February 14, 2022
Three years ago, today, I sat for the first time with no romantic partner on Valentine's Day. I had hope, though, that I would heal, meet someone who loved the hell out of me, and would never again have to spend this stupid day spiraling in my head about how worthless, unlovable, and how lonely I was.
[Redacted] called me shortly before 11 this morning to tell me they were home from her appointment. The doctor said he's calling the hospital and she needs to get there within a couple of hours to be admitted - says they can't start chemo on Wednesday with the condition she's in, it will kill her so if she wants to fight, she needs to let the doctors and God do what they can to stabilize her in hopes she miraculously recovers enough to eventually get poison pumped into her veins.
I don't remember what I said, I just know I somehow managed to drive to their house shortly after [redacted] and I hung up...
and then I floated to her when I rounded the entryway, falling into her chest crying out I don't want her to go. She got on to me, "[redacted] [redacted], please, for me, you have to stay strong, you have to. I can't take anyone being sad right now".
And what is a girl to do when her dying mother tells her to put those boots on, lace them up, shoulders back and chin up? She wipes the tears and says yes, ma'am, I will be strong.
......and she said to me, "I know you will", with a smile.
Many things were said and not said today in the hour I spent with her before [redacted] took her to the hospital to be admitted....
She wants to die there; I'm assuming it's some kind of protection for me or safety for her or both.
I said goodbye to my mother for the last time, today, in the home I lived in as a child, the home she kept while I grew up in Kansas, the home her and [redacted] came back to - me following shortly behind because I couldn't stand the distance from her, the only home my children have known of her. Today I said goodbye to my mother, as blood ran from her nose, tears from my eyes. Today I said goodbye to home.
Nobody will ever know a pain like this unless they've lived it. I curse God, I curse everything and everyone.
Today I woke up with hope I'd get a surprise call, or flowers, or something.
Today I woke up and said goodbye to my mother, instead.
February 15-18, 2022
February 15, 2022
When I was 5, I came home from Kindergarten with a paper full of horribly spelled horrible cuss words that my mother either found or I was proud to show her (noted to ask tomorrow). It is clear as day for me in this moment, her face morphing into this lady I did not want to be anywhere nearby. It was the first reckoning of my mother's that I can recall, and I learned at the young age of 5, a lady does not ever, under any circumstance (at least around her mother), use gutter language - she called it gutter language and that sends me into hysterics to remember.
"Who the f!@k is Dr. Jerkoff?"
I'd just entered her room, ICU now, moved overnight. Things are chaotic; I'm in my head trying to follow the patterns and strings and rabbit holes into how in the fuck are we here and what happens next? SOMEONE JUST TELL ME WHAT HAPPENS. As [redacted] is giving me the "soft" version of what has transpired over the last 24 hours, that she needs kidney dialysis immediately or the tumors pressing into both kidneys would kill her by morning. I think this is when I started "oh, f!@k-ing" in my head and then I hear her loudly saying through coughs and huffs and other incoherent language, "it's just fear-porn, [redacted], Dr. Jerkoff is fear-porning us don't fall for it".
Felt like I was at a tennis match - I whipped my head around so fast, side-eyed [redacted], and stared at that fucking softball on her neck out of my peripheral *of the right eye*.
I allowed a couple of tears to fall, gathered my faculties, and sat beside her. She was sitting up, able to focus on me, and as I was attempting to have a heart to heart with her, Dr. Jerkoff walked in and ruined that plan. I was grateful, though, in hindsight... I was able to get the not "soft" version of what was going on.
He explained that the cancer was everywhere and spreading quickly. He went on to say that the chemo she was going to be starting the next day to not save her life but to give us time (a couple of weeks) and a chance for her to have a less painful ending (God willing) could not be administered as it would go through the kidneys - which weren't working because of the tumors that the chemo (she couldn't get right then because of the kidneys) would most likely shrink; what a sick, full circle joke, right? He goes on to say that it's not only a matter of getting her physically able to have chemo, but it has become an urgent matter of her dying from kidney/heart failure within the day if she does not get on dialysis right then.
Not sure what planet I floated to, but it was a nice escape.
