Lost my mother last month to stage 4 pancratic cancer


Hello.  I'm...new here and...I thought maybe I'd just try to reach out.

My mother last November, was rushed to the hosptial by me for jaudice.  A CT scan showed suspcisious masses in her body, especially on her liver.  Her bile tubes were blocked, and so she had a procedure done to insert a drain and have an outside bag.  A week later she was allowed home, but as she had not been given any physical therapy and from the stress of everything, she had become very weak, did not want to eat, and was depressed.  Trying to take care of her by myself with the aid of her coworkers did not go well, as she had three falls-which further only added to the stress.  The third time she fell, I called 911 and she was rushed back to the hosptial.  We found out there she had low sodium, she had a case of a extremely high heartrate, and it was there we found out that what she had was cancer.  
As she was recovering from the low sodium, we were told that the cancer was very agressive, had reached the point where surgery was not an option, and that palladive chemo could offer some comfort.  

From there my mother was moved to a rehab to try and learn how to walk again-for physical therapy, but that did not go well-she was still refusing to eat, was in constant pain, and finally another episode of her heartrate escalating had her moved to another hosptial shortly before christmas.  We found out what cancer it was at that point, and then her bag malfuctioned, so she needed to have it redone.  When she recovered from that, she was sent to another rehab to again try to build up her strength again...but at that point, it was the beginning of the end.  Over Christmas I watched her slowly detoriate...this woman, my mother, who surivied an abusive childhood and a abusive husband, who left him and had been my rock for nearly all my life...

She spent Thanksgiving, her birthday, Christmas and the New Year in this limbo.  When it became very clear that she was weakening, she agreed to hospice, and I signed the papers.  Five days later, I got a call from the hospice nurse telling me that my mother's condition was starting to detoriate.  On the following day, Janurary 11th, she died.

I have been struggling since.  It hurts all over.  My mother and I...I can't explain our relationship in words.  The bond we had from what we went through.  How strong she was-she had a will of iron.  And we had no warning-she'd been sick off and on that year, but where we worked we had stomach viruses and the like going among the coworkers, you know?  No history of cancer in her family.  I was her nurse and caretaker from when it happened-god, it's only been four months total-two for the whole mess and it'll be two months from her death come March 11-and...

The little things hurt, being an adult hurts.  There are memories of her all over the city where I live, and she was my only family.  It's hard finaically without her working-we lived together, and yesterday I was in a car accident.  I came home and cried over the stress and cried because I wanted my mommy.

I've spoken to a therapist once or twice, I haven't...gone to hospice yet becuase it's too painful.   I don't know how I can explain it-how me talking it out over and over... My friends have been very supportive but they all more or less live out of state, so it's been online.  I've let myself cry.  scream.  Howl.  I want nothing more sometimes to just lie down and not get up but I make myself get up and keep moving...

It just hurts so so much...I miss her hugs.  I miss talking to her.  We talked every day, even when i was in college.  I have a hole in my heart and how do you go on?  How can you summon up the strength to have hope for yourself?  I poured everything I had into her when she was ill...and look what happened...I tried to be the best daughter and the best nurse that I could but...

They say the pain never goes away but I just...when can you breathe?  When does the fog finally lift?


  • JerzyGrrl
    JerzyGrrl Member Posts: 760 Member
    You've been through...


    I'm so sorry to hear what you and your mom had to deal with, and so sorry for your loss. You've been through a LOT in just a few months. Your grief is brand new. What you're going through is normal, as much as anything like this can be "normal." Be kind to yourself, stay connected with your support system. Going to a counselor or the grief group may seem pointless or intrusive, but can be helpful, if for nothing else it's difficult for us humans to hold ourselves out at arm's length and take a good look at how we're really doing. 

    Your grief will change over time. You'll probably never really "get over it," but the pain will lessen. It indeed takes time. Be patient and good to yourself.

  • LonelyOnly
    LonelyOnly Member Posts: 11
    edited April 2017 #3

    I'm not sure if you're still on here but I just wanted to reach out. My mom passed away a month and a half ago - about 11 mos after she was diagnosed. I identified with a lot of your circumstances. You're farther along in this process than I am so I probably don't have much to offer but understanding. The hospice facility where my mom died offers individual and group grief counseling. It was extremely hard to return and keep returning for support group meetings. Hell, I usually cry just driving past the place. But I've realized that confronting the deep emotions and letting them out is better than bottling them up. 

    I'm also reading a book called Motherless Daughters, by Hope Edelman. It's really good so far (and I usually HATE self-help-type books - ESPECIALLY grief books and the load of syrupy hogwash they tend to offer). 

    Anyway, we're all stronger than we think we are. Affirm yourself of your awesomeness everyday. After all, you probably got it from your mom :-)