Quick Update

I haven’t posted anything in a few days, I have started and stopped many times. I will update later about the concert, but this is weighing heavier on me today than how my weekend went. Everyone says that loss gets better over time, I don’t think that is the truth.  I think you just start to live to learn with it. The hole they left will always be there, that spot in your heart is never going to heal.
I think we are all doing as well as could be expected. I think I had my first semi-breakdown last night.  I had kind of a bad day at work, and usually I would vent to my mom about it and she would talk me through things.  It hit me that I don’t have a mom anymore.  I don’t have her to go to with my problems, accomplishments, or anything. She just isn’t here.  I told her everything, and now that’s just gone.  I want to remember her and all the good times we had with her, but at times, it doesn’t feel like she is gone until I need her in some way.
I miss getting the “what are you doing” texts while she knows I am work.  It’s the little things that would annoy me that I miss. It’s hard going on without her.  I think about all the things I won’t be able to share with her and it kills me now.  It’s hard to keep it together when I think about her too much right now.  I think about the things she won’t be here for, weddings, babies, big accomplishments, everything.  It hurts.  It’s easier to not think about it and while I am at work, that generally helps.
My mom was my best friend.  When I was younger she and I didn’t always get along. She always let the boys do things that I wasn’t allowed to do and her response was always “when you have a daughter, you will understand”. I love her so much. She and I would go on our “mommy daughter dates” this would generally consist of me taking her to lunch or dinner and to get pedicures, or sometimes to a movie.  We would have so much fun together, just laughing and talking about random things. She personality made her the kind of person you could look up to. Before she got sick, she was always so positive and devoted to her family.  She sacrificed so much for us, to make sure that we had the things we needed.  I never realized as a kid how often she went without so she could do a little something extra for us.  We never had any money, but she tried to not let us see that part of our lives.  She tried to protect us from whatever she could. She was a good soul. 
When I was in 7th grade, the animated Tarzan movie came out, and my mom was obsessed with the music! She bought the CD and listened to that on repeat for my entire 7th grade year!  John and I woke up every morning to that soundtrack, and to mom singing and dancing while moving around the apartment trying to get us ready for school and for her to go to work. 
She was full of life before she got sick, and for the most part while she was sick, she didn’t let it keep her down until about the last year or so.  It’s hard watching someone you love so much start to give up, to stop fighting.  We just have to remind ourselves that she fought for a long time and she was tired.  She was tired of everything, being in pain; even if she always told us she wasn’t; tired of not being able to use her body right anymore, tired of watching us see her struggles.  She tried to be strong for all of us, to show us she wasn’t scared and we shouldn’t be either, she was going to beat this. She wasn’t going to let the cancer take anything from her.
It’s just a spiral of memories right now, some I wish I could stop because they are painful for me to relive, but others that I wish I could go back to, just to see her smiling and laughing again. My memories of my mom play like silent films in my head when I let them take over. I think I need to let them take over more often than I have been.

Dave Matthews Day!

So today was the day my boyfriends been waiting for! The Dave Matthews Band concert. We had a great time (even if I’m not too familiar with his music). My boyfriend loved it and that made it great for me.

The day started with us attempting to go on a Harbor Cruise in San Francisco… that didn’t happen. There were protests (which we still don’t know what for), and most of the streets near Fisherman’s Wharf were closed. Traffic sucked. So we decided to try our luck at IKEA. There are a few things we need/want for the house.

The lines and “traffic” at IKEA were no better than the streets of San Francisco. We put our stuff down and left, neither of us are too fond of crowds or long lines. So, we really got nothing accomplished this morning. Oh well.

We went back to our hotel, I guess I took and nap and he handled work issues for a couple hours, then decided to get a late lunch. It could have been better for the price he paid, but was still good. When we got back to the room again, he wanted to go to the jacuzzi and I wanted a bath so we spent a little bit of time apart. Then it was time to get ready for the concert!

