losing battle

It’s inoperable.

My mother is dying.

It may be a few months, or a few weeks. Or longer. I have no idea.

We had hoped with this surgery that she’d still have some years left in her. But it was not to be.

Just a few months ago she was a vibrant woman, enjoying life and love, her grandchildren, travel. She was only just showing signs of slowing down…

Now I fear she will have lost all hope.

There are no good options left. Maybe the doctors will be able to convince her that a certain treatment might enable some quality of life, in spite of the side effects. My guess is she will not buy it. She has seen too many people succumb to this awful disease and its toxic treatments.

She is tired and weak.

Yesterday, she had hope. Today I doubt there is any left.

She is my last surviving ancestor. My dad is long gone, nearly 24 years now. Died a week before his 50th birthday from kidney cancer. With him I also lost his parents, my grandparents. My mom’s mother, my grandmother, has been gone more than 11 years. Dead at 79 from breast cancer. Her husband died when I was just 5. Heart attack.

Now it looks like my mom won’t even live as long her mother. She is just 71 — last year, a very young 70; this year a very old 71.

Sometimes I think about how happy I am that I didn’t pass along my genes to Baby J.

I am depressed, and I am angry. Sometimes one more than the other.

I feel numb.

No one saw this coming.

Just this week, a few nights before my mom was scheduled for surgery, I was feeding Baby J in the middle of the night. It was quiet as I rocked her by the moonlight, alone with my thoughts. It was the first time I had allowed myself to really feel what was happening. I had a bad feeling about the surgery, that it wouldn’t go well. I realized in that moment that I would lose my mom far sooner than I ever expected. I started anticipating her death, life without her.

That’s what we do when we have warning, when we have done it before. When you know what it’s like to lose someone before they are even gone. Grieving is such a sorrowful business. Your body remembers how to do it. Your heart knows where it is headed. Already it is not the same person you once knew. You are already grieving the person you lost, even though they are not yet gone. You become angry at the randomness, the lack of control, the sheer devastation of it, the resignation to it. Your heart is heavy.

I will keep on losing her every day, until she really is gone.

Tonight I am ever grateful for my little girl, whose smile kept me grounded and sane amidst the worst news. And for M, who is as amazing as ever.

Tomorrow is another day. One step closer to losing her. One more day with her.

~ by luna on November 9, 2009.

67 Responses to “losing battle”

  1. I’m very, very sorry.

  2. I am so sorry.

  3. I’m so sorry, Luna.

  4. Luna, I’m so, so sorry. I wish that there was something more that I could say. Just know that you are continually in my thoughts and prayers through this trying time and far beyond.

  5. “Your body remembers how to do it”…”One more day with her.”

    It wasn’t until my mother was diagnosed with cancer that my family began regularly saying “I love you,” at the end of conversations. It is a gift, if a terrible one, that you get to treasure each day now. Knowing.

    But you know this. I’m so sorry, Luna. Hoping for many moments to treasure.

    No more words. I’m just so sorry.

  6. I am so sorry…

  7. Luna, I’m so very sorry to hear this. Words are inadequate. 😦

  8. I am so sorry…
    You will be in my thoughts.

  9. There aren’t any good words. I remember when we thought my mother was dying, I learned about mitochondrial DNA. Our mitochondrial is entirely different than our regular DNA, and it is only our mother’s. And there was enormous comfort for me, to know something of my mother would always physically live in me.

    I am terribly sorry.

  10. I am here for whatever you need, even if just to lend an ear (or eyes as the case may be)

  11. I’m so sorry to hear this 😦 I’ll be thinking of you, your mom, and your family.

  12. Luna, I am so sorry, what terrible news. I know you will treasure every moment you have left with her. Mrs. Spit said it right, she will always live in you.

  13. Luna, I am so sorry. Words aren’t enough at times like this, but know I’m here for you. Sending you hugs.

  14. I’m so sorry Luna. Thinking of you and your mom. Hugs to you all.

  15. I’m so, so sorry Luna.

  16. I’m so very sorry. I’ll be thinking of you. I wish all kinds of peace for you, your ramily, and most of all your mom.

  17. I am so sorry. I wish there was something more I could say to take away the pain, but I know there is not.

  18. This is awful. I am so sorry.

  19. I am so, so sorry.

  20. Oh Luna, I am so sorry. Just so damn sorry. I hope she gets many days and that they are peaceful and filled with love.

  21. Luna,
    I’m so sorry to hear your mother’s condition has worsened and the prognosis is not good. I will be thinking of you.

  22. I am so very sorry. We all have rough times to face, but you have endured an awful amount of grief in your life. I’m sending you a hug and many, many thoughts

  23. I’m so sorry that you are going through this.

  24. Oh, Luna. I am here, abiding. With you and with your mom.

    I wish I could do more to ease your pain.

  25. Luna, your grief is palpable through your words. Mine will ring hollow in your ears, but I am so so sorry.

  26. Luna, crying over here for you and for M and for J. I am so sorry that you’re losing her–and it is especially bitter, the timing of it, though we always need our mothers. Holding you in my heart.

