xray83
 
Reply Tue 22 Oct, 2013 08:25 am
In 2001, I was 18 years old and my mom was diagnosed with non-hodgkins lymphoma. Over the next 12 years, I watched her go through chemo, radiation, a stem cell transplant, and clinical trials. Everything seemed to be going ok, the cancer would never really go away but it was treatable and we all thought she had a good 10-15 years left in her.

In 2010 I got married, and earlier this year my wife and I announced that we were pregnant with our first child (and mom's first grand child). That was February. In June, we moved closer to my parents' house so they could be close to their grand child. In August, mom took a turn for the worse. The aggressive cancer that the stem cell transplant had "cured" was back, and because of all the treatment she'd been through, they weren't sure how much more she could handle. Still, she elected to have more chemo done because despite the fact that the chemo could kill her, if she didn't have it done the cancer would have killed her anyway.

The first round of chemo went decently. The second round, she ended up in the ICU (critical care) for three weeks. Repirator, feeding tube, the whole nine yards. For three weeks my entire family was sitting in the ICU hoping that she would make it out. It was a hard three weeks and her chances of survival were not good, so we cried and kind of mourned her then. Then one day, we got great news -- she was doing well and was able to leave the ICU and return to her Oncology ward. We had a huge glimmer of hope that lasted about two weeks.

The plan was to get her strength back and get her ready for a bone marrow transplant which would hopefully have cured her for good. Well, two weeks into the Oncology ward they did an ultrasound and told us the cancer had come back...and it came back hard. There was nothing they could do. Chemo would 100% kill her, but so would the cancer. This was October 8th. We're due to have the baby November 3rd. She died October 11th. We had a chance to say good bye and tell her she was the best mom that ever walked the earth, etc. We were all at her bedside when she passed away.

We made all of the funeral arrangements...picking every detail from the plot, to the casket, to the flowers, to the music for the memorial DVD, to going through pictures. We sat in three separate visitations. She watched them close the casket. We went to the funeral mass. We followed behind the hurse to the graveyard. We buried her.

Of course we all cried during every step of this process. But now I feel completely numb. She didn't get to see her first grandchild. She was only 52 years old. I have moments where I miss her, but I feel like a lot of my mourning was done when she was in the ICU. When we found out the news she was going to die.

I'm already back at work. I feel like I'm not doing her any justice...I almost feel guilty, that I should be more upset.

Is this because it was such a slow process? Or is my brain just protecting me from dealing with too much, and one day the bomb is going to drop and I'm going to be a complete disaster?

Any help would be appreciated.
 
Setanta
 
  3  
Reply Tue 22 Oct, 2013 08:47 am
@xray83,
A dozen years of grieving over your mother's condition probably accounts for why you are not more upset now. Don't add beating up on yourself to your other, reasonable woes.
BillRM
 
  1  
Reply Tue 22 Oct, 2013 08:57 am
@Setanta,
Quote:
A dozen years of grieving over your mother's condition probably accounts for why you are not more upset now. Don't add beating up on yourself to your other, reasonable woes.


Agree 100 hundred percent with the above statement.
0 Replies
 
jespah
 
  1  
Reply Tue 22 Oct, 2013 09:24 am
Me, three. You did everything you could. You left it all out there on the field, as they say in sports. It's okay.
0 Replies
 
PUNKEY
 
  1  
Reply Tue 22 Oct, 2013 09:45 am
@xray83,
You are numb and that's OK. It's the body's way of letting out grief slowly, so you can handle it. Take one day at a time.

I personally think that all the activities of "pre-grieving" really don't have anything to do with when the finality of it all comes crashing in. All that time "hope" was dangling in front of you and then the real end time came suddenly.

After losing my husband and then my mother 2 years later, I was numb, then grieved slowly, then a real "crash" at 6 months.

Please go to grief counseling in a few months. They really do help.

You are in my thoughts . . .
xray83
 
  1  
Reply Tue 22 Oct, 2013 10:42 am
@PUNKEY,
I think I agree with Punkey. Really, the "pre-grieving" was more of a cautious grief because even though I knew she was fighting for her life, I still half expected everything to be ok. It really wasn't until we found out she had no hope of survival (three days before she died) that I went into "real" grieving, but even then she was lying there talking to me, alive...so it didn't sink in until I watched her die right in front of me.

I hope I'm wrong though and I don't crash after a few months. Though with her birthday (November 9th) and the holidays coming up...
0 Replies
 
trying2learn
 
  0  
Reply Tue 22 Oct, 2013 11:05 am
@xray83,
xray83 wrote:
I'm already back at work. I feel like I'm not doing her any justice...I almost feel guilty, that I should be more upset.
I don't think you should feel guilty. You did what you could and you can do your mom justice by telling your child about her as your child grows up.
0 Replies
 
Janette Getui
 
  1  
Reply Thu 24 Oct, 2013 02:45 pm
@xray83,
I don't blame you for feeling like that, My ex husband and i went through something similar when we were married ..My mother I'm law was sickly many years, and if still affected him but not as much as most people expected. Everyone is different , there is no wrong or right when it comes to you chosen path in dealing with the absence of a loved one.. But this is the thing., by you beating yourself up and/or forcing yourself to be what you think others might see as "proper" is actually you causing more harm to you than you will ever know. You know scientifically guilt actually has a a strong acid test? So it is the same as you pouring acid over your skin..No one would ever do that, but yet we live in guilt all the time ..almost conditioned by society to conform or feel guilty. I think you need to sit down and write out your feelings, seriously analyse them and make a decision on how you want to feel from there on..And if you realise you need to grieve, then at least you will have allowed yourself, if you feel that you prefer to celebrate her and find her presence in your daughter , then you can do that..But at least you will be owning up to yourself how you want to leave that situation as. It can be bad or good, but you always have a choice no matter what. God ( if you believe in that or whoever you believe in) does not make mistakes, and i am certain that wherever your mum is now, the last thing she will want is for you to waste any time feeling guilty and frustrated instead of celebrating the great strong person that she was in your life, and passing that on to your new child.
In my line of work, we help people understand that relationships that deep never really end, because nothing in life ends. There are cycles, but God and life itself is eternal..So if you can allow yourself to see that a possibility, you can then begin to see signs of her, maybe even as soon as tomorrow, And when you allow that peace and understanding, your child will never feel like she missed out on grandma because every time you talk about grandma, she will feel her presence rather than her absence.
I hope that helps in some way. I know it is not easy, but it is possible i can promise you that. And you will feel so wonderful and at peace when you get there.Be blessed.
0 Replies
 
SEBZAJUGGERNAUT
 
  1  
Reply Sat 26 Oct, 2013 06:21 pm
@xray83,
Your mum was a fighter, you should be proud of her, I've lost family to cancer but I just kept my head up and dealt with it. Try and think about what they would want you to think Smile
puneetchauhan
 
  0  
Reply Wed 13 Nov, 2013 05:49 am
@SEBZAJUGGERNAUT,
this time is very pain full.
0 Replies
 
 

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