April 26, 2015
My mom has been an absolute warrior throughout this process. Her dignity and strength have been tremendously inspiring. She never has complained. She's tried everything in her capacity to battle this - chemo, holistic methods, juicing, meditation, you name it, she's done it. Last February, she was given 3-4 months to live, and has lasted 14 months since being diagnosed. And in that 14 months, she got to celebrate her amazing 50th anniversary (which felt like a beautiful garden wedding), she got to enjoy hundreds of visits with friends and family and celebrate another Christmas and another birthday. Those, along with the tremendous outpouring of love and support our family has received are the silver linings that I desperately cling to, to offset the horrendous memories from this year watching her being sick from all the chemo, watching her be in so much pain until they were able to get it under control, from countless hospital scares, from shitty CT scan results, and watching her body being eaten away before our eyes. Enough is efuckingnough. I wouldn't let any of my pets endure what she's experiencing. Today I spoon fed her lunch while my sister in law changed her bandages for bed sores. We lift her up to go to the bathroom because she has no more strength and weighs less than 100 pounds. I'm not saying any of this to you for sympathy. I'm saying this to you because in this day and age, people shouldn't have to endure this anymore. She told me she wants to fly away like the beautiful birds outside her bedroom window.
She's so done. And yet she has to continue soldiering on.
People think, with a disease like cancer, you have a chance to say your goodbyes, to prepare....etc....etc...
But I'll tell you this, since my mom has been diagnosed with cancer, there's no new way I've told her I love her, she already knows this from the relationship we have, she didn't have to lie in bed for six weeks for any extra closure. And as much as I've watched her literally fading before my eyes, I'll never be prepared for her absence. Never. She's been the core of my foundation for 40+ years, and I will be just as devastated after this year of illness as I would have been if she died in her sleep at the age of 80.
I try so hard to keep this space positive and upbeat, because that's how I like to live my days, but I can't act right now. I didn't go to my company's yearly party last week, because the idea of walking around a room, smiling, answering, "How's it going?" With, "Oh, I'm great!" just isn't in my bag of tricks right now. I'm not great. I'm imploding. The woman who has been my life's north star, who I've turned to my whole life for every bruised knee, every celebration, every broken heart is leaving soon.
If I could give you any piece of advice I've learned from this, it's to tell the people you love how much they mean to you, it's to know that friends and family are it - there's nothing, and I mean nothing more important and it's that it's so desperately quick, this life of ours. Give your mom the biggest hug next time you see them. xoxo