In mid October, 2007 my mother got a dizzy spell and fell into the shower while getting ready for work. She was, for the most part, unhurt in the fall but went to the emergency anyway. The doctors sent her home with orders to get some rest.

A month later she lost sight in her left eye. Back to the hospital.The doctors told her the tests showed a mass on her brain. The also told her that her insurance wouldn't cover the bill. They gave her steroids and sent her home saying ti wasn't life threatening.

Her health was fading fast so she went back and they found 2 more masses in her head. She was admitted. They did a biopsy and found it to be malignant. But we were told they were operable.

The Day Of her surgery they found out the 2 operable masses, were really one giant mass entangled in her brain, and inoperable. Glioblastoma multiforme.

She went home soon after it was mid December.

We were lucky enough to have one more xmas( I know it's a theist holiday, but meh) together. Some relatives made it down to see her as her health faded away. Hospice came in and made sure she was comfortable.

On January 9th 2008, I got the call from my brother.
She passed away peacefully in her sleep at about 6am.She was 53 years old.
I still have a hard time believing she's gone. I do get(an I am at the moment) teary eyed when I think about her.

That's my story.

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Words fail me when trying to express on how many levels your story affects me, and how moved I am by it. Let me put it this way, I have lost two generations of relatives to cancer.

My father had the cancerous mass on his brain too, by the time we found out, it had spread all over his brain, wasn’t operable; my mom and I (as I am an only child) helped my dad go through all the terrible symptoms, the pain, the dizziness, he was hungry all the time no matter the amount of food he ate, the part of the brain that controls hunger was affected; then dementia, we’re talking really crazy here, crazy like he wanted to strangle people, the bleeding due to steroids. The blindness came near the end… it was a terrible experience. Then he went into comma and a week later he passed away. He was only 46 years old.

I know it’s hard, and we will never stop missing our departed loved ones but I can tell you this:

Even though this is a terrible illness, and all the deal of pain it brings to the sick person and the people around them seems unbearable at times, these announced deaths give the sick person the chance to receive all the love and attention and kind gestures and a whole lot of wonderful things that otherwise they wouldn’t get to experience.

Given that we had a very good life as a family, consider that I do not exaggerate when I tell you that I think that during those ten weeks my dad had the most epic demonstrations of love, affection, respect, admiration, gratefulness... not only from our relatives, but from many, many people that we would have never thought had loved him that much.

And that, my dear friend, is what I can tell you, because I find a great deal of comfort in this fact.
I lost a brother in law to brain cancer. As a veteran with full 20 year benefits and a school district employee, he was not fucked around by insurance companies and his tumors were removed. However it left him very child like and his last six months of life were degenerative with strokes, less and less mobility. I think chemo therapy killed him, making him very sick, little kid brain personalities do not like puking up guts upon guts. The cancers metastasized. Advancing into lungs and pancreas, he lost weight from a 200 pound 6 foot tall man to a waif of 130 pounds and stooped to 5'9".... Hospice helped my mother too, providing pain relief from massive spreading ovarian cancer. A dear friend is losing his mom to the same cancer right now. I only hope that people can spend time with their loved ones and share memories, pass on stories from out elders and their elders. Be at peace and have closure with disease. However I feel compelled to blame pollution for the cancers. Can we not biopsi and preserve tissue samples of tumors to find the traces of pollutants that establish a link between air, water or soil contact with such carcinogens into our bodies? I'm not inclined to blame diet, too much sugar or too much beer, unless said consumption is contaminated. How do other feel about the science of dying and making our lost lives count for something of proving how or what kills us?
Dan, I am sorry to hear about your mom.

 I lost my mom in Sept. of 2003 to pancreatic cancer, and the doctor's reaction was much the same, they kept telling her her symptoms were nothing, until it was too late to do anything. It seems like the fear of death in this culture is so great that even doctors avoid dealing with it until they absolutely have to. :o(
I just saw your story Dan. My heart goes out to you. That is a difficult way to lose your mother. I hope my saying so doesn't cause you any sadness, I just wanted to acknowledge your loss and grief. Hugs!!!


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