did not have cancer after all, but some sort of fibrosis. In September 2007, we moved to CT....a decision which I still wonder about even as I'd always wanted to return to the East Coast. By then you were functioning quite well without your feeding tube and you looked well. But things began to change in October, You began to lose your appetite again. Although you seemed to do well after a visit to the vet in November, you deteriorated rapidly, requiring hospitalization. In December, you were back on a feeding tube. We kept waiting for you to improve, just like last time--even though you were missing the litterbox which you had never done before. Perhaps the fortune in a cookie was not inaccurate after all--"You may try to change the fates but sometimes you can't." I remember that last weekend in December. You were suddenly more active on Friday, walking about the house. We were excited. Maybe you were improving? Saturday and Sunday passed uneventfully....you spent much of those 2 days sitting on the bed, looking very tired. Then came Monday, December 31st. I was working that day, grading essays at the computer. When I finished at 4 and walked to your room, you jumped onto my lap as always, resting there for about 10 minutes. Not much changed....Then around 10:30 when mom was with you, you threw up violently. I went to the computer to find an emergency vet. By the time we got there, you were pronounced dead. I remember how I terrible I felt when you were zipped into a black bag. My poor baby who didn't like the dark....who didn't like to be alone. I had an autopsy done even though I knew it was useless....I wanted to know what killed him. It turned out to be lung and liver cancer. God only knows the agony I felt for months, at least until I had to teach the new term which started in March; I cried night after night, feeling so guilty...I felt as if I had killed you, moving to CT. Maybe if we remained in IL, you would still be alive? Our entire family loved you dearly too. You had left a definitive pawprint on their hearts such that neither wanted anything more than another shaded silver Persian; I wanted one that would be related to you. And so we did: in August, we purchased two kittens descended from your dad. I love them dearly and can sometimes trace out the resemblance between the three of you. But as charming as they are, I know they can never efface or replace you--ever so affectionate, ever so loving. You will forever be my beauty. [deleted pics because my entire photobucket was on display!]
  4. Hello! I'm new to this site. I am a 33 year old female who was diagnosed with Stage IV stomach cancer on Halloween day last year. I was given a six to twelve month life expectancy. I have been having extensive...horrible...chemo for over nine months now only to get scan results back that the cancer still doubled...now I'm on weekly chemo in a last ditch effort to...well I guess prolong the agony. I know it us all in Gods hands and I could get a miracle but.... I don't know....just came looking for something...even in my cancer group I'm the only diagnoses terminal one...it's like I don't have a place....people who understand.....
  5. i will not lie beside you on the morrow nor shall I reach out and touch your hand your voice will not call out like your countenance or a lock from your hair I will not hold you closer than can be corporeal disappearance no breakfast across from thee yet somehow I see your soul safely inside of me My wife had bladder and ureter cancer in 2012. It was doing well enough that on Dec 6th they were going to reduce her scopes to every 6 months from every 3 months By Christmas an adjacent cancer had taken hold called urothelial carcinoma of the renal pelvis. It was like cheesecloth instead of a dense mass and it is invading or crushing organs, veins, and ducts. In December it shutdown her right kidney and small intestine and by January it had encased or compromised the small intestine, common bile duct, psoas muscle, and inferior vena cava These attacks from the cancer were accompanied by constant pain which often exceeded 7 out of ten and sometimes exceeded 9 out of 10 (and Ellen is very pain tolerant) Ellen could not even eat at the beginning of February.They had to do surgery for a bowel bypass to handle the small intestine issue in February so she could eat again. she has spent over 30 days inpatient in the hospital this year not including infusion center and urgent care visits. She has also had a DVT and pressure ulcer due to her compromised situation Ellen failed one chemotherapy (gem carbo) in January and immunotherapy (keytruda) in February. The tumor kept growing and spreading hence the failure. They had done a milder chemotherapy because Ellen's kidney was so compromised in January but her kidney numbers got good enough in March to get the gold standard chemotherapy called MVAC. the chemotherapy reduced the tumor by 30% during the first four weeks but failed to reduce it further after that. It was very toxic to Ellen including symptoms of neutropenia, anemia, massive vomiting and fatigue. MVAC reduced her pain to zero They did not believe that more MVAC would likely help anymore and the toxicity risk was too high. After MVAC they just monitored Ellen and restarted the immunotherapy in the hopes it can be effective with a weakened tumor They discussed and discarded surgery because of the infiltrating nature of Ellen's tumor where they may have started removing the kidney and ureter and find that the tumor was so connected to other organs they would have had to start removing more and more. They were not sure she would have any quality of life afterward A July PET/CT showed the tumor to be active but not growing but lymph nodes were slightly growing. The mid-August PET/CT showed renewed growth of the original tumor and broad growth of new tumors around her kidney and stomach regions. The doctors declared her terminal. two weeks before the scan her pain had begun to return so we were not surprised. They stopped all curative treatment efforts and put her in hospice She was deteriorating rapidly and the pain was rising. incontinence, constipation, diarrhea, fungal infections, pressure ulcer, distended stomach, loss of mental acuity. pain slope was steep She passed away in her sleep on September 26th 2016. She is not suffering anymore.
