I cant believe she's gone

by nikki cooper
(scarborough)

My mum was diagnosed in June of this year,2013 with lung cancer. She was told that it couldn't be cured but that they could shrink it and then contain it. This seemed to help my mum to deal with the chemo that followed and when she was told in Oct that the tumour had shrank, she was delighted. She was then given radiotherapy to her head to stop it from spreading to her brain, again my mum was sure that this was (all for the good). Three weeks later she was told that the cancer was back and that it had spread so fast that it was now in her liver and bones... How could this be, we'd just been told that it had shrank and we were looking forward to a happy Xmas.
The consultant told myself and my mum that she had 'months rather than years'. My mum was devastated as was I, we couldn't take in what we were being told, what was about to happen, it wasn't real.
My mum was 72yrs old, an extremely strong, proud lady and for the 1st time ever I saw her break down. She couldn't face talking to my sisters so I had to break the news to them, this was one of the hardest things I've ever had to do.
We decided that if we all pulled together we could make mums last few months as happy as possible. We thought we would have Xmas still and hopefully celebrate mums birthday on 28th Feb. Mum had set her sights on my daughter coming home from America in October 2014 as her goal, we didn't share those thoughts, we hoped but didn't think it was likely.
A week to the day after the devastating news, mum fell at home and was rushed into hospital. I had a call from my step-dad at 9.30pm saying that mum had fallen and was in a lot of pain. I rang my sisters and rushed to the hospital. I must of gone far to fast as I live 9miles from the hospital and got there before the ambulance and mum only lives 1 mile from the hospital. The events of the following 6days are just awful as we had so many reasons to complain about the treatment my mum received. I am looking into complaining.
After the 6th day mum was taken to the local hospice which she was so happy about. She was at last getting the treatment she needed and the care she deserved. The staff were fantastic. We were told that mum would be there for 2wks while they assessed her home to see what they could do to help her and my stepdad. That Wednesday afternoon was the happiest we'd seen mum for over a week. I painted her nails for her because she always had beautiful nails, she joked that she didn't like the colour and we joked that we would bring blue varnish the next day. That was the last time I saw my mum conscious, when we got back the next morning we were told she'd had a terrible night and that she'd been given more morphine. We couldn't believe it, she seemed ok yesterday, tired and not always quite with it, but this wasn't meant to be happening, not yet.
Mum never regained consciousness and I never got to talk to her again, never got to joke with her again or see her smile. Why was this happening!
My mum passed away the next day, 2wks after being told she had months to live, 10 days after her fall and 2 days after we'd been told that she'd be going home in 2wks.
We sat with her all day, listening to every breath she took. Watching for any sign that she was leaving us and finding ourselves telling her to go, she was ready, she couldn't come back from this and we just wanted her to relax and be out of pain. I still don't know how we got through it but when my mums breathing changed and slowly began to fade we held her hands, stroked her head, told her that we loved her and that it was ok for her to go.
Mum died 3wks before Xmas and 2 days before my daughter managed to get home from America. We feel like we were cheated because we weren't ready for her to leave us. We had things to say, to do and to share and time ran out.
Its 4 wks on and I am devastated, the funeral kept us busy and then Xmas which was extremely difficult but had to be done for the sake of the children and grand children. Now its all over and life has to go on, but how? How do you get over losing someone who you spoke to at least 3 times a day, who was always there for you and who you loved so much?
How do you get the last few months out of your head when you go to bed and try to sleep?
How do you still go to the house my mum lived in for the last 20yrs to see my step dad who is suffering so much. Its just so hard.
I've written this to try and get it out of my head as Im trying not to talk to my family about it as I don't want to upset them. My partner of 4yrs is fantastic and always there for me but he lost his wife to cancer 3yrs before I met him so I really don't want to bring up that pain for him to relive.
I know that you have to take one day at a time and that is what I'm trying to do. I feel lost and so hurt that it is a physical pain that wont go away.
I know I'm not the only one to lose their mum but when its your mum you do feel like it has to be more painful than anyone else.

