Too Much Pain and Loss
On Aug 31st 2009, my Birthday, my father was diagnosed with stage 4 lung cancer. I stepped down as
manager at the store I worked at and went part time to help with his chemo treatments. Eventually I
prepared for a leave of absence to spend more time with him. My last day of work was April 30th 2010.
On May 1st, the next day, I received a call from my sister to get to the hospital asap. I frantically
made my way there, and my Dad was in really bad shape. I spent the night, a Sat, and came home late Sunday.
I was coming home to pack clothing and go back to the Hospital the next morning. We had a Beagle named Buddy
who was just 10 years old and he had become very ill at home over the weekend as I stayed by my Fathers side.
When I got home late that Sunday evening, I was shocked to see how sick Buddy was. My plan was to get up early,
take him to the vet and then head back to the hospital to be by my Fathers side. I slept on the couch as Buddy
was so sick he couldn't walk easily, and he slept on the floor next to me. At around 5:00 am the next morning
Buddy yelped in pain and I woke up and immediately got on the floor next to him. I noticed he was really cold,
and as I reached down to hold him he died. I was stunned and devastated, started screaming his name over and
over. My husband came down and crying told me he would take care of Buddy. I sobbed as I got my things together
to go to the hospital for my Father. I called my Mom and told her what happened and when I got to the hospital
my Dad took my hand and said he was so sorry. That was Mon, May 3rd. On Friday, May 7th 2010 my beloved Father
lost his battle with cancer. It was the hardest week of my life up till then. I came home to no Buddy,
and no Father. I was so depressed I could barely function. Months passed and as I grieved my dog and Father,
I visited my Mother all the time as I had taken a leave and she needed help too, as she had COPD.
In July I noticed my little kitty had a lump by her breast. We had found her 4 years before starving and freezing
outside in the cold. We brought her in, she was so beat up and limped, most of her teeth broken and missing.
She was close to death she was so far gone. We kept her warm, fed her, got her to the vet. She survived and became
the most beloved cat I have ever had. Now, after losing my Dad and Buddy in the same week just months before, I
was finding a lump on my little girl kitty, Sassie. I got her to the vet, they did a biopsy. Breast cancer. We had
surgery done to remove the tumor and hopefully get all the cancer. My vet was very optimistic. After just losing my
Dad months earlier to cancer, I was not, but hoped and prayed for a miracle anyway.
By my birthday on 2010 I was back at work. September came and I noticed Sassie starting to moan when she laid
down by me. I took her back to the vet again and they did xrays. The cancer had spread to her lungs, just like
my Dad. On Oct 19th 2010, I had to have one of the most precious, unique, and beloved pets I have ever been
blessed with put to sleep. I was inconsolable for months and that is an understatement. I felt like life was just
a series of non stop disasters at this point. I did not realize that my life would be turned upside down and my
faith severely tested just down the road. I thought that this was the worst of the worst but somehow kept going.
I had my Mom in my life and my family so there was some comfort there. I had always been very, very close to my
Mom and now with my Dad gone she needed me more than ever. I have always needed her.
The holidays came and went and my siblings and I were depressed to experience them without our Dad. My Mom
started getting worse with her COPD. We took her to her Dr and he started a regimen of oxygen and alot
of meds and breathing treatments. She seemed to be getting better but we were starting to grow more concerned
about her. In mid Feb of 2011 my Mom became really ill and was hospitalized. Her Dr didn't know if she was going
to get better. I was numb, I could not believe this, my Mom CAN'T be that sick, but she was. Eventually she
started to get better and was able to go home. She was referred to the same end of life specialist that my Dad
had seen. I immediately gave notice at work and started to stay with her for 2 to 3 days a week. My brothers and
sisters came all the time to see her and go to Dr appts with her. Each month I noticed that she was getting worse
and worse with her breathing. Then she developed stress fractures in her back and was in pain that was unbearable.
She slept in a recliner in the living room as she was no longer able to lay down. Through all of this I stayed by
her now 5-6 days a week. My sisters would give me a break on Sundays and sometimes Saturdays. We were terrified
and I know that I could not, would not accept that I was losing her too. Her Dr wanted in home hospice but she
refused and I was caring for her, so as long as they weren't there I could continue with my fantasy that she
would be ok. Summer came and I stayed with her everyday except weekends. By the beginning of August it was clear
that she was getting worse. She could no longer make it to Dr appts so hospice was called in. By this time I barely
came home, I was terrified to leave her but still, my sisters and I could not accept what was happening. I knew
in the pit of my stomach what was coming but at the same time I flatly refused to believe it. I held firm to my
fantasy of "one day at a time" never acknowledging my Mothers days were numbered. My birthday came on Aug 31st
and I was supposed to go home for one night to see my husband and then come back the next day. I was at my Mom's
and she asked me to please spend the night there, she said she was being selfish but she didn't want me to go
home. I told her of course I will stay, I would love to spend my birthday with you! I called my husband, said
her request was throwing me a big red flag, which I promptly dismissed. He understood and I stayed with her. I
had a wonderful evening with her. We spent the time remembering times gone by and talking about life. Finally
she said she was tired and we went to bed. I spent the next day with her and reluctantly left later that night
as I had promised to go away for the weekend with my husband. I called my Mom every morning and night to check
on her and spoke to my sisters as they were staying with her. She was having a bad weekend. That Friday I dreamt
she died and told my husband. I was really upset but when I called she was having a bad time but my sisters
reassured they would call if she got worse. I had a miserable weekend, should have just gone back to her. It
was labor day weekend so we got home Mon and I wanted to go by her right away but she said no, come tomorrow.
When I got there Tuesday morning she looked really bad as her pain was so bad. We called hospice and they came
over and showed me how to start to administer morphine for her pain. It had an immediate effect on her with the
pain and she said that she actually went from a pain level of 10 to 2. I was so happy! I really thought that
things might start looking up for her for awhile. She had a really good day and ate the first decent meal I had
seen her eat in a long time. That night she tired earlier but I just thought well, it's the morphine. We kissed
good night and I thought things were ok. I awoke the next morning to all hell breaking loose, my Mom's lungs
were filling with fluid, she couldn't breathe, she was in severe pain and crying out. I will never, ever forget
the sounds I heard. I knew we had lost her. I called hospice and my siblings and she was taken to the hospice
for inpatient care. The first day she could still open her eyes and whisper. Ironically her lungs started to
sound better but she could no longer speak, open her eyes or communicate. She lasted 7 days and died on Sept 13th
I am reeling with the amount of pain I feel. I have NEVER experienced anything so devastating or painful as losing
my Mom. I feel as though the umbilical cord is cut twice. The second time is the passing of your Mom and it
is just so excruciatingly unbearable. I have never been this depressed or hopeless. I cry all the time, I can't
eat or sleep. I feel mutilated, like the best parts of me left. Actually, I feel scared, my Mom was my
safe haven and touchstone in life. I pick up the phone to call her and realize I never can again. At first I
was numb, now I am just shattered. I can barely get through the day. Is this normal? I don't know if I
will ever know the meaning of that word again. Please help me!
In too much pain,