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mum just died of stomach cancer

Posts: 2
Joined: Jun 2009

it was about 4 yrs ago that my father past away from a heart attack, and i wondered how my mum was going to handle it. it didn't get back in time before my father pass but i got to see my mum and the how hard it hit her. when i went back home to california, it continued to call home to talk to mum and find out how she was. every time i spoke to her she sounded upbeat but there was concern because she was lossing alot of weight so in december of 05 i made plans to go back to massachusettes and stay with her for a while. i was able to transfer with the company i worked for but it was in connecticut, so i drove across country in march 06, to surprise her and let her know i was going to be living here. when i arrived i noticed that she had lost alot of weight, come to find out it was over 100 lbs, so i asked her to go get a check up. she told me that she was going to see the doctor for a physical in aug, but sometime in july she got sick and had to go to the hospital, were they did blood work and kept her in there for more observation. at that time they decided to do an endoscopy and found a tumer and required further follow up with a mri and ct scan. it was later told to my mum that she had a a stage 4 cancer in her stomach, and that they would have to remove 2/3rds of her stomach and lymph nodes affected and that she would have 6 months to a year to live, if she survived the operation. at that time i decided to take a leave of absense, 3 months to spend time with her, take her up to maine and new hampshire to get her mind of the operation and to help her recover afterwards. at the end of aug she under went the operation and survived, went to therapy to help her get back to herself. at first she didn't want to go thru therapy, she just wanted to go home, but when it was time to go home she didn't want to leave, they took very good care of her. it was then that my loa was expired and i had to return to work, but i still needed to help my mum around the house and take her to follow up appointment for chemo therapy, ct and mri scans, so i asked my employer to cut back my hours and was told take a demotion or quit, so i gave my 2 weeks notice, and return home to care for my mother as a caregiver. my mum was put on xeloda to kill any remaining particles of cancer that might not have been removed during the operation. i was in constant contact with my 2 brothers down in virginia and told them that this christmas might be the last so we all need to get together and that it would make mum happy and supportive, so we all came home, my sister and 2 brothers. it was one of the best we had because we were all together and it made mum happy. as we continued the chemo, and appointments, we got to spend good quality time together, going out for rides to maine, having fish and clams, ice cream at dairy queen, mc donalds for breakfast or going to de angelos for meatball subs, it was great. my mum was very good with the treatments except she would get red feet and hands, so i would moisturize her feet in the morning and night, but how i loved to spend time with her and listen to stories of her childhood and we would reminise of our trips up to new hampshire. as the months went by, we went for mri and ct scans, follow up appointments and at the end of march 07 she got the good news that she was in remission, and we attended the cancer survivor party a week later, and my mum was so happy and we couldn't believe that she was a survivor, but we knew she was a fighter. later on that week i spoke to my mum about moving down with my 2 brothers as it was time for me to go back to work and that i was ready to return to california. she was very reluctant but i had to get her to move because she lived by herself and didn't drive, and she lived out in a rural town. so my brothers and i kept telling her that it wasn't going to be good for her to stay home alone and that she might fall and nobody would be there to help her, so she agreed, but i knew she wanted to stay in her own home. so in june 07 we cleaned out the house and moved her down with my 2 brothers and i returned to california and got my old job back. a year later while she was diagnosed with ovarian cancer and had to have a hysterectomy and go on chemo again, i made a surprise trip home on memorial weekend to see her and she looked good, still fighting. she was later told that she was in remission again, and i knew that she was probably going to get it again. later that year she was coming down the stairs from her bedroom and she fell and broke she shoulder and so she had to and have it replaced, but they didn't want to proceed until she had regained her strength from the chemo, so a couple months later she had the surgery and was going thru therapy when the cancer returned in the stomach area, this time she wasn't able to keep food down, vomiting up everything she ate of drink, so they placed her in the hospital to run tests, but things started to get worst and i got the call to come home 5may09. i got on the late flight and arrived home the following day, my mum told my brother that she wanted to go home and die. that day i went to the hospital to see her and i broke down, she had lost 50 lbs, lost most of her hair and her face was shrunken in. i went home with my brother to prepare the house for her arrival, hospice provided a bed and other items to make her comfortable, also that night a nurse was coming. the remainder of the day we sat and spoke to her, letting her know that it was ok to go, and that we loved her so much, and she told us that she loved us too. i knew at that moment that she was going to die in a day or so. that night the nurse arrived to show us how to give her medicine and just keep her from pain. that night i sleeped right next to her just in case she woke up and wanted water, or to talk and i kept getting up and checking on her. the following morning we got up and 2 nurses from hospice came by o show us how to care for her in the following days, but i knew she wasn't going to make the weekend and as soon as they took her vitals they knew she wasn't either, they noted that her heart was working to hard and that her body was shutting down. they called for a chaplin to come by and say a prayer, when she arrived she was sleeping and we all held her hands while she read from psalm 23, the lord is my shephard. i cried as i watched her slowly go to sleep and her breath became more shallow until she took the last breath and she was gone at 10:36am on may 7th. it has been alittle over a month now and i still can't face the fact that she is gone, i was crying writing this. i blame myself for moving her down to virginia where she received lower standards of cancer care, and that maybe she would still be here if i had stayed with her and kept her spirits up. i am currently going to counseling and it helps alittle but i still break down from time to time, and my brothers are also having a tough time dealing with the loss too. everyone tells me time heals, and i know that but it still hurts. i love you and miss you so much mum. love douglas

