Welcome to the Finding HERself Blog
Offering inspherational insight into life and all that we endure
As the calendar turns on August, my mind continues to be shocked at how quickly so much of the year has already passed me by. It seems like I was just sitting in my living room watching the ball drop in celebration of yet another new year.
Unfortunately, for my family and I, these past seven months of 2019 have been filled with much sorrow, despair, exhaustion and heartbreak as we have been forced to watch our beloved mother Linda, slowly and painfully lose her battle with cancer.
Diagnosed back in October, she was given the worst news imaginable. “Terminal, stage 4, incurable liver cancer” her oncologist read aloud as we all sat in his office in complete and utter shock. We knew she hadn’t been feeling well for a couple of months but there was absolutely nothing that prepared us for the “punch-in-your-gut, holy shit, did he really just say she’s got incurable cancer” thoughts that go through your mind and rip through you like a tornado.
Sure, he offered and recommended chemo and radiation treatments but also told us that should she choose treatment, it would only prolong the inevitable. She would be put through hell from a treatment perspective while at the same time, fight a losing battle with a disease that would, over time, rob her of her ability to take care of herself in every way, cause her to become completely bedridden, have the need for 24-7 round-the-clock care and one that would ultimately and inevitably, end her life.
As we sat there trying to absorb what we had just heard, I turned to her, my eyes full of tears and barely able to speak and asked her if she understood what the doctor had just said. Without missing a beat and in her ever-so-stoic way, she looked me straight in the eye and said “yes, I am going to die from this.” She then said in a very affirmative way, “I don’t want treatment, I don’t want chemo or radiation. I just want to go home.” She died there peacefully, with us by her side, nine months later.
Now, I’m sure many of you reading this have been through a similar situation yourself or with someone you love but there are simply no words I can write to express what this experience has been like. With just a few words from a cancer doctor, a strong, vibrant, 72 year old woman we all knew as mom, grandma, sister, friend and aunt suddenly turned into a weak, very sick and ultimately defeated woman.
As the days go on, I will continue to write about my journey of losing her and how the courage she displayed through the end of her life has inspired me in ways I never knew possible. But today, as I look up into the blue, summer sky, for the first time in a long time, I smile as I listen for her in the wind and know she is finally free.
Always live inspiHERed,