Parking was a breeze! The line to get in was a mile long, but we made it though. Lines to get our drinks were not too bad. Actually there was nobody in the margarita line, so that went really fast. Finding the right spot on the lawn wasn’t so bad either. We found a great spot near some pretty cool strangers. This is where it started to get crowded. Large crowds tend to freak me out. I would say though, for the most part I handled it well.

There were tons of people smoking weed, we were even offered some. That was interesting to me. To see the cloud of smoke in the lights. And it’s all perfectly legal. Over all, we had a great time and we would both do it all over again. It’s almost midnight and we are just driving back to the hotel. I am wiped and so ready for a shower and bed.

Have a great night internet world

Xoxo

Jennie

Getting Ready for the Weekend

Today is day 2 back to work. It’s easier today. I don’t have everyone coming up to me with the sadness and pity in their eyes. It’s more sympathy than pity, but it still feels like pity and I borderline hate it. My aunt has been texting me all morning, talking about my mom and sharing memories of her. I like to hear the stories and the happy times, but right now, it still feels like too much. It’s hard to deal with that. I know she is grieving, but how do you comfort someone else when you are going through just as much pain? I mean, she was my mother for crying out loud?! Maybe my grieving process is different than hers.

The weekend is upon on and I plan on turning my phone off, to just let me be in the moment. My boyfriend and I are going out of town.  I think it is much needed.  We will be making our way up towards San Francisco for the Dave Matthews Band concert.  I bought him tickets for his birthday last month and he has been looking forward to it.  DMB is his favorite group (that makes us sound so old, it was the music of our youth!!), and has never gone to a concert of theirs. I am glad to be able to give him this experience.

I am looking forward to this trip to be near the ocean. I need some time to just sit on the beach (even if it’s freezing cold), and listen to the waves.  The beach is my happy place and the place I go when I need to get out of my own head. Typically I make those trips alone, but it will be good to have the boyfriend with me on this one.  He has provided so much comfort over the last few weeks.  He hasn’t pushed me to talk, or cry, or yell. He’s just been there, for whatever I need.

My boyfriend got to meet my mom and spend a little time with her two weeks before she passed away. I am so thankful for that.  She adored him, almost as much as I do.  This man has been such a trooper over the last couple weeks.  He met my brothers and their girlfriends for the first time at the hospital on the day my mom passed.  And in the week that followed, he met just about every other person in my life; family, friends, co workers, everyone that came to my moms services. He never once complained, or said it was too much. He even told me he can’t wait to really get to know my brothers and friends. I don’t know many people who would handle that kind of a situation as well as he did.  I truly love this man and can’t wait to spend my life with him.

I think my mom knew he would take care of me.  This year, she got to meet her first grandchild (she has been waiting YEARS for this), she was assured that her children were all with incredible people who would support and love them.  I think she has been ready to move on for quite some time, but didn’t think she could leave us without knowing we would be okay.  She knows that we will all heal from her loss in our lives and we will be okay.

Needless to say, I am looking forward to this weekend.  My boyfriend has given me a lot of firsts in terms of things we have done together, and I am honored to be able to give him a first by seeing his favorite band live, in concert! This is going to be a weekend to remember.

 

Return to Work

Today is my first day back to work since my mom passed. It’s been a week and a half. I thought it would be pretty easy considering I would be busy. However, since all my coworkers knew my mom, it’s been a little rough. I have been able to fight the tears that threaten to break through when someone talks to me about her. For the most part, today has been a good day. A good start to getting back to normal. My guys in the field have kept me busy so my mind hasn’t been able to wander too much.  I printed one of my favorite recent pictures of my mom and have it on my desk. A reminder that she is still here in spirit.

The thing that feels the most out of place right now, is not getting her “what are you doing” text.  Everyday while at work, I would get that text.  My response as always “Working, making that money”. Then I would hear about what she was doing that day. Usually it was how far she was able to go on her walk or if she had enough energy to take a shower, or she would send me pictures of my kitten and tell me how evil she is. My kitten (Bailey) is feisty and enjoys fighting, she would constantly attack my mom; but she loved that kitten all the same.