Comments for I cant believe she's gone

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Jun 16, 2014
Thankyou
by: Nikki

I would like to say a huge thank you to everyone who has sent kind messages. Its been almost 7months since I lost my mum, the hardest months of my life, nothing has compared. I wrote my story to try and get some of the pain out and then never returned to this site, thinking nobody would read it. You can imagine my surprise when I looked and saw all your lovely messages. I have shed a few tears reading you're stories and hope you are all doing as well as you possibly can. Please keep in touch as it is only those who have been through such sorrow that can truly understand. thankyou

Feb 16, 2014
I know how your feeling
by: Anonymous

I lost my mum 3 weeks ago to secondary breast cancer that she was given the all clear of in sept by begin nov she got ill they told us it had gone to her liver she had few months to live she was 71 a young 71 she was so afraid of dying she had so many things she wanted to see with her great grandsons my 2 grandsons she worshiped them we buried her Thurs I can't get her out of my mind I miss her so much I cry all day one day I'm ok the next then again down I feel like I don't want to do nothing I keep going through her things I smell all her clothes every day I can still smell her I am a mess I went to do her hair and makeup at the funeral home I didnt want to leave her there the night before her funeral I stayed there for 2 hrs kissing her hands her forehead trying to rub her hands warm for her it is so fresh in my mind I don't know what I'm goin to do without her so I do know how you feel its something you can't explain to anyone but like myself I hope you do start to feel better each day I'm still waiting for that to happen I'm so so sorry for yoy

Feb 10, 2014
Our Mom's Really gone.
by: Doreen UK

Dear Anonymous I am glad that you have had many Spirtitual healings from your loss of your Mom. I do believe that God sends us many little nuggets of gold to help us in our grief journey. Each one is unique to the receiver and a personal touch from God.
I lost my husband 21 months ago and I saw white feathers all the time. Just prior to my husband's terminal cancer diagnosis a white fan tailed bird sat on our fence and stayed around. I knew immediately the news was not good. But I never anticipated how bad it was. My husband's tumour was growing inside his lungs for 40yrs. due to asbestos fibres. I was devastated. That white bird came every day and fed from our garden. He would stay where other birds would fly away. I one time came into the garden and the bird sat still on the feeding table and I talked to him and he listened as if he understood. That bird brought us such comfort for all the time of my husbands cancer journey of 3years, and a year after. That white bird stayed in our yard for just over 4 years. I knew that bird was an angel sent to watch over us. He has gone now. I miss him so much. This bird was on a mission and he fulfilled that mission of comfort. Thank you for your post. I was Blessed by reading this.

Feb 09, 2014
Our moms really gone?
by: Anonymous

I lost my mom in June 2014. She fell and broke her hip and did not recover well. She died suddenly after having intestinal ischemia which was brought on by lack of being able to move around much and because her heart was beginning to fail. She developed septic shock and went into kidney failure. I had to make the decision to end her life by withdrawing treatment at the hospital. I was no way prepared to lose her .Losing your mom is like loosing every bit of security and safety in your life.NOBODY LOVES YOU LIKE YOUR MOTHER. I felt like a 2 year old scared to death-and I would have jumped in the grave with her. That is how bad the grief was. I cried continuously for at least three months on and off every day. I am an only child and my father passed 7 years prior. Does orphan sound familiar? That what it felt like too. I want to share what has helped me through this. Even now almost nine months have passed and I am definitely not "over it" and probably will never be Completely over it, but I am surviving. Here is what helps me survive. I had numerous dreams and weird experiences that could not be explained by this world. One night mom came to me in a dream and told me she was "alive". That was the first healing experience. Second dream she came to me saying "you wont let me go" Three weeks after her death I am walking and praying and I stumble upon a passionfruit branch with those beautiful flowers that are said to represent Christ, the apostles, and the crucifixtion. I immediately recognized this as a sign that Christ was with me holding me up. A month later a bird dive bombs onto the porch when I am thinking of my mother, looks at me and stays for a long time then flies away. I immediately think of the Christian song "I'll Fly away". Please remember that although they are not with you in the form, shape, that they were, they are still with you. They can never not be with you since the spiritual part of their being can never die. They will send you messages, but you must be focusing on the spiritual in your life. I have only survived this because I believe this. She must live on, and I know she is there. I still cry and I still have moments where I feel fear, but I have to remember the Beatles song that Paul wrote about his mother, "Mother Mary comes to me, speaking words of wisdom, Let it be--there will be an answer let it be. Much love and hugs to everyone on here who have lost their beloved mother's. It is a life changing experience, and a hard road. Thank God for the support and prayers from others. Blessings.

