It is 4:15 a.m. I just awoke from a dream about my Mother. Sometimes I have great dreams, other times, they disturb me. This one didn't allow me to go back to sleep. It has been 1 yr and 3 months since I lost my Mom and this dream brought back the last moments with her to the surface again. Gosh, I hate these kind of dreams.
My Mother died of cervical cancer on February 6, 2006. She was 49 years old. She was a wonderful daughter, sister, wife, mother, aunt, and grandmother. She lived life and loved it. She loved her family. On December 17, 2005, she became aware that something was wrong. She had a cold she couldn't get rid of. On this day, she nearly passed out because she couldn't breathe. She was taken to the emergency room and had to be given 2 units of blood. The doctor "said" it was her heavy periods, but that after the first of the year, she needed to go have tests run to make sure she wasn't losing blood somewhere else.
So, on January 5, 2006, the doctors appointments started up. On January 13, we were told that my mother had cancer. At this point, the doctors couldn't tell us if it was cervical cancer or endometrial cancer. They were about 99 % sure it was cervical.
My Mother eventually went to M.D. Anderson. My Mom didn't have insurance, so we were given the run around a lot. Finally, they accepted her as a patient. She had her first round of all the tests and they confirmed our worst fears....stage IV cervical cancer. That was our first week there. The second time we went back, she had her chemotherapy. 5 days later, on Feb. 6, she was dead.
My Mom couldn't breathe. She had to wear oxygen for the last week and a half of her life. When we went to M.D. Anderson for her chemo, they asked why she was wearing oxygen. She told them it was because she couldn't breathe. In the two week span we dealt with M.D. Anderson, I called 3 times to talk to a nurse, asking what to do....she couldn't breathe. My sister called as well. One nurse told me to just tell her that if she made it through the second round of chemo, that the fluid would start to come off of her lungs. She didn't make it to the second round of chemo. She only made it 5 days past her first round.
I know that the cancer would have gotten her eventually. But, the way she was taken from this world that she loved so much, haunts me. She died in her bathroom, with my cousins. I told my Mom goodbye that morning as I headed to work. I rubbed Vick's on her back...she thought that would help her breathe. I gave her a wet wash cloth. I hugged her and kissed her goodbye. Later on that morning, I was at school and I called. She answered and said she couldn't breathe, she just couldn't breathe. I told her in a calm voice, "Mom, if you can't breathe, then don't answer the phone!" I told her to hang tight, that we would call M.D. Anderson and see what we needed to do (they recommend you do this). My sister called. I called my Mom back...and lo and behold, she answered the phone. I told her again "Mom, you don't need to answer the phone if you can't breathe. Don't talk!" Now, I'm thankful she answered the phone. That was the last time I would talk to my mother alive. I remember I told her at the end of our short conversation that I loved her. I hope and pray she heard that. She was in panic mode....she was suffocating.
I'm angry, upset, shocked. I ask "Why?" all the time. Why didn't we as a family realize something wasn't right, when now everything is staring us in the face. Why? Why will I not ever have my Mother call me again? Why can't I call her for a recipe? Why can't I have the comfort of my mother's arms? Why will I never have her hold my babies or see me walk down the aisle? Why did we only have 3 weeks once we found out she had cancer? How will I live without her?
My Mother was an awesome Mom. Growing up, my Dad was gone a lot with his job. So, it was just me, Mom, and my sister. "The Girls". We were close. So close! She knew everything I did (yes, even things she didn't need to know :)!) She loved her family and friends. She put everyone before herself. She had two beautiful grandsons (my nephews). At the time, they were 6 and 4 and their "Nana" was their life. We are finally making progress with them. The oldes finally cracked a few months ago and let it all out.
My Dad struggles. My Granny struggles. My sister struggles. My cousins who administered CPR to her the morning she passed still blame themselves. My sister blames herself. I blame myself.
I love my Mom so much. People tell me now that I am looking more and more like her. Before, I would have been like don't say that. Now, bring it on!! I want to make her proud. I want to be the person she wants me to be.
So, I will ask why for a long time. I know eventually I will have peace. I was 26 when my Mom died. Now, I'm 27. They say you aren't grown up until you've lost a parent. I believe it. In the past 1 1/2, I've grown up tremendously. I am very independent. I take up for myself and all things I believe in.
If I've learned one thing, it would be....live life to its fullest, for you never know when it is your last day on earth. Also, appreciate everything and everyone around you and let them know what they mean to you.
Mom, I still see you standing in your kitchen, washing dishes or cooking on the stove. I still see you vacuuming the den. I still see you talking with your hands, laughing, running your fingers through your hair. I still can see you, feel you, hear you. I hope I will always be able to do that. I hope we didn't fail you. Guide me in the right direction. I love you always......