Posts: 57
Joined: Jan 2009

So sorry for our loss. May God bless and keep your family.

Posts: 1
Joined: Aug 2009

I just lost my Mom to stomach cancer in July, 09...She was 77 yrs. old. When I read how you stayed right next to your mom the night before she passed, it really hit me since I did the same thing with my Mom. How are you coping with this? I can't get thru 1 day without breaking down! I have 6 sisters and a brother, but it seems I'm the only one that is being affected so intensely with our mother's death. They are all older than me... I'm 43... I have just one younger sister.
I am having such a hard time dealing with it... I don't even know if I'll be able to return to work in september {I'm a teacher}... I always knew it'd be difficult, but no where near what is happening!

Posts: 2
Joined: Jun 2009

i'm sorry to hear about your mom, she was the same age as my mum. at first it was really hard to cope with the loss, i had to go to counceling, see my doctor for meds. i didn't want to go to work at first missing days because i couldn't sleep, having suicidal thoughts, crying all the time etc. then one day i thought about my mum and all she had gone thru, and that she wouldn't want me to be brieving like this, and would want me to get on with my life and enjoy myself, celebrate her life. there isn't a day that goes by that i don't think about her and i kiss the pouch of ashes every night before i go to bed. i know she is a better place, with her mother, father, sisters, husband, and friends. i know everyone says she's in a better place, and thats hard to accept, but we have to live our lives, death is a part of life. hope you can overcome your grief and move on with your life. god bless you

Posts: 3
Joined: Sep 2009

The day after Christmas I lost my mom after a long battle with stomach cancer. I was fortunate enough to live close by and be there for my mom. Could you imagine what it would be like to know that you have a limited amount of time left in this world? This past year was the most precious time ever with my mom. It was a gift from God to be able to enjoy that time with her. Most people will never have an opportunity like that, to spend the last year of your loved one’s life doing everything you can to make it special. My mom never chose to go to any exotic locations or travel around the world. She just wanted to stay right where she was and watch her granddaughters go to dance class, watch her grandson play soccer and spend her free time with her family and friends. When it comes down to what is really important in your life, your status, your career, what kind of car you drive, and how many places you traveled are not going to matter. It’s going to be your family, your friends and those who hold a special place in your heart. I was there when my mom left this world, I was able to tell her goodbye and so was my dad. How could I have ever known it was that moment that I planned to visit that God would call her? Don’t think that my mom didn’t fight this disease with everything she could. She did. She was subjected to some of the harshest chemotherapy there was for a year before her body just couldn’t take anymore. You see, there are always going to be those people who wallow in self pity and those others who rise from the ashes. Sometimes, you have to see the beauty in the worst circumstances.
After she left, it took some days before I realized that she never really left. I think when someone becomes such an integral part of your life and your existence that part of them becomes part of you. Her physical body may be gone but I can feel her in everything I do. What others have told me is you never get over the loss of your mom; you just learn how to live without them.
My mom and I planned her funeral together and when my family made our trip out to North Carolina for the second funeral service we had a beautiful experience. My sister and I went to visit our Aunt and Uncle and we handed over some of my mom’s jewelry to my Aunt she couldn’t help but start to cry. In that moment of hugging and crying my Aunt noticed out the window the most beautiful rainbow. The rainbow extended from one end to the other and we all ran outside and just knew immediately that mom must of sent it to us. Mom loved North Carolina and if she was going to give us a sign she would do it right there, and it couldn’t be more perfect than that moment. Although, you may not be thinking about it right now what you learn from life’s best experiences and absolute tragedies can always be passed on to someone else, and you can leave this world better than when you found it. If you were given the gift of one day, how would you spend it? What do you really want to do with the limited time you have?

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