Jan 22, 2014
My mum
by: Anonymous

Lost my lovely mum last November..... She had a fall and 2 weeks later got diagnosed with lung cancer... 2 weeks later she died.... My sister and I with her till the end... Poor dad devastated and finding it so hard without her.... Everyone says a least she didn't suffer for long and I guess they mean well ... Though looking back, she had gone downhill over last months and the last few weeks were awful for her , I pray she wasn't in too much pain but towards the end we just couldn't tell... I miss her more as the days go by and don't want to go to bed as it's another day further away... I am lucky to have my children and a lovely family... But only just realising what a big part of us all mum was... I feel that there's a big hole in our lives.... My heart goes out to you all, it's the hardest thing I,ve ever had to deal with..... Not sure if I am dealing with it, just plodding on... God bless our special mums x

Jan 18, 2014
You aren't alone
by: Doreen UK

Dear Anonymous I am sorry for your loss of your mother to lung cancer.
You say "I don't know why it wasn't caught early?" Lung cancer is the one cancer that is rarely detected and hard to diagnose early. Usually by the time it shows up as shadows on the lungs it is too late. According to our news in the UK America has detected a blood test that can help lung cancer diagnosis early. But it won't be available for a few years. My husband cut asbestos on a band saw as a 20yrs old young man. He was a carpenter. This substance was not known then as a deadly substance. The fibres lodge in the lungs and take 40-60yrs. to develop into a tumour which is incurable, inoperable, aggressive, and always terminal. my husband was diagnosed in March 28th 2009. He died 20 months ago from MESOTHELIOMA. (lung cancer).
My husband had an MRI scan in 2005 and even then MESOTHELIOMA did not show up. It remained hidden. My husband was so subdued and hurt by knowing he was going to die. Recovery from grief is so very hard to bear. You will have some very rough days ahead. Taking one day at a time has helped me move forward. But I still have hard days of sorrow. May God comfort you and give you His Peace.

Jan 17, 2014
you aren't alone
by: Anonymous

My beautiful mother passed just over a week ago from Lung cancer. I don't know what to do, going through the wake and funeral was the hardest thing I've ever had to bare. I was unimaginably close with my mom and spent every moment with while she was sick. She would always tell me her youngest of two sons that we were attached to the hip together. She was only 67 years old and was such a good, sweet woman, she was my angel and now I'm lost. My mom was diagnosed in stage 4 in September and fought for 4 months. She could barely speak the last few days and not at all in the end. She made it for my 32nd birthday on Jan 2 and although she could barely speak she sang me happy birthday and gave me 3 kisses on my cheek. It meant the world to me. Now I have been to visit her everyday since she passed and it hurts more and more. I always took her for checkups and blood work and everything was fine. I don't understand why it wasn't caught early. I still ask myself this. I had my mom living with me and had hospice at home. She passed with me by her bedside and now I don't wanna live in my apt anymore. I'm so lost and feel my life has been taken from me. I talk out loud to her like she is next to me. I feel no purpose to life anymore. She was my angel

Jan 14, 2014
I know how you feel
by: Anonymous

HI I lost my mum last July. I know how devastating it is to lose your mother. My mum died from Congestive heart failure after a five year battle.She passed away suddenly in the end and I miss her so much. Life will never be the same for us, like you I ask myself how will I go on? I cope by taking one day at a time and by leaning on family and friends when I need support. I log on to his website often and read the other posts and it helps to know that I am not alone. Grief is tough but unfortunately we must live through it. I try to imagine my mum pain free and happy when I am missing her. My memories make me cry and I ache to hear her voice or link arms with her. I never got to say goodbye to her and I often talk to her in my head asking for advice or just for a sign that she is ok. Be gentle with yourself you are not alone.