Dr. Jerkoff leaves after she tells him he can eat shit - no she didn't really say that - but she basically did. She said she will tell HIM when she decides if she'll have the dialysis or not, she doesn't need the fear porn.
*10:26 am Died a thousand deaths and went back to the escape planet.
*10:27 am Returned from vay-cay with clarity, understanding, and acceptance of the situation. I sat by her as she is freaking dying in front of me (that's not dramatic, she's knocking on death's door), tell her that I am proud of her, I support whatever decision she makes, but, and this was a really big but because it is a full circle of all of the times since she had me that I heard "will you at least try?" coming out of her mouth, directed at me, her daughter, in times I wanted to give up but she was there to remind me I can always choose to at least try, one more time, even if it ends in failure, I'd still be able to go out with dignity and honor and *pride*.
She looked at me and she's lost her will. She's lost it. Told her she put up a hell of a fight and she didn't need to worry about me. She nodded, stoic?, I cannot place the look at this moment.
12:24 pm left hospital to get groceries and kids from school
Port for kidney dialysis went in with no issues, first dialysis going - 9:23 pm - she did it. she saved her own life. for at least long enough to say goodbye, at home.
February 16, 2022
Utterly exhausted... She's not well. she's not well. I just keep praying, hoping, screaming into the void WHY ARE YOU DOING THIS TO ME, GOD, ANYONE, FUCKING FUCK.
But then I remember she chose to go through MORE HELL just to add a week or two to her life.
& so, I can't, I won't, ever complain again. ever.
February 17, 2022
She is so angry, shaking, her mouth has gone numb, so they sent her for a CT scan.
She has a fucking monster growing all over, but clearly, CLEARLY, most definitely, the head monster is growing out of her fucking clavicle or something, and so I'd bet that's why she can't feel her mouth, doc.
I started going down her fear porn rabbit holes of 'Jesus, they will do anything for money in healthcare, even subject a dying woman TO ANOTHER SCAN because apparently everyone is fucking blind, I dunno'; I am not saying this rabbit hole is fear porn but I am saying I have been in the cancer world for 3 years now and this fear porn is legit.
I am trying to laugh but God, she was so mean today. And I know it's a shit show in her mind right now, full of regrets, with mixtures of morphine, poison, you name it running through body and mind, just the normal process of death, so much, so I took one for the team, let [redacted] go take a breather.
I held her hand as she slept when he left, thanking God for inventing silent sobs so I didn't wake her. Well, she woke once and told me to stop studying her face, then we smiled at each other. I have a lot to say about this time together but am not ready in this moment.
They came and said chemo was good to go, her dialysis was working.
*89th trip to the escape planet
I think I made them repeat to make sure I heard correctly.
Dialysis brought her into a range where a half dose of the chemo regimen she was going to be receiving initially was okayed to begin immediate administration - started at 4: something pm
holy shit. is this the miracle we need??
February 18, 2022
Received the same text I've received from her for as long as I can remember "Good Morning, Baby!". She was like a new person today - the steroids?
Or, or... is that softball now a baseball?!
I stared at it, that mountain... is it now a mole hill? rhetorical questions because at this point I'm most likely hallucinating, wondering what happened to that escape planet from the first couple of days.
My knowns, as of this moment:
- the most courageous human that walks this Earth, I have for a mother
- my story doesn't only belong to me - she's a main character - she's already fought this beast once, as I, her only child, was/is fighting a different beast, and we fought them together. She's learning in real time, as I have been, just how twisted and backwards this world really is. She's been worried sick about her grandchildren, but goddammit, she's fighting - which is even more inspiring because I saw she was there, she was at that point of finality, in her spirit. it's something you cannot explain, but my mother was done.
- something in her shifted; she remembered who in she was; throwing the hail mary just to stay alive a little bit longer, to enjoy the true beauty of what life, love, all of this means. She said fuck you, death, I'm not ready. She said run my blood through whatever, get it clean, pump that horrid poison in me because I want to see my grandchildren one more time.
and so, from this moment forward, no excuses.
I become what she's trained me to become; I will make her proud.
But fuck if this isn't hard.