August 13th 2009 my sister gave birth to a beautiful baby girl. The day she left the hospital with the baby (the 15th) my mother went in because of breathing complications and what we thought was pnemonia. About 1 week later they diagnosed her with stage 4 lung cancer. They had to go into her lungs and put in some sort of powder to absorb all the fluids that were accumulating in there. Those fluids which had leaked into her body were full of cancer. The course of treatment for this type of cancer was grim. Further testing revealed the cancer was in her lymph nodes as well as her lungs. The doctor gave her up to 2 years depending on how her body responded to the chemo treatments. Radiation wasn't an option for this type of cancer as it didn't respond to radiation. Before this diagnosis my mother and I were not really talking tooo much, we have always been estranged. I had been out on my own since I was 15 supporting myself every step of the way. This wasn't by choice but because of what I went thru as a kid with parents who had abused drugs and alcohol. There was lots of abuse physical and other. My father and mother divorced when I was 12 and she became a full blown alcoholic leaving me to raise my 2 sisters. When I was 15 she began recovery and sobered up. SHe remarried a wonderful man whom I treated poorly due to my previous experiences with my father. My mother and new stepdad had another child, a daughter. She became the center of attention. I was still off on my own, quit high school to work 2 jobs to pay rent for the basement I was living in at the time. My mother never really called me to see how I was doing, I never went to family functions, I was secluded from the family. That hurt. Really bad. There were alot of bitter feelings and feelings of neglect for me which just made me angry. It pushed me away even more. Years went on and I went to visit every once in a blue moon more so to see my sisters as I was like a mother to them for quite a few years. When I was 18 I got a phone call at work telling me mom was in the hospital and probably wouldn't make it due to a brain aneurysm. It took everything I had to go up and visit her. After standing in the waiting room for a long time trying to prepare myself for seeing her that way I thought I was ready. Seeing her face all swelled up and half her hair shaved off so they could relieve some of the pressure in her skull was tooo much to bear for me. I lost it. I was quite a mess for quite a few days. They did surgery on her and when they got in there that aneurysm was ready to blow again! They said she wouldn't have survived another one. They got in there just in time! After that she had alot of pain and because of her addictive personality became addicted to pain pills so much that if one of us kids had surgery or needed pain meds she would steal them from us. I went back home briefly when I was 18 because I needed surgery on my foot. She told me she would help take care of me for the 6 weeks I needed to be on crutches. She stole my pain meds and took them during this time. SO we went from alcoholic to narcotic addict She began racking up the credit card bills with her addiction and it had put a strain on her marriage. I thought "here we go again" and distanced myself from her out of hurt and anger. I blamed her when it really wasn't her fault, she was in legit pain from the brain aneurysm and none of us realized that. She went on for years in horrible pain. They finally decided to open up her head again to see what was causing the pain, turns out the surgeon who originally worked on her botched the surgery. The piece of skull they removed from her to get to the aneurysm had been glued back on when they should have used a metal plate. That piece of bone started to get smaller and smaller essentially leaving a huge soft spot in her skull causing massive headaches. After the corrective surgery she still had pain but it wasn't as bad as it had been. Over the years I learned to put the past behind me altho I was still sour about it I didn't let it consume me. Over the years she developed an eating disorder and began to go workout alot, she was hell bent on being rail thin. Watching her abuse her body like that was sooo hard. Noone could tell her anything to make an impact. We had no choice but to sit back and watch her slowly kill herself. We tried family meetings which only made her angry. We tried getting her into some sort of treatment but she was tooo stubborn. She began to have massive seizures on a regular basis whihc took away her ability to drive. She was soon deemed disabled but it took 2 more years of fighting to get her on SSI and disability even tho her medical records clearly state she has major health issues. The seizures were another side effect from the brain aneurysm. Back to the cancer diagnosis. We girls took it really hard and often cried and worried about her. Once her treatment began we kept praying for a miracle. Well once she had been going thru chemo for 6 months they did a CAT scan to see what the results were. The tumor had shrunk 30% WOOOHOOO right? Another 3 months of treatments resulted in an 80 shrinkage in the lung tumors and it was completely gone from her lymph nodes!!! We were extatic! We all hugged and cried and were sooo happy of the outcome or so we thought. The doctors noticed a short time later her body was no longer responding to that specific treatment so now it was time to go with the more agro form of chemo, the super chemo pill was the next step. If that didn't work it would be the make you sooo sick and hair fall out chemo. Well she started having alot of pain in her leg so she went to urgent care and they sent her to the hospital where they did another scan to see what the problem is.... The cancer was back and had spread to her kidney, bones, adrenal gland, and lungs again. This was on a monday we got these results. On tuesday I went over to visit and have