Update on "Mom has Cancer"

My previous post shared the stress I have been experiencing that my mom has cancer somewhere in her abdomen. It turns out that it is stage 4 colon cancer and she has a short amount of time left with us and the chemo is the only thing buying her that time.

We went to Denver to visit family shortly after finding this out and it was very bittersweet knowing that it may be the last time they all see each other. With that thought in mind I would not change the fact that we went and got out there to give them that opportunity to see her before she got too sick.

She started Chemo and has it every other week, they thought she would not lose her hair however it is now completely gone. While it was supposed to be using a port to inject the medicine there are some complications with it and she is not on her normal schedule for the Chemo and it is making her much sicker than anticipated even by the most optimistic doctors.

While all this has been devastating news and completely impossible to deal with there are a few bright shining moments. She got to meet her grand nephew Calvin (named after her uncle who was one of the MOST important people in her life) who is also the 10th child of my cousin. She's gotten to see them grow and evolve into the beautiful children that they are and seen the happiness they have brought to my cousin and many other family members. She gets to travel to our lake cabin this week to see her sister since all this has happened who has been one of her greatest sources of strength.

A few other things about this cabin. My father left her for another woman after almost 30 years of marriage... a woman who he worked with and she was actually friends with at the time of the divorce. That same summer that she was getting divorced her only daughter was diagnosed with diabetes and her mother was dying of lung cancer. Being a nurse her mother wanted no one else but her to care for her and because she didn't have a job she was able to do that for her mother as hard as it was. All of this almost broke her into a million pieces but through the love of her children and the cabin she was able to make it through. Her father built the cabin by hand when she was young child and before that it had been part of a resort that her uncle had owned and she had been to every summer of her life. She then got to share that joy with friends and family for decades. Because her father had built it and my father did a lot of work at the cabin and they were in many memories. Without erasing her father's memory she was able to make the place completely her own.

My challenge now is very similar to hers she had many years ago about who to be there without someone who is truly the essence of the cabin. I know I will be able to do it but for now... its hard and I don't feel like I need to be ashamed to say that... She will be greatly missed but her spirit will live on through this wonderful piece of family history and true place of untainted beauty.

May your last weeks with your mother be warm and memorable.

My thoughts are with you.

I wish you & your mother peace

May your last few weeks with your mother be filled with warmth and happy memories. You both are in my thoughts.

I'm so sorry about your mom. This sort of thing is emotionally very hard to deal with. I just got back three weeks ago from flying out to visit my father in-law during the course of his treatment for cancer. They decided he wasn't strong enough for chemo and he has had radiation therapy. We are keeping our fingers crossed, but are concerned. He is still totally freaked out about this and facing this. My in-laws don't live near family or their long-time home and this really added to the stress. Our visit made a world of difference as I'm sure your family visit did as well. I'll be thinking of you and your mom.

I am so very sorry to hear you're going through this. The place is gorgeous, and you're so fortunate to have it. *hugs* to you and yours.

What a lovely place! I wish you lots of courage and love to accompany your Mom. You're great!

Such a lovely post, my dear. As it turns out, tomorrow is the 5th anniversary of my mother's death. I was her primary caregiver for the last 3 months of her life---in Minnesota, 3000 miles away from my home in Oregon. It was the hardest 3 months of my life. Several things kept me going: TuD was a major one--whenever I got mom settled, I could call up TuD online and someone would be there to provide comfort or chuckles or advice. I was fortunate also to be able to tap into Medicare and county services to give me aid and all kinds of support. The Hospice team included a skilled nurse, a social welfare woman who provided emotional support and an ecumenical pastor who comforted mom, in particular.

As you go through this process, remember it's okay to seek out assistance. Even before hospice, my sister had lined up a free visiting nurse through county services for the elderly. And through hospice, I could call on volunteers who would come over to sit with mom while I took a walk or had lunch with a friend. They were all amazing people--deeply compassionate and skilled in helping one walk the rituals of death.....

Like your Mom, mine was always renewed when her grandchildren and great grandkids visited. And after my dad died, she found she liked having a life that was her own....Enough.....Please keep us posted and thanks for the update....Blessings.....Judith in Portland


I am so sorry your Mom has to go through this. She sounds like such a tower of strength. Seems like everyone leaned on her. Now you are there for her. It is no wonder the beauty of nature reminds you of your mother. And will for many years to come. Just as nature will always surround you with its beauty, your mother's spirit will always surround you. She will never really leave you; she is there in the air you breathe.

Thanks everyone for your support! I was able to go down and spend some time with my mom and her sister, who lives in Texas and I don't get see very often, for an entire weekend. I was able to get a lot of the maintenance work done for her and complete a couple projects that she had been putting off.

In a couple of weeks I will go back down and meet my cousin who is coming in from Colorado who is considered the "Handy Man" of the family. He does a lot of the work so we don't have to hire expensive professionals to do it.

Mom's Chemo treatments start up again next Monday but for now she just wants a margarita so that means yummy Mexican food for dinner!