Mom was given a diagnosis of Stage 4 Colon cancer back right before Christmas 2015. Our options were limited. She was allergic to the Chemo, so she could try the Chemo and have to be in the hospital with each round and try to just make it work, or we could go home, make the best of it and try to just keep her comfortable. We chose this option with the knowledge that she would have 3 months of "good" days, followed by 3 months of "rough" ones if we were lucky. 6-12 months of life- if we are lucky. A tough call around the holiday's. Christmas shopping was made very hard because I did not know what to get someone who might not be around to enjoy her things. Plus, any trinkets we got, would just be divided up later. We opted for a trip for her, something she's never got to do and at the time seemed like it was going to be a great idea. We are working on a small bucket list for her. One that we can keep her going, keep her living, keep her looking forward to something else. She seems like she's given up hope a little already and that makes me both sad and scared.
I took her to an aquarium yesterday and knocked off a couple of things from her bucket list. It seems so insignificant on the list of things that one should be able to do in their lifetime. A time to gather thoughts, make amends and enjoy life all crammed into a few painful, morphine filled months. where the day's will start to blend together and the pain harder to control. A mixed blessing of "time" to get things in order, a chance a lot of people who have freak accidents don't get to have. Though watching it, living it, knowing your time is running short and life is closing in on you almost seems like torture, like a bad joke that you just don't get. She looks around at the fun times and though she seems to enjoy them, everything is overshadowed with a sense of sorrow. A sense of knowing this is the last time she will get to see/do/experience __________________ . I feel like this is her own mourning period. She may get passed it and be able to really take on life with a vision of excitement and fun, or this might be it. She may have a broken spirit that can't be mended. A hold of sorrow and regret has taken over for now and she is mourning the life she thought she still had left to live.
I am mourning the life I wish we had lived, what I wish we could have had in the future and what I will be in pain knowing she is going to be missing. Cancer sucks, it's unfair, unkind and cruel.
This is the story of my mom's final journey and the hope that I will have the strength to help her get through it with grace and dignity and love. A lifetime of living still left to do in a few short months.