  6. September has been a very difficult month for me this year--and not just because of professional pressures. Traditionally, it's always been a refreshing month of sorts, if not mostly because there's the first real whiff of fall in the air (now that seasons seem to be starting later and later). It's always marked a new school term with all of the excitement that it brings. Hopes of new projects. A time to break out new fall fashions. And yes, the approach of Halloween: meaning more horror to watch on TV. Last year changed that optimism so drastically. It was last September when my mom's decline assumed a frightening pace--right up to her death on October 4, 2014. Not that we ever gave up hope entirely. After all, her CAT scan had shown that she had improved in some places, and deteriorated in others. When my cousin and her husband came to visit us in mid-September, she seemed happy. Yet, it seemed strange to us that her red and white blood cells kept declining so markedly, even though she was still fit for chemo. That she suffered more and more severe stomach pains: not just once a day, but multiple times. That she could not see objects placed straight in front of her. That she could only go down the stairs with extreme difficulty. This was not the mom I had in February or even in May when she could still go up and down with ease, despite her stroke in April. It was on September 21 that she looked so uncomfortable and very cranky. Strange, because she seemed be doing much better the day before, a Saturday. She ate a good deal and I was happy. On Sunday, tempers flew. I threatened Mom if she didn't start eating or stop talking the way she was, I was going to call the visiting nurse. It was meant as both a threat and yet also as a possible life saver. After all, what if mom was about to suffer a stroke or heart failure? Finally, by early evening, I thought it was better to give a call. Up till very recently, I still had (or have?) no idea if I did the right thing. The nurse decided she needed to go and so she went. My mom was furious at me--and also began to suffer severe pains and low oxygen. They put an oxygen mask on her which made her even more uncomfortable and I almost wanted to cry for her. One of the nurses came by to give her morphine. In the meantime, it was discovered that she seemed to have some masses around her lungs. They didn't know if it was the cancer spreading, or if it was pneumonia. The next day, she was better but still seemed quite weak. We were relieved that her roommate appeared to be very friendly. In the next two days, as we had requested, my mom got moved to a single: this was partly so my dad could stay with her as it was clear she wanted one of us to stay with her. Since I was already spending so much time there in the daytime such that I wasn't able to respond to my students, we decided it was best for dad to be with her. The weekend of the 26th and 27th were beautiful, sunny days--sort of the eye of the hurricane. Mom was still somewhat weak, but she was eating more and seeming more alert as she wanted to be wheeled down the hall for her "exercise." Two women from the Taiwanese Association came to visit her (the ones I was complaining about earlier); one brought a roast Chinese-styled chicken from the local Asian grocery. On Sunday, she seemed even better and more alert. She ate with more gusto. We were pleased when the doctor making his rounds confirmed that--adding that her lungs were clearing up and she seemed to be recovering from what they were calling pneumonia. Already, I was mentally preparing a discharge from the hospital the next day: I would make or buy whatever breakfast she wanted--and then we would leave for home where I would make extra certain that she did not get sick again. Mom couldn't quite decide what she wanted; so I told her, "look I usually call you in the mornings anyway. So I'll call and you tell me then." I will never forget our goodbyes that weekend. She was awake both afternoons and managed to say "I love you." On Sunday when one of dad's friends was picking me up, she told me "don't get into trouble." Ever the protective mother. That evening, it seemed as if a cloud had been lifted. I had a chat with the lawn service guy who lived across from us. I then called mom to tell about a fly that had gotten into a water bottle which I had sealed immediately. Even after 3 days, it was alive and kicking in that water. Mom, certainly you can thrive right? But she was drifting off. Dad told me she had only eaten some of the food. As I got up next morning to call mom--the morning of the 29th, I received a shock. It was not mom or dad who picked up the phone, but a doctor. And strangely, a doctor with the same surname as my dad's personal physician. (Turned out to be his niece.) I was told mom had suffered a stroke. It would have been her second that year. When I arrived, she (and my dad) had already been wheeled to the ICU. Her room was a wonderful one, all clean and modern, overlooking the hills: it was her best one so far and it was too bad she could not enjoy it. I went and asked what meds she had been given to see if it was any different from what she'd gotten that week--before blowing up at my dad who told me he had also given her aspirin because she'd requested it. WHAT, YOU IDIOT, YOU GAVE HER MORE PAINKILLERS AFTER SHE'D ALREADY GOTTEN A HUGE DOSE?! (Later that night, my pharmacist cousin told me she thought those meds she got over the week were somewhat heavy for someone her age.) There was one only hope left at 12pm: that she would wake up like she did after first stroke. It had taken about 4-5 hours before she had gained consciousness the first time. Maybe this could happen again? The hours went by. 1 pm, 2 pm, 3 pm, 4 pm....and the day becoming increasingly overcast whereas it had been somewhat bright and hazy that morning. It was becoming evident that the hoped-for miracle would not recur. But my dad did tell me something interesting. Late Sunday night or the wee hours of the morning, she had called out for me. Then she proceeded to call her mother and all her siblings from oldest to youngest, not missing a single one. We wonder if she knew the end was coming. (More to come this week...I have so much to do but I feel I need to chronicle her passing. )
  7. My mom passed away 12.12.14. I'm still pissed off, I'm still hurt, I'm still sad. I don't cry like I used to but I do cry. Currently I'm just trying to pick up the pieces. I miss her so very much. Since she passed, I just can't get on track. My life has changed in so many ways, I don't think I'll ever be the same. I do know time is a great healer, I know these things take time. I just had a birthday and I couldn't get into it, nothing seems right. The loss of a mother is so profound, it's true what they say "You only have one mother." I pray all the time now, I ask G-d for strength because I need it. My mother was everything to me, most days I just wished she was around. I just need her advice, her perspective and most importantly her love.
  8. Hi everyone, Not sure how to begin but I'll try to keep it short. I was very close to my dad, saw him every day and lived at home. He died suddenly of cancer, he was diagnosed and then died within a few days. It was horrific. From when he died I haven't had a sex drive. That was almost 2 years ago. Prior to his death I was extremely sexual. 3 months after my dad passed I started a relationship and until this day I've never felt how I did sexually. There's only what I can describe as a block. When I do make an effort with my partner it can take forever to orgasm and sometimes I even feel numb. I don't feel half of what I used to. I used to have such a high sex drive and think of sex daily. Now I don't think of it even once. Having sex is a chore. The odd thing is that I dream of sex a lot and in those dreams I have the familiar feelings I used to have every day. And the moment I wake up from the dream the feeling immediately vanishes and I'm me again. I have suffered from depression and been on medication for a few years or more, but prior to my dads death the tablets didn't affect me sexually at all. I think I have to stop complaining that it's the medication as I have tried 3 other antidepressants and been to my GP. Someone suggested trying counselling and I probably should but what I'm curious about is whether losing my dad has been the cause of what I'm feeling? If so why? And how is something like that overcome?? I feel so hopeless and low because to go from one extreme to another is very hard!