Jan 09, 2014
I can't believe she's gone
by: Doreen UK

Nikki I am sorry for your loss of your mum to lung cancer. Cancer affects the whole family and a hard grief to bear. I know how you feel. My husband of 44yrs. died 20 months ago of lung cancer. I nursed him for 3yrs.39days before he died in so much pain. His cancer journey was horrendous. So much neglect and lack of care that made my husband feel abandoned. Which is why I gave him the best care ever. It hurts so bad to see the one you love in pain and feeling so helpless to help them more. It is early days for you. ONE DAY AT A TIME is the best way but often even this seems like each day is an eternity. I couldn't function for 6 months. I took to the settee and nurtured my self with TV. and got through this slowly. The raw pain of grief has lifted, but I still get so many memories come back and triggers and this is what makes me shed a tear. But crying is good grief so I let it come. Don't try to be strong for other's. Talk about your grief and how you feel even it this be to a CRUSE bereavement counsellor trained to support people in pain or those stuck in grief and are unable to move forward. Look out for your step father. Keep an eye on him and all the Love and support for him at this time will be invaluable. You will have supportive people and some not so supportive. I had bad time's during the cancer when I was screaming down the phone for someone to come and give my husband an injection for the pain and they waited till clinic ended within 3hrs. this is disgraceful. The out of hours Harmony Service was good. One good doctor was so angry he sent an email to our GP and told him to get his fingers out. It all boiled down to funding and whether the Macmillan nurse had the funding to put in a syringe driver. It came too late and when they administered this my husband died within 8hrs. It was a hard battle and I couldn't complain as I had nothing left in me to fight. When I remember these last moments which just come into my mind I feel so very sad and tearful. I live in the UK and find our health services declining. I feel sorry for anyone who has cancer of some disease that needs good care to recover from and don't get this care due to lack of funding and resources. You will recover from grief in time. These will be difficult days and months ahead. Your grief will get less till it becomes more manageable. Pamper yourself. Daily. This helped pick me up and find a measure of healing. Best wishes.

Jan 08, 2014
Dear Nikki,
by: Anonymous

Your post brought tears to my eyes, and I am so sorry for your loss. I didn't lose my mother, but my seemingly healthy father, almost a year ago, to cardiac arrest. He was fine one day and gone the next, and I can't believe it. He left behind my mother, his wife of almost 50 years, and she is completely devastated and my heart breaks for her. I have never felt such raw emotion and unbearable pain as I have this past year. We never got to say "goodbye". He won't get to see my children grow up. He was the ONLY person in the world who understood me completely, and I spoke to him and/or saw him daily. I still replay the day he died over and over in my head, filled with questions, regrets and "what ifs." I question the care he received at the ER, the care he got from the EMTs, etc. This website has truly been a Godsend for me - everybody who posts here is compassionate and really understands. I hope you can find some comfort here as well. Please take care of yourself, and try to get through one day at a time. I wish you and your family peace - you will be in my thoughts, Barb

Jan 08, 2014
I understand
by: Bereaved daughter

Dear Nikki

My sympathy on your sad loss.

I do understand that after doing everything the medical profession advised it was devastating to lose your mum. My mum went through some awful treatment and tests (which I questioned) only for me to lose her too.

The shock is awful. So pleased look after your diet and try to nurture yourself in these early days. I am disabled, an only daughter, so the impact on my already fragile health was bad.

Your mum loved you and would be proud that you
now care for your sisters and step father. You are on this journey together so even if things get fraught never lose your connection. I wish
I had relatives who cared for me.

Keep with this site, people do understand.

Wishing you better times.

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