Cancer Is Taking My Mom From Me

The last time I posted in this blog, my dad had passed away. He suffered from COPD and died of cardiac arrest while watching t.v. in his recliner.

Now, here I am a year later. My mom, who survived colon cancer 5 years ago, had her cancer return.
She started having minor trouble back in April. It wasn’t until several months later when she had a CT scan that they discovered several tumors in her pelvic region. One of them in a major nerve center which caused her to have tremendous amounts of pain, swelling, and paralysis in her right leg and other areas of her midsection.

I’ll skip all the details in between that time..and I will just say that she is in a nursing home at this very moment dying from this recurrence of cancer. They did radiation, started the chemo but she ended up getting sick and her white blood cell count wouldn’t rise back up… and here we are today. I’m losing my mom to cancer. There is nothing left for them to do except keep her as comfortable as possible until she passes away.

After months of pain and agony, praying, fighting, and hoping….Cancer is taking my mom from me.

Since I live 150 miles from where she lives, I’ve been to visit a couple of times. The first time the doctor gave her 24 hours to live. We stayed 5 days and she recovered. They then moved her to the nursing home. There it seemed she was going to be fine. She was back to talking, eating, drinking…and being her old self. That was the first of January this year.
Then, things started going downhill again.  And every day since, she gets a little worse. Right now she is just lingering.
The cancer has spread to her abdominal region and up around her lungs. A tumor is blocking her bowels so she can’t eat anything anymore because it will cause her to vomit. And the cancer continues to spread…and it will… until it takes her away from me.

My Uncle has held the phone up to her ear a few times so I could talk to her. But I’m not even sure if she understands most of what I’m saying. She doesn’t say much and when she does I usually can’t understand what she is saying.
But I talk…. talk about whatever comes to mind. Mom and I always had long conversations on the phone. She liked to talk and we’d talk about anything and everything. But she especially liked talking to me. I’m her only child… her only son… and for her… just knowing I was on the other end of the line made her feel better.
So, when the phone is to her ear… I talk like we used to. About anything and everything…. just so she can hear my voice. Because her just knowing I’m on the other end of the line gives her comfort. Even if she can’t respond…. even if her mind is failing due to this horrible disease taking every part of who my mom was… and destroying it… I’m still here for her… to be that comfort…on the other end of the line.

And when she is finally gone… part of me will go with her… Because my MA will always be on the other end of the line. Whether here or in heaven.

I’m going to miss her. I already miss her terribly and she’s not gone yet. Oh, her soul is still here.. but the body it’s in isn’t the same mom I knew. All because of the cancer destroying who she was.

It hurts like hell. I think of the many times she called me crying and scared because she had cancer again. She didn’t know if she could handle fighting cancer again. But mostly, she was scared to die. She didn’t want to die.

Now, as she lay 150 miles away from me… in a bed… in a nursing home….dying….I think back on those phone calls… and it breaks my heart.

The only comfort  I have is her faith assures me she will go to heaven. And makes me recall an email I sent to her once. She had emailed me, worried of what would happen if her cancer wasn’t treatable. Here is what I said:

” If that happens…You just keep living. Finish LIVING your life rather than waiting for it to end MA. Keep your faith in Jesus no matter how bad it gets and know He’s waiting for you to come Home. You’re suffering will end and you’ll be in a place for more beautiful than this cruel world. Imagine, you’ll be able to walk and talk with Jesus. He’ll be able to answer all the questions you have now that don’t have any answers…and you’ll be free.

No one wants to wrap their mind around the fact that they may die. It is a hard concept to imagine. But, like I said before, everyone dies eventually. EVERYONE.
Instead of worrying about it or trying to grasp the concept of it. Just accept the fact that we all only get so long on this earth. And your faith in Jesus assures you that when your time is done…. you’re outta here and off to our real Home… heaven.”

And her reply was: “How beautiful Josh.”