  9. My dear grandmother passed away 3 and a half years ago on the 16/02/2012 when I was 15 years old. She sadly lost her battle with cancer and it broke me. She was my everything. The only one who understood me. From the day I was born she was there for me, and looked after me like a mother. I went round to sleep over her house once a week when I was little, creating precious memories that would never be forgotten. She was so special to me. I have tears streaming down my eyes typing this. Her death put me into a deep depression for the first year. I am now 19 and even though the pain gradually got better, I was never the same. I think about her every single day and have done since the day of her death. Recently, the pain has become a lot worse. Ive been dreaming about her and its giving me false hope as I wake up thinking i'll see her again. I cannot think about her without breaking down. Ive tried counselling which helped for a bit but now I feel as if im back to square one. I just refuse to believe she has gone forever. I feel like I need a way of speaking to her. I am going to see a medium and see if I can communicate through there. My biggest hope is to see her again once ive passed, is this likely? I am just not ready to give up and accept she is gone. There must be a way of making some sort of contact?? Your advice would be greatly appreciated. Karys X
  10. This is long, and to the one most dearest to my heart ever. I lost my mom. To say that I lost just that, is the biggest understatement. She's been my best friend, the one who's always been there for me and always loved me, and I the same for her. I care about her more than anything in the world. I'd been her caretaker since she was diagnosed with cancer at the beginning of the year, and had always just been with her before that (we'd pretty much always been best friends and I know her the best, and she knows me). She always knew how much I loved her and I told her, but after the diagnosis I would tell her at least 10 times a day how much I love her, would give her kisses constantly, hug her and lay with her and hold her hand, and rub her back all the time. She knew how much I loved her and commented on how much I did, I know it made her feel so good inside. I researched good foods for her to eat, the correct vitamins that long term survivors were taking, researched all the clinical trials we could put her on. I was on top of everything. She also got so much love and support from friends and other family members, she was happily blown away by how many people cared about her. I told her "of course, who wouldn't love you?" That always made her smile. My sister came to help and actually did a lot for a while, but ended up not being around as much after time had passed, so everything was back on me. Talking to doctors, researching (which I didn't know anything about before and had to learn quick so I could help my mom, she was counting on me and I would never let her down. I would do anything for her). I know my father loves my mom, but he would watch tv all day, but he even did that before she got sick. He would go out and do chores and buy groceries, I guess that's the most he could do. He would get her food or things she needed if she was cold or needed medication, but for the most part it was all on me to take care of everything, even him, though he is relativity healthy. They're both in their early 70's and had been together since their teens, and my mom was seemingly very healthy before all this happened. She still had been working, while he had been retired for a good while with no problems. She never looked her age, she was always so beautiful and youthful looking, no one would ever guess she was in her 70's. Watching my loving mother, really the rock of my life that always had been there for me, seeing her health decline and body change was so hard. To know this is the person I love without a doubt more than anyone in the world and to know I'm doing all I can for her and not sure if it was going to help, killed me everyday. I never wanted her to be afraid, and we were doing everything we could for her and researching any and all the options out there. She was going to be the exception. We stayed extremely positive and so did she, she was going to fight and I told her I would be there every step of the way and as long as she didn't give up I would never give up on her. I told her to give me all her burden and I would take it on my shoulders. I really did think my love would somehow help heal her, as we worked on other things like chemo and nutrition, meditation, praying, and positive thinking. This really seemed to work and she got better for a couple months, then the chemo stopped working. She very much loved and believed in God. I thought it was just a matter of time before we got her on another modality that was going to help her. Seeing her in the hospital was unbearable at the end (though I didn't know that was happening at the time). I spent all my time with her as I always did whenever she was in the hospital, just coming home to shower and recharge so I could go back and be with her. I would hold her hand constantly and just try to keep her mood up, hug her and tell her how much I love her and just talk about normal things. She only went in to the hospital for something minor that was due to the cancer and we all thought she would be out in a couple days, which turned into almost 2 weeks. She got better, then things happened and seemed to go wrong and a major blood vessel problem changed everything. She told me she loved me and I did to her, and had such love in my eyes when I looked at her because I didn't want her to be scared in any way. I knew things didn't look good. The last 2 days were more than horrendous. She was no longer responsive and I knew I was losing my fight to help my mom heal and get better. I promised her I would, it was my job to take care of her and I could feel everything moving so fast and I couldn't help her. There was family drama going on during all of this (and after), which makes it even harder. Watching her go was the worst thing I've ever experienced, to hear the breaths get shorter and I knew what was coming. I held her and told her I lover her over and over, played her favorite music, and sang our favorite songs into her hear. I never thought this would happen. One day, maybe very far in the future but not now. Not her. Not my mom. She was such a good person, but cancer doesn't care what kind of person you are. Neither do some doctors who's bedside manner made me want to punch them as hard as humanly possible in the face. It's only been a couple of weeks. I can't stop thinking about the last days and how she looked and all the images and occurrences with family that I have in my mind. Even how she would ask me months before if she was dying, and I would tell her no we're doing all we can for you, we're gonna get you better. That's exactly what we were working so hard on. It was so heartbreaking to hear her ask me that. I knew very clearly that it was my purpose to be there to help her. She told me I was the one who made her feel so much better, so calm, and that everything was going to be alright. That made me feel so happy, that I was helping her in some very real way. She loved me so much, as I love her so much. I thought it was my life's mission to get her better. I feel I failed. Those images, being with her as she went (though I was proud to do, and proud to do everything I did for her and would do it all the same in a heartbeat). I know she didn't feel alone in her fight, my dad and sister made her feel supported as well, just not as consistent as our relationship did. I would calm her when she did get scared, and tell her we're gonna do the best we can to get you better. I never wanted her to feel alone. I don't think she did very often, I was with her just about 24/7, physically and emotionally. People say that at least she's not in pain now, and I definitely never wanted her to be in any pain. I could never have even in my worst dreams imagined this, truly, maybe other family members but I never even considered this would happen to her, not my Mom. I empathize so much with people that it hurts me really bad to see someone I love suffer. I'm sure a lot of people feel that way. I can't seem to help it but I keep seeing those last day horrible images in my head. It comes to me when I wake, during the day and at night. I can't stop crying. I cry intensely, everyday. I know it's all had a very traumatic effect on me, I'm sensitive by nature in the first place. I try not to think about those moments when I knew she probably was scared because they hurt me the most. When scary stuff was happening, and I was the only one there to help, until the nurses came, scared the hell out of me but I knew I had to be brave for her and take care of things, just like I knew she would absolutely do for me. Then later to see her body change and her becoming non-responsive, and sweating profusely. Then seeing her get strong medication so she wasn't in pain as the doctors said, but I knew she was to a certain degree because