Month: February 2013

Hitting Me Softly

Frankenmommy passed away on Thursday morning around 4:30 in the morning. Since then, it’s been a natural disaster that won’t quit. Until Saturday night, I hadn’t slept since Tuesday. I was put in charge of funeral arrangements and have had to mediate fights between my father and Blacksheep and my youngest sister and Blacksheep. 

Nothing about my mother dying feels real yet. I don’t believe it, and don’t think I will until I see her beautiful face resting in her coffin. I have dreaded many things, but this morning I shook as I gathered my toiletries to shower. Today will suck. And that is fact. 

I have to say, despite having to go through this awful experience of falling on hard concrete, my family, especially Husband and my friends, have created this giant fluffy pillow to help me land softly. I feel completely embraced in love and good thoughts and for this I am truly grateful. 

I hope that today that pillow catches my inevitable free fall into my mother’s death which currently seems like a horrid dream but is sadly my new reality. 

The Dreaded Frankenmommy Update

Many of my regular visitors know about Frankenmommy and her seven year fight with Sarcoma. 

Well, as of last week, her battle has taken a turn for the worse. The last time Husband and I saw her was at Christmas. She had slowed down dramatically. She needed to take breaks and nap frequently. She had also gotten quite thin. My mother has always been quite thin, but she was beginning to look gaunt. 

Around Christmas time, the family was told that there were no more treatments available. We’d heard about some immunotherapy treatments, so last week she went to see if she was a candidate. The doctor, who was a chemotherapy specialist of some kind, wasn’t sure so she made an appointment with another research hospital on the other side of the state. 

Since Christmas, the tumor behind her stomach has been growing. As it has grown, fluid has been pooling around her belly. Because of this liquid, she looks pregnant. The tumor doesn’t help either. It’s also quite large. The doctor across the state, drained the fluid, kept her for a couple of nights, and now she’s back at home. Under hospice care.

This past week and half has been the most awful ten days of my existence. Aside from finding out that mother isn’t well at all. I was told that there are two more chemo treatments available, one is very aggressive and other is not as aggressive, but Frankenmommy is too weak for either. My mother is skin and bones, and because she’s malnourished she has trouble communicating. She cannot lift herself, needs help walking, and because of the fluid and her tumor struggles to eat because she always feels full. In fact, she gets very sick when she overeats. Her resting heart rate is between 130 to 150 beats a minute. 

My mother is dying. 

My mother is dying.

My mother is dying.

Her mother died at the same age from a brain tumor not even one year after I was born. This cancer shit is real.

While I knew, despite all my denial, that this sarcoma would eventually win, it’s not something I’m ready to accept. I probably won’t ever be willing to accept it. As Husband and I try to make a mini-me or mini-husband, I struggle with the thought of Frankenmommy not being at my youngest sister’s college graduation, meeting her grandchildren, seeing Blacksheep overcome the darkness that is her existence, and all the other wonderful things that people over the age of 55 experience. 

I’m trying to be a rock, and I’m sucking at it so far. Yesterday, the hospice nurse told me I looked like I was having a hard time, every time I talk to husband on the phone I am in tears, and this afternoon when Frankenmommy and I were alone and I laid down next to her, I broke down and she comforted me. I felt like such an asshole. She is in excruciating pain, and I’m the jerk-face being comforted.

I know this isn’t a space where I talk much about my faith and God, but I am fairly religious. I go to mass somewhat consistently and am a proud Catholic. I know this is going to sound corny, but I really believe that the reason my mom has taken this turn so quickly is because she needed elsewhere.  Her mission (that sounds creepy, but you get what I’m saying) here has been completed, or will be soon. 

Over the past few years, my mom has repeatedly told me she misses her mother, and I guess soon she’ll be able to see her. While I’d love to be selfish and keep Frankenmommy to myself, I don’t think even I could deny my mother the joy of being with her own mother. 

So readers, if your mother is healthy or isn’t, or you’ve said something mean to her, or you haven’t called her today. Call her, hug her, and apologize. You don’t know how lucky you are to be able to do that.