Friday, April 24, 2009

I Can't Believe It's Been 5 Years....

since we found out my mom cancer. Her health was never great, but in the beginning of 2004, it went into a paid decline. She couldn't walk and was in constant pain. We both assumed it was bone related, maybe osteoperosis. She finally made the decision to see her doctor, who then sent her for an MRI. I remember sitting with her in the waiting room while she drank the 'Pina Colada' shake. I even took a sip to show her it wasn't bad. She knew I was full of shit. She weighed about 85 pounds at this point and her stomach couldn't handle as much as they wanted her to drink. I remember her puking on the technicians shoes after they forced another cup down her. Then I remember the call. She was writing everything down as she talked. Translated, they found a cluster of tumors on her hip bone. Her doctor had already made her an appointment with the oncologist; we had a long road ahead of us. As she talked, I Googled. Then, I panicked and cried. She held me in her lap(not an easy feat since I must have felt like an elephant on her fragile lap) and told me it would be okay. In the days leading up to her first oncology visit, she became increasingly confused and forgetful. She wet her pants and tried to hide it from me. She refused to see the doctor. She told me she didn't want me at the oncologist visit. My aunt was going to take her instead. At the time of her appointment, I got a phone call from my aunt. My mom didn't recognize her and collapsed off the couch. There began her month long stint in the cancer ward. After weeks of idiot doctors, mean nurses and crappy treatment, my mom made the decision to come home. I took loads of time off work, working in tandem with my fiancee and hospice to care for her. Her final days were crazy. I made funeral arrangements when she thought I was grocery shopping. My family told me to do it then because I would have no head for it once all was said and done. I laid out her favorite magenta pants suit; an outfit she adored and I hated. She wore it when I graduated college. I sat with her as she nursed her last beer and a microwave pretzel. She fell asleep and went somewhere in between. I call it between. There is no other way to describe it. It seems she was somewhere peaceful, but as much as she wanted to, she could not come back to where I was. I held her hand as she let out her last breath. Those last minutes were so powerful. That memory is never far from my mind.

1 comment:

~RFS said...

Jaime, I love you. I'm so glad you were there with your mom.