dinner. She could barely walk and was not all there. What a shock! We sat outside having our smokes (ironic eh) and she broke down telling me she was sooo sorry for everything over the years and wanted to make peace before she passed. I told her u nevermind about all that it is in the past where it will stay and that is not important. What is important is us spending as much time together as we could. We hugged and cried some more. I then raided her garden and made fresh salsa as she boogied in her chair listening to her favorite band the beatles. Wednesday oxygen was delivered and I had work to do at home so I wasn't there that day. Thursday we had a meeting with the in home hospice team because she wanted to die at home and we needed to be educated about how to care for her now. By thursday she was completely out of it and made no sense. She couldn't eat and couldn't walk. She had lost control of her bodily functions and couldn't do much but stand there hunched over her bed. It was tooo painful for her to lay down. I had a short job on friday but planned to go back there after noon to take over and give my step father who hadn't slept in days a break. I walked in to hear them say the ambulance was on it's way because my step dad didn't feel like we were able to make her comfortable enough. SHe had woke him up in the middle of the night and as clear as day she told him "don't worry it will all be over soon". She had agreed to go to the hospital at that time but when they showed up to take her she was screaming "noooooo"! I fell to the ground in tears watching them haul her off again. We didn't know how much time we had but judging by how fast things were happening it wouldn't be long. We all headed to the hospital a short time after, walked in the room and saw the DNR bracelet they put on her. I fell to the ground again and balled my eyes out. All the family came to visit (except my fathers family) We stayed up there all day friday. I slept at my moms house friday night and that was sooo hard. She loved to cook so you could always find her in the kitchen, well she wasn't there this time :'( I slept on the couch with the phone right next to me. I wanted word if things got worse so I could get up there to be with her til the end. Saturday came and my sister and I went to pick up my other sister and go have breakfast. In the middle of breakfast we got the call "you guys better get up here right now, it won't be long" We raced up there and I mean blew by cops going 85 to get there! Got there and my mothers mom was there and my moms only sister who is in remission from picky cancer. We stayed up there all day but she wasn't ready to go yet. Next morning we get a call again, the nurse said she is showing more signs of letting go and we better get up there again. SO off we go. Her breaths were more like gasps every few seconds and she was making some noises like it was really hard to breath. After a few words with my grandma I had to step out of the room to gather my thoughts before I said something rude. I cooled off and went back into the room only to find the whole family gathered around her bedside crying. My sister said it's time get over here. I stood next to them all of us holding my mom. My step dad was laying in bed with her holding her and rubbing her head, he told her to take her fathers hand and go be with him. She said OK! She still wasn't ready tho. You see her and her mother didn't get along well either just llke her and I. She wouldn't die with her mother there. After grams left we all kind of forgot about mom laying there gasping for air and had dinner in the room with her. Dinners were very important to her, she loved having the whole family there together for a nice meal. SO thats what we did, ate and laughed then glanced at her and noticed she had been letting go this whole time, she was waiting for us to finish our meal together before she passed. We stood around her balling uncontrollably while she took her last breath. It was the hardest thing I have ever had to go thru. I dropped the the floor screaming nooo nooo nooo! I wasn't ready for her to leave us I didn't want to loose her but I had no choice. We stayed in the room for 2 hours with her. I couldn't let her go! She passed exactly one year to the date she had gone into the hospital from what we thought was pnemonia! She went in august 15th 2009 and died august 15th 2010 at 5:17 pm My mom wasn't a religious person and didn't want a funeral. Her wish was to be creamated and to have a celebration of life rather then a sad funeral. She passed away at the age of 54. Her body was donated to the University for cancer research. We had a celebration in september which was wonderful. We all wore beatles Tshirts and jeans just like she would have wanted. We had a slideshow of pics from trips they took and of us kids when we were little. It was a tearful slideshow, but a great one. It has been over 2 months now and I still cry everyday, sometimes I can't stop. I miss her sooo bad. I want this sad feeling to go away because it is really hard for me to finction like this. All I think about is her and the images of her last breath are haunting me. I waited for her to visit me thru a dream or some sort of sign and I hadn't, That made me even more sad. One day a few days after her passing I was having another moment out in the yard and this monarch butterfly would hover around my head. Everytime I cried this butterfly appeared. I think she came back as a butterfly. I can't listen to one beatles song without crying thinking of her. When does this get easier? Will it ever get easier? I just want my mom back The moral to this story is no matter how bitter you may feel about a loved one, put it all aside and live everyday with that person like it's their last. It is really tough to live with the guilt of our distant relationship and it is eating me alive R.I.P mom I will always miss you and love you!