she was losing her battle and she did not want to lose it in any way, she was such a fighter. I know she fought to stay with me, I wanted her to as well, and also for herself. The family I have now without her is extremely unsupportive emotionally. We barely talk, though my sister takes care of my dad and pays him much attention. We had trouble in the past but she is still cruel to me, even after everything that has happened. She has returned home which is far away, but still is very domineering and bossy. My brother is very unconcerned and seems to not really care at all, he has his own family on the east coast and is seems to be very settled in it. It makes me so sad because I know my Momma cares about him so much and my family treated him like "the golden child", now that tragedy struck he is so emotionally detached, and just seems to care less. He is happy and has developed a very separate life that doesn't include our nuclear family, other than on the surface. My remaining family is very cold emotionally, and generally towards me, and not involved in my life. My mom was the exception. There was true love and caring(and still is) between her and I, and I know that will never be replaced. That hurts inside so bad. I don't have a spouse, so I'm now all alone trying to deal with all these emotions that I'm having such a hard time trying to process. As time is passing it's getting harder, as it's all sinking in. I think the burden would be easier if I had some compassionate people in my life, people who care to talk to and spend time with. Whenever I talk about how I feel in the least bit I get the uncomfortable feeling from others that I should just keep a stoic appearance and not make them uncomfortable. That is so, so, isolating. I also get the message that what I have done has been forgotten, and now I have to "take care of my Dad". Like I didn't give my blood and everything I had and tried to take care of my dearest Momma, and also my father at the time (who is capable of taking care of himself) and try to feed myself and get some rest in the meantime- all forgotten, like it never existed, never happened. The trauma of witnessing all that I saw to the one most special and dear to my heart, gives me this daily horrible pain in my chest that I wake up with, like someone's ripping my heart to pieces and I can't breathe. I have horrible nightmares all the time, and go from not sleeping at all, to sleeping 16 hours. I have dreams that I have cancer, that spiders are coming out of people's mouth's and last night that a spider laid a web around most of my body and as I tried to peel it off, it was like a flesh eating virus and my lower layer of epidermis was exposed, looking something like raw prosciutto ham, even on my private parts. Very disturbing. Nothing at all interests me, even things I did enjoy. I'm so lost, I have no idea what to do with myself or where even I want to be in the future. I can't think of anything. I can't even think of a single thing I want or really want to do in general. Nothing has any meaning anymore. I don't even know what I want to do career wise, as I quit my job to be with my Momma and take care of her, and been running off of savings I've built up. I don't even care about that as work in this current condition doesn't seem like it will be happening very soon. I'm having a hard enough time trying to keep myself together right now. Nothing seems to be going the right way or making sense. I feel like I'm in some parallel universe where everything I would never want to have happen, has. If I go out in public alone I feel so dead inside, I don't relate to anyone and everyone feels so "far" away, like they're not even real. Sometimes it's nice though just to get out and talk to a stranger, because the people I do have as remaining family that are supposed to be there for me are non existent, or just don't want to help. I think they see me as some kind of emotional problem they don't want to deal with. "If you just ignore it, it'll go away", is how my family has worked, and to some degree some of my friends also. I do have a couple friends who are very supportive, but they have their own lives which are very busy, but do manage to make some time for me. That really helps when that happens. I've had counseling in the past for depression, which had been mildly effective at best. I still try. It seems to be difficult to find someone who is skilled enough to actually really help. The people who do try to help say things like "she's in a beautiful place", and "you've got such a great future the sky's the limit!". Really? It's only been a COUPLE of weeks, are you really saying that right now?? I know people mean the best and are trying, but really that is way too soon. If they understood how I've been feeling, they wouldn't say that. Actually some do know, and still say those things. I put all my effort and time into helping my mom, and because I only wanted to see her get better. She did too. Now I don't know what to do. I feel like I've been left in this horrible place without my one true north, my rock, my best friend. A mother can never be replaced. She was the one I'd go to to tell her about my day, and she would to me. We'd both make each other feel better when the other was down, and were each other's personal cheering section. I have a hard time getting close to people and making bonds that seem to last, I'm not exactly sure why that is because I try to be the best friend I can be. My mom was always there and I feel like maybe I took that for granted in thinking she'd always would be. I've done a lot of things in life but I knew she was always there for me and just a phone call away. No matter how far I travelled, I could always call her and tell her what was going on in my life and share feelings and emotions with her, as she would. That's what moms do, they love you unconditionally, pick you up when you're down, and make you feel safe and loved. I know time is supposed to help but I don't know how I'm going to get through all of this. With all the circumstances I'm going through, it's making it even harder. Though I hate to say this in regards to the fact of having anyone suffer, it is comforting to know there are people out there going through similar pain and experiences that I am. No one I know in real life has gone through something like this. It makes it harder to relate to someone who doesn't understand the pain you're experiencing so intensely. There's such a big hole. It hurts so bad. If you've never been that close to somebody, you have no idea how it feels. I try to block my mind from thinking anything, and that has been working temporarily, but I know it's going to catch up to me. I just want to hear her voice, and talk to her. I would be telling her all these things and talking to her, now I have nobody. I try to fake it and make like I'm okay, because people don't want to know how you're really doing. The more time passes, the more scared I get for how I'm going to deal with this.
  11. I lost my mom to cancer 1/16/15. She was my best friend, my entire world. I dropped out of school to take care of her around November of last year, before that I was trying to take care of her and go to school when she was diagnosed in August around her birthday. I miss her more and more everyday. I wish I could've taken better care of her, I wish she was still here. It's getting close to her birthday and life is getting increasingly rough. Mostly I would greatly appreciate taking to people that understand what I'm going through, I feel alone.
  12. Only 50 days ago I found out my father had stage 4 lung cancer. I had always been more attached to my father, I was a daddy's girl. I came to him for everything. I spoke to him every single day, and told him about my day in great detail, and he would listen to my rants about my mother, and rant about her too. You see, she left him and broke his heart, then went back like 4 years ago and left him again. She has been in abusive relationships, and she has a drinking problem. All of my problems became less of a problem once I spoke to dad. He made me feel better, and I could tell him anything. But in the past year, year and a half, mom had had a new relationship, with a new guy. He had a kid a year younger than me, with whom I had grown extremely close too. They would take me and my younger sister away for a day all the time, and often times, come between me and my father without realizing it. Because mom and dad lived with each other even after they split this last time, she had her boyfriend move in here. So, while they took us on adventures my dad stayed home alone. One New Years Eve, I wanted to stay at home, with dad. But mom forced us to go to his house. My dad had gone to the store and bought snacks and everything...we were going to watch the ball drop and watch stupid late night television like we had the year before. But Mom had made us go to his house, even though I cried about it all day that day. I told dad I wanted to stay home but mom made us go. I still feel so guilty that that one memory makes me cry. Over the past year, we grew apart, I