Friday 19 February 2010

Josephine Loves Her Grandma and Grandma Loves Her Josephine

It has been two weeks and one day since Josephine has last seen her Grandma and it feels like an eternity. She, who has been so lucky to have spent so much of her two and a half years with Grandma, may not see her again and that just makes me feel so heartbroken. Josephine is addicted to her Grandma and her Grandma is addicted to her. Even in her drug induced states, my Mom has been speaking about her Josephine, who I am proud to say, has a spirit as strong as her Grandma’s.

It feels like it’s been forever since I sent the update but it has just been one long roller coaster of a week. Considering all the love and prayers that you have all been sending, I am surprised that my Mom isn’t cancer free right now. I have to thank you all for your support and comments. They have been truly uplifting for our family in such a horrible time. Unfortunately, things are not going so well for my lovely Mom. It is now the beginning of the end for her.

It turns out that the cancer has spread to the stomach, the lining, and the bone marrow. All of which have been causing much pain. I only just saw my Mom with relief on Wednesday. It was wonderful to have my Mom back, even if for only 20 minutes. The doctors have not given us much for prognosis and no amount of time will ever be enough. All of a sudden, things seem to be happening so fast.

We are lucky to have such a wonderful family to help us get through this. Despite all that has been happening over the past 6 months, we couldn’t ask for more support and love. My Auntie Mickey and Colette have been around to spend days and evenings with my Mom. My Auntie Jacquie and Auntie Camille are doing everything they can to come down at every opportunity, as well as my Auntie Shelly. I have had my cousins Taylor, Chrissy, and Natalie, as well as my Auntie Jeannine come to watch the kids for me so I can also spend time with my Mom during the day. We are so grateful for their love and support, as well as others that I have not mentioned.

Even though I knew Josephine and Domenic wouldn’t have this amazing person in their lives for very long, I couldn’t help but feel that just maybe, she might make it for another 20 years. She wasn't a Grandma long but you couldn’t imagine a better Grandma. As my Mom would say, she learnt from the best.

She is such an amazing mother. We are so heartbroken as we watch someone we love suffer so much yet persevere. I understand that this is how life goes but it still feels unfair. I know how lucky I have been to have had such a beautiful person so close to me in my life but I still demand a recount. I still need my Mom for another 54 years. She is my first home, my biggest cheerleader and my first and greatest true love.

Friday 12 February 2010

My Mom is Probably Going to Kill Me

I am not sure if my Mom will kill me for trespassing in her Blogger account and writing to you (or for putting up this picture) but I think she will be ok with it. Lately, my Mom has been having a rough time. I know she has mentioned the bats flying around in her stomach, but now I would say that they laid their nests and they don’t seem to be leaving anytime soon. As a result, my Mom hasn’t been able to really eat or drink anything since the middle of October. Can you imagine?

She had a biopsy (the beginning of December) to find out what was going on and she did not receive her final results till Feb. 4….that being that the cancer cells in her stomach cannot be identified. The results are inconclusive because the cells resemble stem cells rather than tissue cells. The doctors have told her that they would treat it as a breast cancer (even though it is extremely rare for breast cancer to spread to the stomach) as they believe they are 90% sure that is what it is. At her appointment, they told her that she would start combination chemotherapy today. She heard these results on the day my Grandma died. I had no way of telling her that her mother had died as she spent the day at the doctor’s. Unfortunately, she was there so long and in so much pain; she was unable to visit her Mom one last time.

My Mom continued to suffer in her pain as she had for the last couple of months (believing that this is what it is like when you have cancer in your stomach) but it was becoming unbearable. She went to the hospital on Sunday and she is there still. She has still to find a balance between no pain and no nausea. She is still unable to really eat (I don’t think she could finish a whole yogurt cup in a day) or drink and we are thankful and that she is being taken care of and finally getting fluids in the hospital. The goal is to get her comfortable before they can think of any sort of treatment at this point. Hopefully, this will happen soon.

As for my Mom, I think her spirits are ok. I know that she is quite tired and frustrated. She throws up so many times a day and she is in quite a bit of pain in her legs and back. I imagine she was also quite upset that she hasn’t really been able to grieve for her Mom since she has been in so much pain and she was unable to attend the funeral. How shitty.

I feel like I am rambling but I need to get some of this out. I would normally tell my Mom what is bothering me but I am obviously not able to right now. I also feel that you should know what has been happening as I know her blogger friends are very dear to her. We often hear names and stories of her friends and I know that she takes so much comfort and pride in her relations. I thank you all for your support, prayers and well wishes. They have always meant so much to my Mom and to us, her family. Hopefully, my Mom will recover and be home real soon. I can’t imagine anything but.


Monday 8 February 2010

Come And Meet Her

Colette wrote this obiturary for mom, come and meet her.

Daisy Ste. Marie

December 07, 1926 – February 03, 2010

A much treasured Mother, Grand, Great & Great Great-Grandmother. With deep sadness we who loved her most announce that mom passed away peacefully in her home.

