I can't remember who my mom was before diagnosis...anyone else experience this?

aamat Member Posts: 1

Hi im new to this but to start of, my mom got diagnosed with Breast cancer when I was 12.  My memories during and after this period arent very happy and are not what i want to remember my mom by.  She went into remission for a year but her cancer metasisized to her liver my freshamn year of High School.  I just feel like she has always had cancer.  Im 18 now and most of my memories of her from before her diagnosis are very blurry and hard to fully grasp.  Its so weird. like after 6 years i am just now realizing i can barely remember my childhood.  I cant describe in words how uncomfertable and sad it makes me feel that i have a massive chunk of my life missing.  I have tried to concentrate and try and think of memories i shared with my mom before, but all i could remember were short, unreliabe flashbacks.  How can this be, i thought people surpress their unwanted memories, not their good ones.  I can play back my memories of all the sad and depressing memories i experienced during my moms first diagnosis as clear as a movie.  I can even start feeling the same emotions i felt during those memories which is complete SH*T because they are not good feelings what so ever.  Why cant i remember the cute and happy memories of my mom before she got sick instead of memories of having to take care of her when she'd get sick from chemo or the first time i saw my mom cry when she had to shave her head.  Why do i have to remeber so clearly how fast i had to grow up from a care-free, self centered 12 year old to a full grown adult in a matter of days.  I know she may have months or even years left in my life, but i dont want to only remember my mom while she was sick.  She is the most selfless, strongest and caring person I've ever met in my life and is my best friend.  She has always been there for me and i love her so much i can't picture my life without her.  

I just hate that after she passes, the only memories I'd have to remember her by for when i'm missing her, are only when she is sick.  

I am just wondering if anyone has every experienced this or if it is normal for this to happen becasue it is literally driving me crazing not being able to remember.  Its as if i know i know these memories but something isnt lettingme see them.  Any chance you've expereinced this or have any advice for getting these memories back/why i'm unable to remember them?

 Does anyone have any advice or what not to help me out with this? 

Or any ideas that you wish you had done to better remember a loved one after they are gone?

Thank you this means sosososo much 


  • Catholic
    Catholic Member Posts: 86
    I understand your comments. 

    I understand your comments.  I come at it from a different perspective.  I have 3 kids; the oldest is a care-free, beautiful 11 year old
    girl. My wife was diagnosed with breast cancer 2+ years ago, then 11 months of chemotherapy and hormone therapy.  Before ever
    being diagnosed with cancer, my wife was angry.  And I mean angry!  I can get into detail about all of the stupid, foolish angry episodes
    she has had.

    After our 3rd child was born, my wife literally went to live in the basement full-time and rarely came upstairs.  I ran the household and
    I worked out of my home because someone had to pay the bills.  I have no doubt that my oldest of all our kids was affected by all of this.
    She saw her mom call the police on me 12-15 times.  She saw her mom do and say some really stupid things and then break down and
    start crying about something absolutely ridiculous.  And then my wife disappeared for the past 4+ years; she lived in the basement for
    2 years, had an apartment while she was undergoing chemotherapy (chemotherapy took 11 months) and even today, my wife sleeps
    in the basement and spends way too much time in the basement.  

    With that said, I encourage my care-free 11 year old to take pictures of her mom and videos because I want her to remember her
    mom.  My wife's family (her sister, parents) are all decent people and all of them have a positive influence on my kids (including my
    oldest).  They encourage her as well to take photos of her mom and to talk to her.  Try to create some positive memories; try to find a
    project like a cross-stitch kit or cook dinner or something that you and your mom can build together, try to take some photos or maybe
    a video.  You say "My memories during and after this period arent very happy...";  I get that.  Try to create some positive memories now
    and some photos.  You take the initiative.  I know from the brief times that I have talked to my wife that she is afraid of her kids, especially our
    11 year old who is spirited and opinionated.  She knows she hasnt been around for them and she knows very little about them.  My wife
    is afraid to talk to the kids and doesnt know how to approach them at all (while in contrast, Im around the kids all the time and spend way,
    way too much time with them - I could use a vacation!).  You have to take the initiative and think of things you and your mom can do and
    go ask her to participate. If she says no, ask again.  Keep asking and thinking of new projects.


  • ClaCla
    ClaCla Member Posts: 136
    Ask Your Mom to Tell You

    Another thing would be to ask your mom to tell you stories about when you were little.  Do you have childhood photo albums you could go over with her?  It would be nice to record your conversations with her as you ask the questions too.  God bless.