was getting older, I could no longer tell him everything that happened at school- I mean, I had crush's on boys now and I had even asked one out without permission, I couldn't tell him that. Our conversations became shorter and shorter, despite my growing guilt. SO MANY times dad had offered to give me a ride to my friends house, double checked and triple checked. But I thought it was burdensome towards him, so I had Ed do it, mom's boyfriend. In retrospect rereading those texts I realize he wanted to give me a ride he wanted to talk to me in those short five minute rides but I refused, not realizing he might have wanted to give me a ride. And then he got a blood clot in March, late march, and sure, he was in pain but stuff didn't change too much, he still called me his sh**head, and texted me every night, and I still came into his room and would rant about mom and ed, and he would agree with me. He still spoke to me about art and my future, he just was in pain. then 50 days ago, I got the dreaded news, that he had stage 4 lung cancer. Mom and Dad had grown close within the time when they found out and when I did. They found out almost two months before me. They assured us he would have a few more years, that they would knock the cancer down a few notches and put it into remission and he'd be fine for a little while. But then just a few weeks later, the doctors said, about 6 months. That was hard. I had hoped on a few years. But one day, before we were totally aware of how brittle his bones were (The cancer spread pretty much everywhere) he fell trying to leave the bathroom, and I was the only one there. He said he was okay, and he was up by the time I got there, but a few days later we were told he broke his left hip, and he had a little less than 6 months to live. Now, I thought they meant 5 or 4 or something like that, but it was actually only a few weeks. Because he died on June 4th 2015 at 4:23ish pm, and I was called out of school early. I didn't know what to say to my father as his spit was making gurgling noises and his breathes shook the bed. I didn't know what to say as his hands pulled back from us and as his mouth hung open forming an oval shape, i didn't know what to say when his eyes were open only slits and didn't blinkand only the whites were shown. What do you say when the person you love most in the world won't hold your hand? Between sobs I told him I loved him, and I told him the story about how when I was little he told me when people die they become stars and look down on us living, and then my grandma who wouldn't leave the room told me that the story was not appropriate. So I left and said more to dad than her, that I'd be in the other room. A few minutes later, when my aunt was speaking, I popped in quickly and leaned over him, hovering and touched his arms gently and told him that I loved him. I left without another word. But I didn't tell him it was okay. I was suposed to but I couldn't because it isn't. But I kept him here suffering with every second because I was too scared to say it was okay to die. ANd once my mom told him that it was okay, and that me and my sister would be taken care of, he took two breaths and died. I wasn't there during his last breath, but I was there soon after, hyperventilating and sobbing uncontollably. After several minutes I gained control, because there was already too much I couldn't control, I wasn't going to let my crying be another thing i couldn't gain control of. And then he was gone. I don't feel his presence. I don't feel him looking down on me. But about a half hour after he died, I looked at him, and when I left the room I heard him say "mad", aka, the thing he called me to get my attention short notice. I looked back in, but his mouth still hung open the same, his eyes wouldn't close. His skin yellow, like it was before his death, because his kidneys and stuff, pretty much every surrounding organ had cancer in it and didn't function to his full potential. But since then, I have to imagine what he would say, I have to make myself wonder what he would say, most often it being "Dumbass" and smacking my arm playfully, or his long drawn out sigh that really didn't mean anything like people thought it did. Why does it only get harder as time progresses? I'm so worried about the future- what's going to happen if he's not here, I get anxiety so bad at this point that I can barely stand it. I've always had anxiety, thanks to my mother. Mom doesn't think I should have meds to regulate my anxiety, she thinks i need to handle it on my own. The attacks are short and not too strong, but enough to give me jitters. I can tell when I'm going to get one two, because I need to move and shake my leg or something. He only died 11 days ago, at the age 57.
  13. Hi all, I'm new here. My estranged father has passed away 11 days ago of cancer. I didn't know he had cancer. I had to keep contact to him very minimal because he had a massive gambling problem and well...he basically messed it up with the entire family because he threatened to kill himself several times if we were not to send him money for his gambling. In fact, the 'gambling' was more him sending millions (!) to E-mail scammers (usually from Nigeria, Ghana etc.). He was a highly intelligent man (a brilliant scientist) and for some incomprehensible reason believed that he would one day have this promised 12 Million cheque as promised by those crooks. My father, according to some psychologists I have visited in the past, shows behaviours to those who are termed 'sociopaths'. He beat up my mother for pretty much 25 years while they were together (she dies of an overdose of antidepressants when I was 17, 13 years ago). He is also a liar and well...never seemed to ever take responsibility for his behaviour. He always blamed others, including my mother, for everything. For my 30th, 3 months ago, he sent me a long e-mail explaining what an awful bitch my mother was and that she should have known that 'she would not get away with behaviour like this'. In essence, I told him to F*ck off and to never contact me again. Three months later I was found by my embassy abroad (he never had my contact details as I had to protect my identity because of his gambling activities) - i was informed my father was dying of pancreatic cancer. If i wanted to see him again, I would have only today to do so. Torn apart, and 16 flight hours away from where he resides, I decided to travel back home to say good-bye to him. It was too late. Since then I have been going through so many emotions at once. On the one hand, I still hate him for everything he is - everything he has done to my mother and to me (by f*cking up my childhood). Needless to say, I had been going to therapy since the age of 13 - with a childhood like this, it is a miracle that I am who I am today. I found evidence of my father's dodgy past in his flat and basically...I'm having to deal with thousands of debts and will have to walk away from the inheritance as otherwise, according to the laws of my home-country, i would be liable for everything. So apart from the bureaucratic nightmare...and the grief process i am going through (i am oddly remembering a lot of positives about my dad), there is one thing that confuses me the most: I feel complete and utter disgust and hate towards my boyfriend. We have had major relationship issues for the last pretty much three years (we have only been together for four). He had lied to me in the past, has had massive money problems and is an avoider (attachment style). I once had him on a pedestal but his lies have broken my trust immensely. And yet, we always wanted to work on our relationship and fight for it. He is, at heart, a good person - really is. But he is so incredibly non-proactive. I feel like I have to tell him 'how to help me' and 'what to do' all the time. It drives me up the wall. He only ever does what I tell him to. There is no proactivity on maybe helping me with the bureaucratic stuff or finding things to do to keep my mind from going mad. He is there yes - but only when I urge hi to help me with something. everything he says or does irritates me. I'm also starting to see how stupid he can be sometimes. I don't know if this intense anger is actually grief and I'm just dumping it on my boyfriend or what the hell is going on here? I can't ever imagine being so awful to anyone else (let's say if a friend helped me in this situation). I just really feel like exploding around him non-stop. I even asked him to leave the flat earlier so I can be alone. I don't want him to touch me - kiss me - nothing. He irritates me so much. I am yet to see a grief counsellor next week - maybe she can shed a light on the situation. I also noticed that as I'm now somehow 'back in my father's life' where I am meeting all these intelligent people, that I have always been dating 'losers' and men who were the complete opposite of my dad in terms of career achievements and intelligence. Could it be that I was frightened of an intelligent man as in my father's case, he used his intelligence for very destructive things too? What is happening here?