I don’t want to lose my mom. We have always been like two peas in a pod. She’s always done everything she could for me, been there for me and stuck up for me even when I was in the wrong.  But she’s never judged me, criticized me, talked down to me, or discouraged me. She has ALWAYS supported me in every thing and in every way.

But then again, I don’t want my mom to continue to suffer. I don’t want her to linger in this hellish place, trapped in a body ravaged by cancer. I want her to go Home…to heaven. Where she’ll be happy, whole, healed, safe, and reunited with our family and friends who have gone before her.

Where she’ll finally be at peace. And I can imagine her looking around at heaven in all it’s magnificence and repeating the words… “How beautiful Josh.”

I love you MA!


6 responses to “Cancer Is Taking My Mom From Me

  1. Josh, I met you when you had lost your dad. It is obvious you have learned a lot about life in and through your circumstances. This article was a beautiful tribute to your mom. Make sure she reads it. I am the mother of one, Matthew. You and your mother have what my son and I dad, somewhat now, but not the same. He is married and has a life with his wife and 10 month old but I do have wonderful memories.

    As I sit here reading your post, all kinds of emotions have been stirred inside me. But of all my emotions they all can be spelled. LOVE. Josh, sometimes it is just better for some people to keep their mouth shut for they have just no clue what is happening inside you or even what to say to offer hope. There is nothing that I can add, for you have said it all yourself.

    However, sometime we just need to know that someone heard us whether we understand or not. I just want you to know that I heard you. I hear your love for this dear woman. I hear your sadness for the loss that you have already experience. I feel the concern you have for your suffering mother and an unselfishness that wants the best for her. But…. most of all I hear a hope. A hope not just for your mom but a hope found in the assurance that our loved ones are provided for us through His love for us.

    And, Josh we know that this One wept in the loss of His friend Lazareth. He understands the deepest hurt that anyone can experience for he took on all the evil this world can throw at us.

    Your mother is a very fortunate woman for as she leaves her bird that flew from the nest awhile ago, he is flying on his own. She will be able to turn loose of this life knowing that. But look at her condition as a butterfly trying to go through it’s last stages before emerging from the cocoon. I stood beside my father-n-law, and an aunt as they were making this same transition. Neither of them could talk to me but they both responded to me. In both instances, I was the one to say the last goodbye, and that while they would be missed…we (family) through God’s grace would be alright, and we would see them soon.

    I am so proud of you Josh. I am here if you need a motherly figure to encourage you and hold you up. God, bless you sweet child.

    • Thank you Patsy for the kind words. It really means a lot to me 🙂
      I wish I could have my mom read this blog post. But her mind has faded drastically in the last 2 weeks. Most of the time, she doesn’t know who is who or what is what.

      I’m so used to always having her for support, friendship, or just someone to chat with when I’m bored… that I caught myself getting ready to call her and email her today. But she can no longer talk on the phone. Her mental capacity for thought is almost gone. She is only a shell of who she once was. The person who was my mother is no longer there.
      I pray the Lord take her soon. I can’t handle knowing she is like this.

      I’m going to miss her terribly. But at the same time, I’m going to rejoice knowing she is under the everlasting protection of our Savior. She’ll be able to walk with Him and talk with Him. That will be so awesome to FINALLY get to meet Jesus face to face as I know she will 🙂

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  3. Josh, I feel your heartache. It must be very difficult being so far away that you can’t go see her daily. It is quite evident that you and your mother have a very special relationship and that is probably one of the biggest reasons that you can’t handle knowing she is like she is. It IS hard. Hang in there. AND, thank you for reading my blog.

  4. Hello Josh,

    Reading your blog was like reading about my own life. Since this was written over a year ago, let me first tell you that I am deeply sorry for the loss of your Mom. It is never okay to watch your Mom suffer and die this way.

    My own Mom passed away almost two weeks ago from cancer. She lingered for too long and we watched the disease take her bit by bit until she finally took her last breath. So I have been a ball of emotions. It is all still very raw for me.

    Thank you for sharing your experience. There is solace in talking to others who can understand the helplessness and the ultimate grief that grips you.


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