So for those that do not know me, today was my mothers 1 year anniversary of her passing. Today has been extremely hard for me, just like most days ( even though I try to hide it) I feel like a piece of me is gone and I will never get it back. I was never the perfect daughter...wasn't even close. My mom and I never got along, it was bad. We constantly fought verbally and physically. Ever since I could remember we had issues. I am a very stubborn person who used to hold a grudge so long I forget what the actual grudge was about. That was how our relationship was. I went as far as going 10 years not telling my mother that I loved her! I look back on this now and regret everyday that i wasted fighting with her, minutes, days, weeks, months and years that I will never get back. October 20th 2008 was the first day in 10 years that I finally looked my mother in the eye and told her I loved her. She was lying in a hospital bed and had just gotten out of an attempted whipple procedure. I had just gotten off the phone with her surgeon (my future surgeon) who had to tell me she had cancer. They had found a tumor on her pancreas and tried to remove it but failed. On the way home from the hospital, I had to break the news to my father that mom had cancer again and that her prognosis was not good. I was terrified and first thought that she had pancreatic cancer after the pathology came back a week later, she was diagnosed with breast cancer. StageIV triple negative Breast cancer that had spread to her pancreas. A month before all of this happened I made some terrible decisions in life that almost costed me my life, I learned from my mistakes and became a better person, daughter and mother. This time around I was finally the daughter my mother had always wanted. I took the bull by the horns and attended every oncology appt and made sure I knew what was going on. Even grabbed results for ctscans, mri's blood work before we would even here from the Oncologist. Both my parents were clueless about everything going on and the day that we were told she had 24 months to live it went right through my parents ears and out the other. I don't know if it was just denial or what but I always was he one who had to break the bad news to them. That night I had to tell them both once again that this was not curable and 24 months was moms prognosis. A year went by of treatments, chemo once a week and 30 days of radiation. hair loss sickness nausea ect. Mom was a fighter she was still working full time and getting treatments! My dad had been laid off in August of 2008 from his job that was his life for 20 years and never got a new one. She was the bread winner in the house. September 2009 the Cancer spread again, the chemo that had been working she was taken off of due to neuropathy, Her cancer had now spread to her liver. October 16th 2009 was the first day of her decline. This was also the 1st day of the Philadelphia 3-day for the Cure Breast Cancer Walk which Brian and I were walking for the 1st time ever in honor of both of our mothers who were both undergoing treatments and could not walk themselves. We raised $14,000.00 that year! For the first time in 3DAY history, they cancelled the walk due to a double nor-eastern. This was a godsend, I was able to sit by moms hospital bed and be there for her through all of this. This was also the last week she would ever eat solid food again. She was sent home with a TPN bag. This ended up being my daily job so she could get nutrition 2 times a day. She started loosing weight, she was still getting sick and then she was in and out of the hospital numerous times from November to December. My son had a hard time dealing with Nana's cancer. They were best friends. I ended up putting him in therapy to slowly tell him nana was going to go to heaven, IT took him 6 months after her death for him to finally start expressing himself. We spent our Christmas in the hospital with mom, presents and all. After discharge she was sent to a NUrsing facility which I hated myself for doing but I could no longer take on the responsibility of the TPN bag, I was working 2 jobs and taking care of my 7 year old son it was just too much I had started loosing 20 hours a week. She was in the nursing facility for about 2 weeks, I visited her as much as I possibly could. January 2010 she was put on hospice and given 4 weeks to live. This was the hardest month of my life, seeing her decline as fast as she did. I was told as her heart rate increased the end was near. I became obsessed with asking the home care nurse what her heart rate was every other day when she would visit. It would slowly inch its way up every time. I finally talked my mom into getting a bed downstairs in the living room with a commode because she was too weak to be walking around. 7 days before she passed I was laying in her bed talking and watching tv with her on my lunch break and I told her that she had fought long enough and that it was ok to go. It was time to no longer suffer. She told me she was going to go and that she loved me. The very next day I don't know for sure but in my opinion she let the cancer spread to her brain. She became incoherent and all she would do is yell "help me" all day long. It was like her soul had left her body it was terrible. This went on for another 6 days, I had to give her ativan, halidol and morphine just to keep her comfortable. I cried at the sight of her and that vision is permanently embedded in my brain as one of my last memories. every time I think about it I cry. I really think I may have developed some type of PTSD because of everything. I heard her take her lasts gasps of air on February 11th 2010. She finally was no longer suffering anymore, no more pain no more torture. She was finally free. Not a day goes by where I don't think of her. She was the only female family member I had in my life. She will never get to dance at my wedding or see me have more children or buy a house. I will never forget those 10 years of fighting that I wasted. Please hug your loved ones tight tonight tell them more than once that you love them and don't hold grudges with the people you love. You never know how much time you have left with them.
Rip Susan May Large 9/11/47- 2/11/10 Loving mother, wife friend and Nana