  14. Hello everyone. Almost 2 years my mother died, and i have just finished a small blog about her death and my journey with it. I now wish to share it, in the hope that my words will accompany, and perhaps support others who are living the same journey. Thank you for your presence and for reading, Arusha My Blog: http://arushatantrablog.strikingly.com
  15. It's been over a year since my father died of pancreatic cancer and my mother is ready to start dating again. I've actually been hoping she would date again because she's living alone, as my brother and I are in our early twenties. While I'm glad she's dating again, I do not know how to breach certain topics with her, as we have never been particularly close--my father and I were close while she and my brother were close. We've always been a family who shields our emotions and don't talk about our personal lives. I have the following two concerns which I do not know how or if I should voice to her: 1) I don't mind her dating, but I also don't want to hear about her barring experiences. It's a little bit TMI for me as well as too much of my mothering her. When I come home to visit, all she cares about is going to the bars--which is fine--but I'm not a fan of her coming back at 2 am in the morning, drunk, and then waking me up to talk about it. I understand she wants to have fun and she should--but she's acting like a reckless teenager while I'm cleaning up after her 2) I don't want to meet these new guys unless she's serious about them. My mother has been with my father since she was 17--he was her first and only boyfriend. I know that she's not really in tune with dating and I expect it will take her a while to find the "right" guy, especially when she's meeting them in bars. In the meantime, I don't really want to meet every guy she dates on the few days I can return for visits. I don't want to be unsupportive but every guy has a different dynamic in what he thinks his role with me (as his girlfriend's kid) should be. 3) I know this may be a little too far in the future--I may be worrying for nothing--but how do you tell your parent when the new guy is acting like he's your father and you don't find it acceptable? I've noticed that a lot of family friends have been trying to step in as my new "father figure" and in a lot of cases, I personally feel they are overstepping boundaries. I know it's all good-natured and well-intended, but it bothers me that people are trying to tell me what to do and/or making demands of me. I'm a pretty good kid, with a 4.0 GPA, full scholarship, and graduating from college in 3 years with a double major--despite my father's cancer being during my senior year of high school until junior year of college. I'm not trying to be disrespectful. I just think I'm too old to have people--especially any of my mother's suitors--trying to condescend to me and become my new father. I don't want to be a b***** and say that they're not a part of my family, but I don't want or need a new father figure and I feel too old to be treated like I'm a child whom can be condescended to as a child. My brother feels the same way. How do I mention this without seeming unsupportive? I want my mom to be happy with a new guy but I don't want him thinking he can simply replace my father.
  16. My mother is the strongest, most funniest, most craziest person I know. At one point she stood 230 pounds and didn't mess around. You see my mother is from Jamaica and you can see and hear her coming. Today my mother shrunk down to a whopping 150 pounds if that. She is so quiet and medicated and it is so sad. Now when I see her she is the total opposite of what I remembered. You see my mother is dying of bladder cancer, the doctors gave her 6 months if that. I am pissed off, angry, upset and teary eyed. This past weekend, I had to make the decision to put my mother in hospice care. I don't think I will ever get over the guilt, sadness and pain of making such a decision. Many years ago my mother battled leukemia and won, today not so much. I believe for awhile I've been in denial but today not so much. In the past few days I have lashed out on everyone including my sister, I have told her I will disown her after my mother passes. I am angry. I know that I will lose my lover, my friends and some business due to this process. I am not doing well. I am crying so much, not eating and not sleeping, sometimes I cannot even breathe. Basically right now I hate everything and everyone. I know that I will never be the same, I am sick of people telling me "Be Strong" I can't. I really can't and I want to. Currently I know if I don't get some control I could possibly have a heart-attack that's how much pain I am in. I don't know what to do. I just don't.
  17. Hi I had/have this problem with not really "feeling" my emotions, at least sadness and sorrow. I have just been storing the feelings away and keeping them to myself. Recently I have had some help to open up. My father passed away march 2013, after two years of cancer treatments. He got diagnosed with cancer in the colon, and had it removed. The cancer had already spread to his liver. We did not talk much about what would happen, how long he had left or what was going to happen. My father never really shared his thoughts and feelings, at least not the sad and hard things. He shared a little with my mom, but not all of it. He was a little like I am/was. He got treated with chemo several times, it helped for a short while, but when he had breaks from the treatment the cancer grew. I was there when he died, with my mom and my sister. I did not cry as he passed away, and I did not really feel anything at that time. Maybe it was a form of denial? After the memorial service, when they drove him away, I cried a little. When that day passed I was back to my old self, being "happy and positive", until this fall, about a year and a half later. Now that I have had some help to work into my emotions I have ok days, and I have bad days. Some days I feel it helps to distract myself by doing other things, like going outside for a walk, or shopping. Other days I read about others who have dealt with the same kind of situations, and I cry. The crying really helps, for a time. My wife is supportive, and I can talk to her about things. I cry on her shoulder, but mostly I cry alone. I feel like I am showing weakness whan I cry in front of others, like I should be stronger and keep myself together. Today has been a bad day. I have been feeling depressed, apathetic and empty inside. It's not easy trying to keep those bad feelings away from our four year old son. He's so happy and cheerful, enjoying christmas. This makes me feel even worse, being sad when I should be happy, and having fun with him. I shut myself away, working through the sorrow and sadness alone. Crying.
