Dec 03, 2005 - 12:43 pm
I'm 23 years old. I lost my mom when I was 20 at midnight on August 10, 2003. I was there when she died and she did not die in a hospital thanks to hospice. But, she did suffer, more than I thought was humanly possible over a period of four years. She was diagnosed on July 4, 1999 the summer before my senior year in high school, when I was 16. She underwent brief chemo, and when it didn't work she got a bone marrow transplant from one of her 11 siblings. Despite the fact that she had 11 siblings this marrow was not a good match; it was a 5 out 6 match, not the ideal 6 out of 6. The transplant and radiation and chemo that mom received before it almost killed her. No one told us what this transplant might be like. During the year that followed I was her primary caretaker. The transplant ended up being hell on earth, literally. Her doctor even siad at one point that everything that could have gone wrong did. I have never seen or heard of such suffering. It should be a crime to put a human through this. I felt like we were part of a Nazi death camp experiment. She was treated by the VA. My sister, who had graduated high school the year before refused to care for our mother; she more or less ran away from home to avoid it. I am still mad at her for this. My maternal grandmother cared for my mom when I couldn't because of school; but she was diagnosed with lung cancer on March 17, 2000 and died July 17, 2000. My mother almost died because of the stress caused from her mother's death. I got an early glimpse into my own furture. I was 17. I went to college later that summer and I had to leave my mother's side. To this day i wonder if my absence shortened her life. I have two brothers and a sister and my father was there too, but no one else seemed to have time to care for her as I did. My mom was my best friend, but she grew apart from me when I was in college, even though she insisted that i go. During my freshmen year of college, my youngest brother was diagnosed with a heart condition and hospitalized several times. On Good Friday of my sophmore year, our house burnt down. It was the house that i grew up in. My father began an affair this year as well; I did not tell my mother becasue i did not want to hurt her. But, my dad brought the woman around me and my boyfriend (now my husband) and I did not know what to do. On some level I understood his need for support, but it was so wrong that he was doing this to my mom. the fall of my junior year, my mother found out about the affair. I told her that i had known, but did not know what to do about it. She was angry and very very sad, but still she clung to life. At this point in her treatment, she had already been at the point where the doctors told us they weren't sure she would make through the night, not once but twice. her unbreakable will, now seemed broken. She served my father with divorce papers with all of her cildren present in the room; the divorce could not have been messier. Mom needed financial support, my father did not want to give it. Mom was slipping. She was 44 when she was diagnosed, and she beautiful, healthy and very health concious, she looked young for her age. When she died at 48, she had aged 40 years in four years time. She was frail, hunched and wrinkled; scars from ports and bruises from weak skin and bloodthinners covered her once soft and smooth skin. her hair once red and shiny was now brittle and black when it grew in. She had suffered diabetes, kidney and liver failure, and CMV retinitis which caused partial blindness. At many times she was too weak to walk or even stand, and bloated beyond recognition by her very high doses of steriods. Her body was ravaged and raped by her "treatment." Not to mention the intense and horrible emotional trauma that she suffered. I still have nightmares about her suffering and her death to me seems like a blessing, so that she does not have to suffer anymore. Please help me deal with this. i just want to hear if anyone else has felt this way. Though I appear well adjusted and happy, I still think about this almost daily, even though it has been two years since she died. I'm trying to be at peace with it. Please help.