Born in Aberdeen, Scotland she came to Canada as a war bride, Daisy is predeceased by her husband Henri, children Peter and Pauline, grandson Sheldon, and sister Elsie McDonald.

She leaves to mourn her children: Harry (Jeannine); Kathy (Ernie); Dwain (Erika); Suzie (Peter); Mickey (Gord); Camille (Jim); Jacquie (Gil); Renee (Nizam); Colette (Rick); Lori (Mike); Gerry (Lisa); Shelly (Peter); Joey (Monique); 65 grand, great-grand, and great-great grandchildren.

Daisy devoted her life to her family. There was always room for one more in her house, if you walked in a stranger, you left as a friend. A quote from Daisy, “I may not leave you riches and gold, but I leave you, with all the love a mother’s heart can hold”. Good Night Mom. God Bless You. You are deeply missed already mom, until we see you once again, in the days beyond the days.

Funeral service will be held on Thursday, February 11, 2010 at 2:00 p.m., Holy Family Parish, 778 Archibald. Please join the family for tea at the Glen Lawn Funeral Home 455 Lagimodiere following the mass. A private family interment will take place.

The family would like to thank all who cared for our mother.

Wednesday 3 February 2010

Welcome Home

To the world's greatest and most treasured Mother, Grandmother and Great-Grandmother.

You are already so deeply missed.

Monday 1 February 2010

My First Home No. 2

It is 2:22 a.m. and I just got out of bed yelling ‘Fuck off. Oh my God my side. Fuck.’ I was up an hour ago and took some pills for my knees and had some popsicles. Now I am up and had some pills for my side. ‘Fuck.’

Spent the day at Mom’s and just basically watched her sleep and then went in one of Shelly’s rooms and slept myself.

Today the priest came and gave Mom the Last Rites. It actually was really beautiful. There was Joey, Gord, Doug, Liz, Peter, Suzie, Camille, Father Aubin, Mom (sleeping), Shelly, me, Nadalene, Taylor, Colette, Mickey, and I don’t even know who else was behind us.

Love is physical and you can feel it. Everyone is concerned for the other.

I’m watching the three youngest Joey rubbing Mom’s back, Shelly rubbing Mom’s feet, and Gerry rubbing Mom’s hands. They are going at it all at the same time but could be doing it one at a time as they are so focused and really are just them and our Mom.

Then Nathan and Angelique came. Nathan had bought red roses for Grandma which were beautiful and roses he had dropped off the day before for Jacquie and some he had also placed on Sheldon’s grave after cleaning it and so Jacquie was happy.

I went and had a sleep because I am exhausted.

Nadalene woke me up because Ben had built a ramp for his Mom and Jacquie was coming over and would be there in a few minutes. So Jacquie got to see Mom and even though Mom did not really wake to know Jacquie was there, the rest of us were thrilled. And funny thing is she did know because later in the night when Jacquie was gone she asked where Jacquie was gone.

My side right now is killing me. Christ already, I’ve done my bit and taken the pills – do yours already.

Funny tonight to see everybody order Chinese Food from the place that my parents have ordered from for over 40 years.

Gerry and Quin came in from Lethbridge on Friday.

We listen to Englebert Humperdink and Sidney Divine and all the Scottish music and other music that we all grew up on and that made me feel like crying the most. Seeing Mom who was so full of life and loved her music just kind of lying there and the music became like little stories to me. I saw thousands of life experiences with each little story.

Mom getting her head lovingly rubbed by Angelique, it was so puffy and I loved seeing my daughter rub my mother’s head.

On Saturday Jacquie and I were both so sick and I heard Mom had a horrible day too. I who should have been able to go see my Mom could not even keep awake. I threw up or I slept and I wished I was dead.

Jacquie is on her week of chemo and said that she was so tired and her stomach was so bad and she just couldn’t keep her eyes open.

Mom had a horrible day too.

Of the three of us I am the weakest because I want to quit the fastest. I’m tired of it all.

‘Oh my God, I am sick of this, my left side is killing me. I’m thirsty and I’m tired.’

Our family does not hold each other at a distance and view our problems as individual problems. Families do not walk away from each other. Your problems become our problems. This is simply the way our family works. Blood is thicker than water.

One of the grim realities ahead for us is that my Mom will die and she won’t be there anymore for any of us. We will live and she will die and we won’t have her in the present but only in the past.

But we will have each other. Families are there to stop us from having to be alone.

‘Where is the let up? Christ already.’

I remember reading Vonnegut where he stated that the reason everyone was so lonely and unhappy was that we had forgotten about extended families. That our families were shrinking and becoming more and more separated and independent and all of a sudden when part of the family goes then there is nothing left to fill the gap and that everyone would be happier if we just had bigger families. I think they may not need to be bigger but at least connected.

My parents were people that sparkled and whose eyes were full of hope. They transferred that hope to us. They were always willing to celebrate the ordinary and make us all feel worthwhile, no matter what it was we did.

It is 3:05 a.m. and I feel like shoving myself into the hospital. But I won’t, I think I can bear this and hopefully the pain will go away.

How are you doing over there Mom? How are you doing over there Jacquie?