  18. My name is Collin, I'm a 22 year old college student, and I am grieving. On September 8th, 2014, my 54 year old father suddenly died in the early afternoon of a massive heart attack. I'm still numb. I've learned so much from it all, and yet, every day more feels so unbearable. 5 weeks later, I lost my 73 year old grandmother after a year long fight with cancer and injury. I miss them both, but it makes me feel almost guilty to say that I barely can feel the death of my grandma, even though we were so incredibly close, because I just lost my dad. I think I'm doing very well overall, and my support system says I'm doing amazingly "under the circumstances" Sometimes I'm afraid that I purposefully block him, and his death out of my mind as much as possible so that it hurts less. Then, I get nervous that I'm avoiding it all. But then again, I'm still in college, and I live a couple hours from home, and if I indulge my agony too much I would fall off the earth. I can't fall off the earth. I don't talk to my friends a lot about it, because they have nothing to say that isn't awkward or annoying, and it's sad because I know they don't mean it that way at all, and I know that they are hurting too for me...it just feels very lonely. I keep it going for him though. I love you so much Daddy
  19. I don't even know where to start, so I guess I'll tell my story in a nutshell. I lost my dad to pancreatic cancer this past summer. He was diagnosed in mid-June and was gone by the end of July. I still can't believe how quickly everything progressed. I was lucky to be able to spend a lot of time with him before he passed, but I am angry that he (and our family) was cheated out of quality time. After his emergency surgery (during which the cancer was discovered), he changed. It was like he had started checking out already. In retrospect, I realize that this is part of the dying process, as he knew his illness was terminal. The doctors kept assuring us that he'd have quality time before he passed - that he could do the things he loved again - but that didn't happen. During his last couple days, his sense of humor did return, and that was such a gift. It made saying goodbye a little easier. He was surrounded by family as he passed, and I feel blessed to have been there with him, holding his hand and comforting him in his last moments. I miss him terribly. Since his passing, I feel like I have made a lot of progress. I talk to my mom daily, and keep in touch with other relatives via Facebook, email, etc. We had a beautiful celebration of life for my dad, and it was very healing. Now that the holidays are here, I feel like I am back to square one. We are going to have to figure out how to celebrate and enjoy Christmas without my dad. He was the life of the party, organizer (and rule follower) of holiday game nights, and lover of traditional English Christmas music. We had decided as a family (before my dad's illness) that we would have an early or late Christmas this year, simply to avoid the holiday travel nightmares. We stuck with our decision, but now I am second guessing that choice. Many grief sites advise changing traditions after a loved one has passed, so I guess it isn't necessarily a bad thing. It's just hard to adjust to the fact that it's my first (and only) Christmas in 37 years that I have not been in my home state with my family AND my first Christmas without my dad. I know that my husband and I will have a lovely Christmas at home, and I am trying to honor my dad's memory by enjoying the season the way he would have wanted. Now on to some things that are really making me angry lately. I feel selfish admitting them, but I need to vent. First of all, does anyone else who has lost someone to cancer get really mad at TV ads for cancer hospitals? I realize that the ads are promoting a sense of hopefulness (which is certainly not a bad thing), and I am truly happy that there are some people who have beat cancer and live a full and healthy life after a diagnosis. However, some of the wording in those ads really makes me mad! There was one just today where a man is talking about his battle, and says "I didn't give up. I didn't let cancer win." Oh yeah? Well my dad didn't give up either. He was the most non-giving-up person I have ever known in my life. The implication that people who die of cancer have given up really eats me up inside. My dad's body was destroyed by cancer and the type of cancer he had was untreatable. How such a strong and energetic man got so weak so quickly is still shocking to me. He DID NOT GIVE UP. Another thing that makes me angry/frustrated is that I feel like people around me don't get that I am not finished grieving (and will never be finished). As I mentioned before, I'm having a hard time with the holidays. Over the past month or so, I have made a couple of Facebook posts referring to missing my dad during the holidays. This is terribly selfish and petty, I know... but I get upset if I don't get enough comments or likes on those posts. I realize that with the crazy settings Facebook has set up - not everybody will even see my posts or have the opportunity to comment. I don't feel like I'm "looking for sympathy" (though maybe I am), but I like to post little memories about my dad...or pictures of us together. It helps me. Well it helps until I start feeling like nobody cares. Like why did 40 people like or comment on somebody's stupid post of a cat riding a Roomba, but I only got 2 comments on my post about missing my dad? Aside from Facebook, I have had several people make comments that anger me as well. Again, it seems very selfish - but here goes. A few weeks ago, one of my coworkers (who knows the full story of my dad's illness/passing) was going on and on and on about how horrible her year was because her accountant and her aunt's friend died. I don't mean to diminish another person's grief, and maybe she was very close to these people - I don't know. However, the entire time she was going on and on about her worst year ever, I felt so angry. Knowing all too well how it feels to lose somebody, I listened to her story and offered sympathy, but walked away feeling like she shouldn't have dared to tell me, of all people, about her awful year. I feel very guilty for having felt this way, but I can't help how I felt. That felt GOOD to get out. Thank you to anyone who reads this. I am so happy to have found this forum. I look forward to sharing my journey and being a part of others' journeys as well.
  20. My employee's wife is losing her battle with breast cancer. It has metastisized to her bones, spine, brain, etc... They are about to begin brain radiation. I think it's safe to assume they are nearing the end of the fight. I am just looking for suggestions on ways I can support him. How can I help him through this? What do I say to him? He and his wife are young - both under 50. They have 3 kids, the youngest of whom is only 7. I want so much to be a good boss and a good friend and support sytem, but I've never been through cancer support before. Any ideas or suggestions you have are sincerely appreciated. Sara
  21. On the 26th December 2008 my dad passed away of cancer (ear, nose and throat). When it gets to this time every year things start to get difficult for me again but I don't feel like I can talk to anbody about it as either: a - They don't understand b - I don't want to look like I'm looking for sympathy I find it so hard to cope with sometimes and 6 years on I find that things haven't got better and the pain hasn't gone. I was 10 when he passed away and I feel like there should have been so much more time for me to spend with him throughout my life. :(
  22. I have been following grieving.com on Facebook ever since I discovered it a couple of months back in the middle of the year while I was coping with my mom's passing. She was 69 and her death came as a shock to the entire family as she was hardly sick and was never once admitted to the hospital before for as long as I can remember. Then came one day on May 13, she was complaining of tummy bloatedness and we admitted her to the hospital immediately. They found a mass in her uterus but what unfolded after that was more dreadful discoveries. She had tumour in her rectum and the hospital was running one test after another to determine her primary cancer. However, she couldn't wait no more. She had an episode of sepsis when her colon ruptured on 28 May and the faecal matters entered her blood stream. She fell into a coma and never woke up. She finally left us on 30 may. It was a rude shock for the family having no time at all to react much. We didn't have a chance to care for her and take care of her like how other children could, taking care of their elderly parents. It's been months and I found comfort reading the postings on grieving.com to ease the pain at time. Recently, I took up the courage to enter a photo competition organised by a local cafe with the theme "making a difference". I had to submit a selfie taken with someone who made a difference in my life. I submitted a photo of mom and me, the one and only selfie that I had with her. I hope to win this contest in memory of my mom. This is my little way of managing my grief and also remember her. I wonder if I could trouble all of you to help support my effort? It is really simple. All you need to do is to like the organiser's page on FB and like my photo on FB. Below are the links. Step one- Like Cedele's FB page https://www.facebook.com/cedelesingapore Step two- Like my photo (Finalist 1) https://www.facebook.com/cedelesingapore/photos/ms.c.eJxl0MkRwCAMQ9GOMpY3TP~_NZblkkK5v~_MYAQ~;kUYhlsEn3hF8s4pPfeLEPVIyliXPXwmbcjWYc8RTnPKalKNix5RYKraJFicdnZ5fZwkjGZ099v3BcITAc~-.bps.a.10152851367913416/10152851369328416/?type=1&theater Once again, thank you for reading my lengthy post. Sometimes, sharing our thoughts and feelings is also a way of managing our grief. May you all find strength to go through the difficult episode you are facing and we will definitely meet our loved ones again someday. Hugs and kisses from Singapore
