I remember the day like it was yesterday and I don't think I will ever forget it, for a number of reasons. November 25, 2002 was the day that breast cancer took my mum's last breath away. There have been 12 mother's day's since then and each one that comes and goes I always think how even though she was struggling for a few years in her own battle with cancer, she would always make sure I was taking care of myself. Parents are like that I suppose.
She had stage 4 breast cancer when she was diagnosed. I took her to the doctor that infamous day and when she came out crying, I knew. I talked to the doctor myself afterwards telling me that there was nothing he could do for her other than extend her life a little longer. I never told her that of course but gave her the same positive advise she always gave me, "you'll get through this, one day at a time". She tried to remain positive through the whole experience, even with the hair loss and chemo treatments, calling her chemo the "red army" (the chemo juice was red), and hoping her hair would grow back curly, or at least "wavy", like mine. She even had a double mastectomy and still she remained up beat and was cancer free for a year, until that fateful day in June 2002 when the doctor informed her that it had returned and returned with a vengeance. It had spread to her hips, liver, stomach, lungs and brain. She had found out the day of my brothers wedding and she tried to have a good day, but you could see it in her face and some of the pictures from that day. My fiancé and I pushed our wedding ahead from June 2003 to September of 2002 so she could be there, lying to her that it was for another reason and not that we didn't think she would be around.
It came fast and hard this time and by October she was admitted to hospital because she wouldn't, or couldn't, eat. At this point she new it wouldn't be long, but still asked how I was doing and making sure I was taking care of myself.
She went down hill fast after that and we all got called in to hospital one night by the nurse fearing she wouldn't last the night....but she did. We insisted that we take her home for her last days as she never wanted to pass away in a hospital. She lasted another week at home before finally on a Monday morning while we were all getting ready to go back to work after having time off, she stopped breathing and she was gone.
I wanted to write this to show how my mum, as I'm sure other mother's are, was still concerned that I took care of myself with my disease whilst fighting hers. My only regret was that she never met any of my children.
Mum's are a special breed and I see some of my mum in my children and I see it now in my wife in how she takes care of me and our children.
Thanks to all the mothers out there and Happy Mother's Day.