Sunday, June 29, 2014

Too Fast

My mom went to the doctor Thursday afternoon. She had been feeling very tired and was having some bad indigestion after eating. He didn't like the looks of her abdomen and did a liver function test. It wasn't good. They did an X-ray. Not good. A scan revealed what we were all dreading to hear, the cancer had spread to the liver.

We were all devastated with this news. My mom's situation was now terminal. We knew that. We knew you absolutely don't want to have cancer in your liver. But we thought we had some time, weeks, months maybe.

I planned to fly out the next week, after the Fourth of July, and spend a week visiting her as much as I could. On Friday we waited for a call from the oncologist as to what the newest findings meant for mom. What we were really waiting for was how much time did she have left. We waited for many hours that morning. Darlene and Sean went over to Mom's house and left a message with the oncologist. By lunch time we still hadn't heard anything. Then Mom had a very scary seizure. Dar was home with her by herself. It was quite terrifying. 911 was called and Mom was off to the hospital. From the hospital Dar called me and Denise. I called Bill and Donna.

We are thankful for the seizure now. It got us all there to her side. Bill and I got on the last flight to Burbank. Donna cut her weekend in Seattle short and got a flight to LAX. Denise and Dave literally got off a plane headed for Reno as they were closing the doors and drove straight to the hospital. We were all there by 11:00 PM. We found out she had cancer in her brain from the MRI. Mom was coherent but groggy. She was so happy we were all there. If she understood why she didn't say so. She was starting to have more pain and they began morphine every six 2-4 hours. We spoke with another doctor that night who revealed she also had cancer in her lungs. We asked to bring her home to die.

Darlene, Donna and I spent the night by her side. In the morning she began to have more pain and agitation. They had to put her on a morphine drip. She was no longer responsive to us. Her breathing became very labored. Around 7:00 PM the ambulance left the hospital with Mom and myself by her side. Everyone else went to the house to wait for her arrival. My Aunt Helen had arrived and my Aunt Bonnie arrived shortly after. We put her in the bed that had been set up by hospice earlier. A little before 8:00 she stopped breathing, peacefully. Only 45 minutes home. But home nevertheless, with her family all around her. We had prayed for a quick death without a lot of suffering and our prayers were answered. I had only been in California for 24 hours but it seemed like two weeks. Everything happened so fast!

We will will miss her so much. On Friday we will celebrate her life. A life we never expected to end so soon. Good bye Mommy. We love you.


Beth said...

I'm sure this was tough to write, but it was nice to hear the full story. We love you Grandma Janet.

Roberta McKay said...

Oh my gosh Debbie, what brave memoir for you to write. We are saddened by the loss of your mom but memories will be forever. Thinking of you all. Roberta and Don