  23. I wrote an article for my college writing platform about my mother's death and not being able to say my last goodbyes to her. I also interviewed a variety of people who have lost their loved ones from different reason. It's all very touching and personal. Please read, share and comment. https://medium.com/substance/the-last-goodbye-8ad262a27502?source=tw-7d302ffef0e5-1417214533254https://medium.com/substance/the-last-goodbye-8ad262a27502?source=tw-7d302ffef0e5-1417214533254
  24. My 73 year old mother passed away last Wednesday, November 19, 2014. She had been in nursing home care for about 15 years total, after having multiple strokes. Myself and my two siblings had to work and we couldn't keep her at home, nor could we afford private nursing care for her. She was in a wheelchair and incontinent, but we were able to take her home for the day for birthdays and holidays and family get togethers. And we did that as often as we could. This past June, after several months of complaints with pain in her right side, they discovered she had a large growth on her colon. It was cancer and they did colon resectioning surgery to remove it. She was in the hospital for 3 weeks. She contracted c. diff. infection while in the hospital, which is essentially a stomach virus that causes severe diarrhea and vomiting. Her behind would be so raw that she would scream out in pain when touched to clean her up. This infection would come, last for a few weeks, then go away a few weeks, and then return. That meant she had to be isolated from other nursing home patients and she was very active in the nursing home activities. So this eventually broke her spirit I believe. Well she kept having stomach pain and issues, so they took her back in August and did CT scans with contrast dye and discovered that she also had liver cancer and was already at stage 4. They gave her 3 to 6 months to live. She refused any kind of chemotherapy because, after being so weak from the prior surgery, being 73 years old, and it being at stage 4 already, she would not likely have survived any treatments. She lived about 4 months from that diagnosis, but continued to have the c. diff. infection the whole time. So, to alleviate the diarrhea, they let her take medication to slow it down so that at least she wouldn't have that discomfort on top of pain as her condition worsened. They aren't supposed to allow anti-diarrheals for c. diff. because that doesn't let the infection get out, but it would have made things twice as bad to let the diarrhea continue. So we spent as much time as we could with her. In October, her pain became worse and pills didn't work anymore, so she was put on pain patches. Hospice was called to begun monitoring her pain management. Two weeks before she passed, her pain patches were doubled. One week before she passed, it was doubled again. She slept a lot because of the medication but any time she was awake or was touched she would scream out in pain. It broke out hearts every day as we took turns sitting by her bed 24/7 the last week of her life. Last Monday, she was sleeping a lot but would wake up enough to mumble some words...or smile. Tuesday, she didn't open her eyes but would reach her arms up in the air and be mouthing words to someone that we couldn't see or hear. We saw her mouth form names of people that had long since passed away. If we spoke to her she wouldn't open her eyes but she would raise her eyebrows or smile. On Wednesday, she wouldn't respond to us all....just sleep. About 2:00 that afternoon, she began have a raspy breathing that sounded like she needed to clear her throat. I've often heard people talk about the "death rattle" but didn't know that's what I was hearing. We were all taking turns sitting with her so we could each get a little bit of work hours in for the week and my sister arrived to stay with her. So I left about 3:30 and came to work. Luckily my boss was okay with me working strange hours so I had planned to stay until around midnight that night getting some work done. It also helped to occupy my mind with something else for a little while. At 9:15, my brother called and told me to come unlock the door. I was confused for a minute and I said "What?" and he said "Mama's gone. Come unlock the door." That's when I realized mama had died and he was at my work and wanted me to come unlock the door for him to come in. He had come to get me instead of calling me to tell me because he didn't want me to drive the 45 minutes from work to where my mom was knowing I would be upset. We stood in the lobby and cried before we left. I shut down my office and locked up and we headed out. When we got there I walked in to a room full of my family and my mother lying peacefully on the bed. I broke down completely. My nieces and nephews had been to see her and after they left, my sister had leaned over and told her "Mama, you've seen your babies and they are gone now. So it's okay for you to go too if you need too." My mother's heart stopped instantly and she was gone. She simply needed someone to tell her it was okay for her to go. And unlike most patients when they die, her eyes remain closed...her mouth remain closed. It was as if she had just gone to sleep and didn't wake up. She looked soooo peaceful and at ease. The last week of her life, we watched as her almost white hair had begun to get brown streaks in it....the wrinkles on her forehead and cheeks smoothed out. It was as if she was getting younger right before our eyes. The next few days I was in a haze, as we made preparations to lie my sweet mother to rest. It was one of the hardest things I'd ever done. My father passed away back in 1994 with cancer as well, but he and my mother had been divorced for many years and he didn't play a large role in my life. So yes, I was upset when he died, but it was nothing like how this feels. This has left me feeling rather lost. I don't know any other way to say it. I spent every Friday and every Sunday with my mom for the last 6 months or more. My birthday had just passed a few days before she died. And now we have Thanksgiving and Christmas coming without her. I was always the one that went to get her ready and picked her up and drove her to all of our functions. I will never regret the time I got to spend with her and being able to make her a part of all of our gatherings. Now I won't have to do that. I don't know how to handle not having to do that anymore. I understand that death is a part of life, but it doesn't make it any easier. I have cried a great deal, but I came back to work yesterday. I do fine for a while and I'll be busy and working and occupying my mind and then all of a sudden the grief just overtakes me and I begin to cry. I'll cry for about 15 minutes and then I'm okay again. My grief is a combination of sadness at our loss, but relief and joy for her that she is no longer in pain. It was so hard to watch her hurt and cry at even the slightest touch. Her life was hell for the last 5 months. And I can only hope and pray that she is reaping the reward for her suffering now. From watching her reach her arms up and speaking names of late family members and friends....to see her get younger...to the peaceful way she went and the peaceful look on her face...I truly do believe she is now an angel in heaven. I'm not big on religion. I don't confess to be one religion or another. But I do believe she has ascended to a higher plane and is now running and dancing and laughing again. And that's what I wanted for her so so much! My problem now is....every time I smile...or have any fun...I feel guilty for it. I hope that is something that will pass, but right now, that's how it is. I feel guilty for letting life continue to move forward without her. My sister, my brother and my sister-in-law are all worrying too much about me because I'm the "baby" in the family and I'm single and live alone. They are continuously checking up on me now. I think they are waiting for me to have a nervous breakdown or something! It's flattering...but at the same time, it makes this all even harder to deal with. So anyway, I just felt like I needed to get all that out...thanks for listening.
  25. My mum lost her 3 year long battle with breast cancer on 30th December 2014. She was my best friend, I could talk to her about anything and everything. Although we were prepared for her passing, it still does not feel real. I am always half expecting that she will walk through the door and give me a hug and ask me how my day was. I have never lost anyone close to me before and I don't know what to do. I don't know how to handle it or what I should be doing. Every day something happens that I want to tell her about. What can I do to try to get past this? I am supposed to be going back to work tomorrow after having 2 weeks off but I don't even know if I'm ready for that. I am just looking for answers. A way that I can keep moving on with my life without feeling torn and in pain every single second of the day.