  27. Luna, I am so very sorry. So, so sorry.

  28. I’m so sorry for this terrible news. Big hugs!!

  29. I am so so sorry. *hugs*

  30. Luna I am so very sorry.

  31. This is horrible. And so very, very unfair. Holding you in my thoughts and prayers.

  32. Oh luna. There just are no words. I know how hard it is when your mother is sick and the prognosis is not good. I know how hard it is to see the strongest woman you know weakened by illness. “Heartbreaking” doesn’t begin to describe it. “Devastating” comes close.

    Sending you hugs, wishing you strength and serenity, and praying that her remaining time is peaceful.

  33. Here from LFCA. I am so sorry to hear about your mom. May you feel wrapped in kindness and love during this difficult time.

  34. So very sorry. Wishing you strength and love during this unbareable time.

  35. I am so very sorry. My heart hurts.

  36. Oh Luna, I wish sorry could cover it. You and your family are in my throughts.

  37. I am so very sorry to hear this news and I wish you all strength, peace, and comfort.

  38. Beautiful and sad post. I am so very sorry.

  39. I am so sorry. You aand your family are in my thoughts and prayers.

  40. oh, i’m so sorry.

  41. I am so sorry. Your family will be in my prayers.

  42. Luna, just sending you so much love right now.

  43. So heartbreaking, I’m so sorry. You write about your grief beautifully.

  44. so so sorry. Thinking of you ALL as you wade through this. If there is anything we out in the internets can do for you or your family please let us know. xo

  45. I’m so so so so so so SO very sorry! Much more than these few little words can convey. ((HUGS))

  46. Oh Luna. I am so, so sorry. It seems so very cruel that you should be robbed of a mother so shortly after becoming one yourself.

    I am thinking of both you and your mother as you struggle to make sense of this prognosis, and hoping that you may enjoy many peaceful moments together over the coming days and months.

    I just wish I could find some more words that might be of comfort to you…

  47. Luna I’m just stunned and crushed. Your last line captures the conundrum of the near future, and please know that we’re all here for you, even virtually. Holding you all in my heart.

  48. Luna, Im so incredibly sad to read this….heart wrenching emotions. I wish I could wrap you in a hug. I know no words are going to ease the pain and heartache–please know you are very much in my thoughts.

  49. Oh, Luna, I’m just so sorry. Much love to you, your family and especially, your mom. XO.

  50. I am so sorry. Thinking of you all as you go through this very difficult time.

  51. may peace be with you and your family…

  52. I am so sorry. Sending hugs and prayers your way. I just lost my dad this summer, so I can imagine what you are going through.

  53. *here from LCFA* I’m so sorry about your mom’s diagnosis. Please know that I am sending you and your family so much love and peace. If you EVER need anyone to talk to about grief, feel free to email me. I’ve been down this road, as well.

  54. I am so very, very sorry. I lost my mother to cancer 3 years and nearly 1 month ago. I grieved from the day of the diagnosis, until today and I will grieve tomorrow. I suspect I will grieve the rest of my life. When I lost my mother I also lost my best friend. I know how difficult it is to go on knowing there is no hope, and also while the person you love battles the quality of life issues with the available treatments, and again I say I am so very very sorry. I wish I could offer some better words, some kind of comfort, but, I know there really isn’t any, yet I couldn’t not post something. So, heartfelt thoughts to you, M, J and your mother.

  55. I am so sorry Luna. You are all in my thoughts and prayers. xxx


  56. Such a blow. So terribly sorry. Please let me know if I can do anything…

  57. Oh Luna, this news is just crushing. I wish I had the right words.

    I’ve been thinking a lot about grieving and loss myself lately, but this is the first time in my life I’ve done that with our little baby boy here — and god, it sure makes a difference, doesn’t it?

    Thinking about you, your mom, your family.

  58. Sendign you wishes for peace through all this.

  59. Oh, Luna, I am so very sorry. I hope you can enjoy the remaining time with your mother. I am thinking of you and your family.

  60. I have been thinking about you all week. I am so very very sorry. I know this sucks, and words don’t really help, but it’s all I have. Please let us know if you need anything.

  61. I am so sorry hun (*HUGS*) Sending wishes for more time, and strength to get through this.

  62. […] got the news about my mom on Monday, while she was still under anesthesia from opening her up before they […]

  63. Luna, my friend, I am so very sorry to read this.

  64. […] I spoke with my mom in the afternoon. I’m sure the day passed her by without notice. Aside from dealing with her […]

  65. […] with the close of this year I am anticipating the inevitable grief of losing my mother, whenever that may be, I know I have so much to be grateful for. While infertility still clouds and […]

  66. […] the first time to meet up with family members who had traveled from afar to spend a few days with my ailing mom. We picked a rendezvous point in the middle for all of us. My mom had been looking forward to this […]

  67. […] to become a mother — after trying to build our family for seven years — I learned that I would soon lose my own mother, in the same awful way I had lost my father and […]

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