Posted by Jamie
You must always say I love you. Life is too short not to. You never know when someone will be leaving your life. I have a story for you and I hope it will open your eyes to two things. On May 26, 2005 I got a phone call from my step father. He told me that my mom was not feeling well. She had been having severe headaches for awhile now and she had been to the doctor to get a couple of lumps under the skin removed. She told my sister and I that it was “nothing”. He told me that he had called an ambulance to take mom to the hospital. My sister and I live in Nashville Tennessee and my mom lives in Aurora Indiana. I hung up the phone not knowing what to think. My husband told me to pack my bags and my sister also and head up home because it could be nothing and then again it could be something big. As my sister was walking down the driveway with my 3 year old son I was shaking. She came in and I told her what was going on. We packed up and the kids too ( a 3 year old and a 5 week old) and headed for Indiana. We pulled up out front of my mom’s house around 4 am and my stepdad was waiting for us he had not been asleep. They took her to the local hospital and had ran a CT scan and found 4 spots on her brain. While trying to take this news in I took the kids upstairs and put them to bed and tried to get some sleep myself. In the morning (Friday) I took the kids to my sister-n-law’s house and my sister and I headed to Cincinnati. By this time they had sent her to Good Sam in Cincinnati for further tests. We get to the hospital and she is in the ICU. My sister and I are pretty much freaking out to say the least. My mom god love her says what on earth are you two doing here and where are the kids? I love my mom always worried about my kids. They ran some tests in the morning and before lunch we got news that my mom had 7 brain tumors. This was a total shock because before yesterday there was nothing (that we knew of) wrong with my mom except for the headaches which she covered up nicely. The doctor said that they were NON life threatening and they could be taken care of with surgery and radiation. My sister and I left for lunch feeling a little relieved thinking in the long run she was going to be ok. We got back from lunch and they were wheeling her out for her first radiation treatment and they told us to go along. The three of us went down with her. When we got there the radiologist took my step dad back to talk to him and we stayed out with mom. She was even joking about her tan going away. My step dad came out and told us to come back with him. My heart dropped. The three of us sat down with the doctor and he proceeded to tell us that our mother was covered with cancer from head to toe. She had melanoma. Every organ in her body was ate up. He told us that we had a decision to make. We could go ahead with the treatments but the end result was all the same. Mom could stay with us for two days or with a miracle two months. But it didn’t look good. We made the decision to not do the treatments and put her through any unnecessary pain. We would only be keeping her around for our selfish reasons. That was the hardest decision I have ever made in my life, my mother’s fate was put in our hands pretty much. We made the decision to get her home as soon as we could so she could spend her last days in her own home with her own things. I can’t explain to you what was going on in my head. I became numb and stayed that way for about a month. We went home that night to try to get some rest and was called back to the hospital around 12:15 in the morning. The nurse said her pupils weren’t responding and that is one of the first signs that they are going. We all had just got to bed and hopped right back up and I took the keys to drive us up. It was the weirdest drive I have ever made. It was barely raining but there was a very eery silent calm in the air. In the distance I saw lightning and all I could think was that was mom fighting for us. We got there and she wouldn’t even respond to us. No movement but she was still there. We slept on the floor all around her that night. I got up about 8 in the morning and walked in her room from the restroom and she opened those eyes and like nothing happened said what on earth are you doing here this early. She didn’t skip a beat. The nurses said they can’t explain how this happened. They’ve never seen someone start to slip away the way she did and come back like nothing happened. That Saturday was one of the best days. Mom sat up in her bed she ate all day she laughed and cut up with us like nothing in the last two days happened. She just kept saying she wants to go home and that she is so happy that Lindsey (my sister) and I have each other. We had made arrangements for her to come home at 12:30 the next day, Sunday. We had hospice coming to the house to set everything up. Mom was coming home. We left her that night eating her Mentos and watching HGTV her favorite channel. That woman would watch it 24/7 if she could. We told her that we loved her and she was coming home in the morning. We got up Sunday morning and headed up early. When we got there mom was in pain, bad pain. Her head was hurting so bad. We sat there with her for a couple of hours and the nurse gave her some pain medicine and mom wanted to take a nap. We left her at 10:30 to come home and meet with the hospice people. We told her we would see her in a couple of hours. I held her hand and told her that I loved her and she said it back to me and she squeezed my hand. We were at home when we got a phone call at 11:30 saying mom’s vitals weren’t good. Five minutes later they called back and said her breathing was slowing. My sister and stepdad headed up to the hospital and I stayed behind waiting for my grandma and my husband. I called back up to the hospital at 11:46 and she had already passed away at 11:45. The nurses were all in there with her so she wasn’t alone. We were too late. She never made it home.
You never know how much time you have. Always say I love you, even if you are just running to the store and will be back in 10 minutes even if you fighting say it. You never know when its the last time.
Please do not be sad from my story. Just remember…Always say I love you.
Thank you for taking the time to read it.
My mom loved the sun. She always had a tan. We were always outside during the summer growing up whether we were on the boat for the weekend or at the pool. Hell, we grew up with a tanning bed in our home. My mom has psoriasis and the tanning bed helped with that. With summer upon us and the outdoors being our favorite place to be I ask of you this, please wear your sunscreen, wear your sunhat, protect yours skin. I suggest against tanning beds now but if you feel you must please do it in moderation. Melanoma is a deadly cancer when undetected it can consume you, it’s one of the quickest spreading cancers. I still love the sun but I am smart about it now. I hope you will be too. If you see a mole that is suspicious don’t hesitate to get it looked at. Get your skin checked once a year to be safe. Melanoma is nothing to be messed around with or ignored.
Tags: Blog, Cancer, Cincinnati, death, dying, events, family, Good Sam, HGTV, Human, Intensive care unit, life, Love, me, Melanoma, Mentos, miscellaneous, Mothers, my life, Nashville Tennessee, other, skin cancer, sun, sun bathing, sunscreen, tanning beds, thoughts