Monday, October 03, 2005

saying goodbye...

My mother has left this earth and is now walking streets of gold...

It has been difficult for me to write this last entry. When I started this journal I had visions of writing about a happy ending. I wanted to write about the celebrations we would have when the cancer was gone.

This journey that we have taken did not lead us where we had hoped it would. As I said, I wanted to write a happy ending, but as I look back on the last nine months of my mother’s life, there was much happiness.
We celebrated Christmas as a family. Mom’s children and grandchildren all gathered in her home.
She witnessed her oldest daughter finally receiving a college degree. She danced at her first granddaughter’s wedding. And even in her last weeks of life, she attended a high school football game and watched her grandson play quarterback. She hadn’t missed a game of his since he was six years old.

In the last nine months we cried, we reminisced, we laughed, and we smiled. Mom shared so many things with us that we will never forget.

Mom was the kind of person that always made sure everyone was taken care of. She was such a loving, giving person. I’ve always been told you reap what you sow. For mom this was true.

In her last days, her husband, her daughters, her grandchildren, her two brothers, and her beloved aunt, along with special friends she had made and kept over the years were at her bedside daily. She knew how much she was loved.

When mom finally took her last breath, she was very peaceful. Her favorite gospel music was playing, and her husband, and two daughters were at her side.

When mom was laid to rest, the minister said something that I’d like to share..
He said if it would comfort us to visit mom’s grave, then we should. But we should not think of it as the place where mom is. Instead, we should think of a beautiful garment that served its purpose, but that she has outgrown.

You wore it well mom…

I will miss you…

(written September of 2005) I have learned much in the last nine months. I have read that ovarian cancer whispers. I say it screams. It just needs someone to listen. The American Cancer Society statistics for ovarian cancer estimate that there will be 22,220 new cases and 16,210 deaths in 2005. This is a death rate FOUR TIMES that of breast cancer.Almost 70 percent of women with the common epithelial ovarian cancer are not diagnosed until the disease is advanced in stage. The 5-year survival rate for these women is only 15 to 20 percent. This is unacceptable. Women need to be made more aware of the symptoms, and doctors need to listen to their patients. Especially when the patient tells them that they fear they have ovca, as my mother did for almost a year before she was finally diagnosed. It’s so sad and senseless when a woman knows the symptoms but can’t get anyone to listen to what she is saying.