Wednesday, January 13, 2010

How to say goodbye?

As many of you know and probably been waiting to know more about, my mom is dying. And a little piece of me is dying too. I thought coming and writing might help shed some of these unbearable feelings and help me reach some peace.

On January 6th my mom was admitted to the UCLA-Santa Monica hospital for tests, because her blood tests showed elevations. The result was aggressive cancer in her liver. I was just there days before, which today I am so grateful for.

Me and the kids were visiting for the holidays. My mom did have a lot pain (which was not too odd because she always had back pain), but she also visited her doctor, who told her she looked yellow. When she came home and asked me, I then noticed she was yellow. She was taking vicodin for her back pain and when we read some of the side effects, that was one of them, so being the strong woman she is, she just quite cold turkey and cut out the vicodin (something I am not sure was right, but felt strongly about at the time).

The problem was that she went through withdrawal. I stayed and nursed her the best I could, and went home, as Kaylee was starting school and my mom was seeing her doctor the next day.
That doctor visit he pulled blood, which led to her hospitalization the next day.

I waited for the results before coming back up. Kyle and I were actually scheduled to go on a cruise this whole week, so that added stress to everything as well. When I received the phone call from my dad with the bad news, I couldn't think. Kyle came home from work and packed up the kids and I and took me to the hospital that night.

I stayed with my mom in the hospital every night. And every night she got a little worse. It all happened so quickly, and I still thought I would find a way to save her, that I really didn't get a chance to talk to her about- I don't even know - just how I am supposed to survive without her I guess.

They thought she would pass yesterday morning, and I was insisting on getting her home, I wish I insisted on it sooner, because they were just killing her faster there. They almost didn't let us take her home, fearing she would die in transport. My third brother was coming in from a trip (he left with her healthy), and I told my mom to hang on to see him. I knew she would, her kids were her life, she was the BEST mother.

She was so happy to come home (she can't talk or move, but she was able to open her eyes and give the most response for the day.

The hospice nurses have been so kind, like I said, I just wished I pushed sooner. She was talking just two days ago.

I am scared, I have my whole family around me, yet I feel so lonely. She never stopped fighting, she is still fighting, and the nurses are trying to urge me to tell her let go, but I can't yet. I still think she is just going to have a moment of clarity and tell me how to move on form this.

I just feel broken. I can't eat, I can't sleep. I just feel so helpless. Sometimes I feel upset, turns out that I found out that 2 1/2 years ago they found the cancer in her bones (which I knew) but at that time they gave her 2-4 years. I did not know that, she said it was not a big deal. Maybe I could have found something or someone that could have saved her. My dad and her just didn't want her to live like she was dying, and they didn't want people treating her that way either. I understand that, but I am just...I don't know...shocked, confused, and afraid. I wish I had more time to talk with her, and help her figure everything out. I am so sad that she felt like she had to do it alone.

I will keep you posted, thanks to everyone who has helped, and written, etc. I am able to have some moments where I can feel at peace, and that comes knowing that I have some great friends, and a close family. I am not extremely close to any aunts and my mom didn't have tons of close friends, I am sad for me and my kids that we will no longer have that motherly figure, and the doting grandma...extremely sad.


Erin said...

Oh, Colleen, my heart aches for you. I can't even begin to imagine the pain you are going through. Just know that we are here for you when you come home. Your mom sounds like an amazing person. Big hugs to you and your family.

TUTU Monkey said...

Colleen......I can't find words to express how much my heart hurts for you (and your family.) Your Mom is such a wonderful person and she has raised such a special daughter. Please know that you are loved. If I can do ANYHTHING ....I am here.

Alliegatorfables said...

Oh, Colleen. I can't even put into words what I want to say. Just know that you are not alone and neither is your mom. She will be an angel watching over your family forever! XOXO

Janis said...

Colleen, I'm so sad to read this. My first experience with your mom was when she so thoughtfully took the time to write to me after she read about some of the challenges we were facing with Jack. And I had a lovely chat with her at Kaylee's party. I can tell she is a special and kind woman, not the least because she raised such a special and kind daughter. And your love for her is just a beautiful testament to the woman and the mother that she is. I can only pray that my children feel the same way about me when they grow up. My thoughts and prayers are with you and your family.

Barley Family said...

Colleen, there are just no words to express how much compassion I feel for you right now. I am so sorry. You mother is a wonderful woman, so sweet and caring, so full of love. We are all here praying for you and your family, also waiting to be there for you in any way we can. Love you!

Adrienne said...

I love you, your family and your mom and my heart just breaks for all of you. I am so, so sorry that you are all going through this right now. My heart just truly breaks for all of you. Please know that whatever I can do, I am here for you. Whatever- whenever... I love you.

The Killingbecks said...

Colleen, there are no words how much my heart aches for you and your family. Your mom sounds like the most amazing mom, teacher and grandmother. She has turned you into the woman and mother that you are. I wish there were words to help you find a way through. Surround yourself with the love of all your family and friends. We are here if you need anything. We are praying for you and your family.

Havefaith said...

Colleen, this is TuTuMonkey's Mother, feeling your pain.
Just remember honey, you can always talk to your mother and she will hear you in the next life.
I truly believe this.
Any time you want to ask her a question, you can ask her to SHOW you..........and you just wait, and her answer will come to you.
Prayers to you and your family.
God Bless you,

Kelly said...

Colleen, I am so sad, so heartbroken reading this. I am so sorry you are going through this and so sad that you are hurting. The best I can do is send my love, my prayers, BIG ((HUGS)) to you, and healing, warm, positive vibes. You may feel alone, but there is so much love surrounding you, your Mom, your family---let it help and support you through this. Your Mom sounds beautiful, amazing.

about me said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Karie said...

Oh Colleen... I am soooo sorry for the pain you are going through right now... Please know that your mom will ALWAYS be with you, even if you can't see her. I always talk to my mom and it has been such a comfort to me.

My heart is hurting for you and wish more than anything I could be there to give you a big hug friend...

Havefaith said...

Continued prayers from Mesa, Arizona for you and your family,
Love Faith

TUTU Monkey said...

Thinking about you...((Hug))

Proud mommy of Two said...

Colleen, I am so sorry to hear about this. My heart is aching for you and you family. If there is anything at all I can do for you please let me know. Big hugs to you all.

zoefeher said...

Colleen - You are in my thoughts and prayers.


gail said...

Colleen....thinking about you and your mom today. I wish there was something to say or do but only time will heal the hurt that you feel. Wishing you comfort and peace in the days to come.

April said...

There is nothing I can say to describe my feelings for you and your family. I am so sorry... bless you. I will be praying for peace and joy in the remembrance of your mom.

Anonymous said...

I don't think there is anything I can say that the other girls haven't already.

My heart breaks for you. I'm so very sorry.

Hugs beautiful lady. Keeping your family in my prayers.