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a lonely daughter

poodiesue2117 Member Posts: 1

My mom died from breast cancer. Writing that still feels unreal. 

She was the strongest, happiest, funniest, person I'd ever met. At times I was 100% sure she was crazy. But she was my best, and sometimes my only friend. She had breast cancer the first time when I was in elementary school. She was in remission for 5 years before it returned. This time it was terminal. The doctors told her she had about 14 months and she promised my brother and I she would last 3-5 years. She lasted about 4. She wanted to see me get into college. I graduated a year early so that she could, but the year that I went away to school, was her last year on earth. I  did not know it at the time, but my subconscious prevented me from succeeding that year because I think I knew, I should have been at home. I went home the summer after my freshman year at college, and my mom told me she was tired, that she needed some more help around the house. My brother was in Iraq and my dad left us 4 year ago. I was happy to help. I'd do anything for her. I tried to put a lot of effort into cooking so that she would put a lot of effort into eating. she did her best. I did everything I could but I'm only 18. She was still working, part-time disability, mostly for the health care. About a month after I got home there was a week where my mom did not get out of bed much and she really didn't seem to be doing well. I did not know it at the time but she'd been off chemo for awhile because her white blood cell count was low. she went to work on thursday for a few hours but I knew something was wrong. I called her doctor and set up an appointment for Friday. We went in and he noticed that she was a little jaundiced. Thats when he told me to try to get my brother home. I was sure that he was jumping the gun a bit but I was happy for an excuse to get my brother home from war. So i took my mom to the hospital for a CT and some other tests and began calling the red cross. That weekend I took her home and we talked a bit and she said she was "going to bounce back. chemo patients get sick a lot." We had an appointment monday morning and when I went to wake her up I knew we were going back to the hospital. She was much more jaundiced and could not make it up the stairs. I had to ask my boyfriend to carry her. I think she was embarrassed. That night I went home to sleep for a few hours and return before she woke up. But shortly after leaving the hospital I received a call that she had been found wandering the halls screaming my brothers name. I raced back and didn't even acknowledge the people who tried to tell me i was to young to see my mom. She was no longer lucid, and never would be again. I spent the next 5 days watching her endure excruciating pain and counting every breath she had until... they just stopped. Then I was supposed to leave. My brother didn't make it.

I still feel like i am in that room. In fact, it was 5 months ago, but it still feels like I am sitting, waiting, for an outcome. Waiting for my mom to recover. For her to tell me how proud she is of me. To tell me how strong I've been. To respond one last time.

I can not explain to you the depths of grief.

But mostly I worry about her. Where she is now? Is she ok? Was she happy? How could I have done more? Was she lonely? Was she scared? What was her experience?

She didn't like to talk about her cancer. She preferred to celebrate her life every moment that she could. Which is beautiful in its own way. But there are times I wish we'd talked about it more. We talked about it on occasion but it was so hard for both of us. And she wanted to be strong for me. 

 I'm not sure why exactly I am writing this on here. perhaps it will help some one else, some how. I know I feel comforted by reading other peoples experiences.  Or perhaps it is just because I don't know who else will know what I am talking about. I've never met another person in my situation. I often wonder if they exist.


  • BFidelis
    BFidelis Member Posts: 5
    edited December 2009

    Dear Daughter,

    I am so sorry for your deep loss.  My Mom died over 15 years ago and we were very close.  I am so sad that you are so young.  Now I am the mother with the breast cancer, with 2 daughters close to your age whom I adore beyond words.

    As for your questions...Was she happy? is the easiest.  She had beautiful YOU.  You were fantastic friends.  She could not have been anything BUT happy.  Could you have done more?  I really doubt it.  Really.  Hardest is Where is she now?  I think of my Mom as being in a place called Everywhere.

    Was she lonely or scared?  At some point on this journey, we are all lonely and scared.  You must remember, though, that what was more important to her than her loneliness or fear was her life with you.  You said she stressed all the good stuff.

    When my mom died, I wondered how I would get along without her.  I wondered how I would be able to cope without her input.  I wondered where I would go for encouragement or for that wonderful shoulder to lean on.  Sometime along the way I realized that though our time was cut short, she had managed to teach me everything I needed to know.  She lives in me, and if I need her advice, I reach into the place she lives in my heart and I find it.  Sure and steady as it was sitting across the kitchen table.

    I wish you Peace,


  • lymy226
    lymy226 Member Posts: 3
    edited March 2011

    I posted on here for similar reasons.  None of the people I have in my life have experienced such pain as losing not only your mother but your best friend.  I never expected my mom to die as soon as she did I thought for sure she would be in remission one day.   Reading your story and others makes me feel less alone in my situation.  It hurts more than I could ever put in words and I do a good job at putting up a front so I'm not a mess everyday.  Thank you for your story and know you are not alone.