Evil, stupid cancer

by Lois Yoshiyama
(Hilo, Hawaii)

My 29 years old son lost his battle with alveolar rhabdomyosarcoma on 4/22/2014 @ 8:34 pm. He was first diagnosed with the cancer 1 week after his 25th birthday. My world turned upside down from that day. He had 3 recurrences within the 4 years. It was "it's the holidays so all the specialists are on holiday schedule or it's the doctor's day off or I'm leaving on vacation so we'll start his chemotherapy in two weeks when I get back"! My son fought very hard for 4 years and 4 months! He made all of the decisions as far as his treatments went! We made a lot of plans during the 4 years! He told me what songs he wanted played at his funeral and where he wanted to have his ashes scattered. I miss him terribly! There are days I think I'm going insane because I can't stop thinking about things. I am seeing a excellent therapist but i still need to take xanax for anxiety attacks. I have been very hesitant to leave the house because people say the stupidous things time after time. My son was my baby, the youngest of three kids and the only boy. He loved diving and graffiti! He has left tags all around town. I love him beyond words and miss him terribly. One day we will be back together again and I look forward for that day. In the mean time, how do I cope with the loss? There are days I don't want to get out of bed or do anything at all. I have difficulty remembering things and doing the simpliest chores. Is he in peace?

Comments for Evil, stupid cancer

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May 29, 2014
Your son
by: Kate.

My heart goes out to you in this new raw grief. It takes a long time to heal so that you feel I can go on. I'm at 1 1/2 yrs of
Losing my oldest son,who was my best friend and kind caring loving son. How hard!! At 39 he is gone. Death of our child is something we can't understand. Why our heart pains. Death is the enemy as the bible states. It rips everything out of us and then we have to pick up the shattered pieces and go on. Very difficult. I am better at carrying it now, but it have heartache within that is always with me. Your story is painful too. I'm so sorry another parent knows this sorrow. My heart is with you.

May 28, 2014
Thank you
by: Lois

I want to thank all of you who have responded to my story. My son and I were so close that there were no secrets between us. I cry everyday because I miss him so much! He suffered so much with pain and it seemed like nothing could help him. He was surrounded by love and died peacefully. I feel guilty because as he was taking his last breath, I told him that I would be alright and he could rest. He nodded and kept looking into my eyes until the end. I have 2 daughters but only one that comes around and gives me support. My husband doesn't want to talk about it. I feel so alone. I can't bring my son back to life but I also can't stop my brain from thinking about him. My heart is filled with anger and pain. People tell me that it will get better with time but even after 5 weeks, the pain is intolerable.

May 26, 2014
by: Michelle

Lois, those of us who began our journey before you know this heart wrenching unforgiving relentless pain. I'm so very sorry for the loss of your son. Our lives have forever been changed and have no clue how to navigate. I still after 14 months after the loss our our 22year old daughter Megan still avoid as many people as I can. I don't want people to try to make it make sense and that is what they all try to do. After her death I dove into reading like I was searching for a cure. I had to know where she was. I felt as if she was lost and I had to find her. I woke up day after day with a sense that something was lost that can't be found yet must be sought. I believe in life after death and so many have had signs from their loved ones passed.
I still forget things, even now. I will go to the store for something specific and walk in the door and stand there for ten minutes because I forgot what I went for. I think we forget because it just was not important.
You will find your way. With or without help as you will find its a path you will travel alone. I do not know if you are married and if you are, you will still walk it alone. You may bump into each other now and then but is so personal.
Is your son at peace? It's all any of us parents want. We want to know that from life to death, life did not skip a beat and all their hopes and dreams will continue on the other side.

May 26, 2014
Very sorry for the loss of your son and a big consoled hug
by: Sheela

Dear Lois,
I can understand the pain, torture and sadness you are going through. I myself am still going through it even after 7 months of losing my 23 year old son Hari to relapse of brain meningitis. There are no words to explain what mothers go through when they lose their adult child. The numbness, heart pain, tears and the feeling of not able to talk, touch, hug, see our baby is something which will never ever go and we carry it till our last breath. The tears and weeping may dry slowly but the pain and numbness lingers on.... I can only help you by telling you not to repress your emotions which I do sometimes. Scream,lament and cry loudly to vent your anger, sadness and pain. Keep a journal ora book wherein you can write to your son whenever you feel. Time will not heal the tragedy even though people may say it. I can only console you with big hug and say sorry. Keep in touch so that lots of people will help you with their words. Sheela

May 26, 2014
Evil, stupid cancer
by: Doreen UK

Lois you said is well EVIL, STUPID CANCER. This disease claimed the life of my husband 2yrs ago. We were married 44yrs. and he suffered a 3yrs.39days battle with a very painful, inoperable, incurable, aggressive, terminal cancer that took 40yrs. to develop from cutting ASBESTOS. He was a young man in his early 20's who went to work hard as a carpenter for his family, not knowing he was living with a life sentence. He was killed by his environment here in the U.K.
What you are going through is the early stages of RAW GRIEF from losing your Adult Child. But I don't doubt your grief started the day of diagnosis. It is the hardest and worst pain ever looking into the eyes of your loved one knowing they are going to die and not be able to save them. All we could do is make their lives more comfortable by caring for them with the utmost LOVE. Dying inside every day whilst caring for them. I am glad you have an excellent therapist. I had one years ago, and he gave me back my life otherwise I could not have coped with the death of my husband. He didn't want to die. He had plans to enjoy his retirement, he was robbed of. I don't think we can ever recover from losing our loved ones. It is only TIME that will help us to HEAL so we can get through each day. But with what QUALITY of LIFE???.
If you have good family support it helps the grief journey better. You will get people who will utter the most stupid statements because they cannot understand the pain of loss. Having never experienced this. One who has will be very sensitive. Best thing to do is to IGNORE those comments that will not benefit us from losing our loved one's. You may also find you lose more people from your life. People you once knew well and were friends will walk away. Many people can say the same thing. "Where did they go when I really needed them??" It hurts every day now to go through life without those loved one's who gave meaning to our lives. A purpose and a reason to live. 2 years on I don't leave the house much. I wish I could get out more as it does make a different. BUT. Where to go? and who with? since everyone is busy living out their own lives.
I keep busy and do a lot of gardening, and keeping the home in good repair. But what to do next. It is the LONELINESS and EMPTINESS that I find the worst aspects of grief. Cancer ALTERED our lives FOREVER. I am sorry for your loss of your very young son who died too soon.
I hope your therapy will help ease the burden of grief so it is more manageable.

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