Overall I would say that today has been a great day for me. A good step forward to a new normal.

~Jennie

Let the Grieving Begin

I swore this year was going to be different when it came to this blog.  Starting on my birthday I was going to do one post per day. And while this year is starting off differently than anticipated, I have yet to make my goal happen. But it is not for a lack of wanting to. I have been wanting to post, but I just can’t find my words over the lsat week and a half. On Sunday, August 26th, I turned 31.  On this day, I also lost my mother. She was my best friend, the person I told everything to, well most everything. I wouldn’t tell her when I was getting annoyed with her; that’s where this blog came in. This was where I would vent and let out my frustrations. Now, I think I am going to use it to record my memories and my day to day while grieving and learning to live in a new world. A world where my mom isn’t here physically anymore.

While I broke down on the day of her death, I haven’t had another breakdown since. I don’t know if I just haven’t fully accepted it or what, but I am waiting for that inevitable breakdown. I am scared of when it might happen.  As I mentioned in previous posts, my mom has been battling breast cancer for the last six years, and over the last two years, her treatments have sent her in and out of the hospital due to complications with chemo. It’s been a long and painful battle for her.  I get a little amount of comfort knowing that she is no longer suffering, or in pain.  She is in peace now. She fought for a long time and I know she was tired. She would never give up and I think she was ready to stop the fighting.

I have been going over this day in my head. I have had to repeat the story of what happened to numerous family members and friends over the past week, and I have felt myself detach from the whole thing. But today, when I think of this day, all I can see is my brother sending me a text shortly before i got to the hospital asking me what I was going to do for my birthday. I didn’t actually see the text until I got home that night and my only response to that in my head was, watching my mother die. We were all there with her when she took her last breath. I have never had to do something like that in my life.  To those of you who have, I am so sorry, I would not wish that on anyone.  She was sedated and on some pretty heavy pain medications, so I know she wasn’t in pain.  She wouldn’t want any one of us to be in pain right now either.

My mom was such a happy, loving person before she was diagnosed with Breast Cancer. She was always there to help someone in need. We didn’t have much growing up, but she would give whatever she could to others. She took in all of our friends, just as they were her own children. She was so full of life. Two weeks before she passed, my boyfriend met her for the first time.  I am so thankful that he got to meet her at least the one time, it makes me wish though we would have met sooner in life so he could have known her before the cancer starting changing her, not just physically, but her mind.

My mom’s best friend came out to Cali last week for the services. I am so incredibly grateful that she was able to make it out, and that is for purely selfish reasons. My “aunt” helped me more and gave me more comfort than my real aunts and uncle ever could have.  She knew my mom the best, even though they haven’t talked a whole lot over the last few years, both busy with their own lives. I think she also knew me the best. The thing that gave me the most comfort though is when my aunt told me that my mom was waiting to make sure we were all taken care of.  My brother’s each have an amazing woman in their lives, which my mom knew. She learned that I had an incredible man in my life that would do anything to take care of me (which he has more than proved this past week, more on that later). And she was able to spend time with her first grandchild. All the things she wanted in life, were now accomplished and she was ready to let go and stop fighting.

She is watching over us now. She will always be with us. There is not a day that will pass that I won’t think about her or miss her. I just have to keep reminding myself that she is in a better place and I will see her again one day.

I love you mom and miss you terribly. I feel so lost without you.

Does it get better?

I’ve posted before about my mother and her most recent updates with her cancer. She has been on this chemo pill for about 2 months.. Her doctor discontinued treatment this week. It is making her too ill. He wants to stop all cancer treatment until she is stronger and feeling better. Starting a week ago she has had runny stool (which she would probably kill me if she knew I am sharing this with the world). Bad enough to where she couldn’t control it or make it to the bathroom in time.  She is severely dehydrated. The only thing wrong with her lab work when she went is on Monday was her sodium was low, they ordered her a salt pill and hooked her up to an IV for hydration and sent her home after 2 hours.

Tuesday, she was back in the doctor with the same symptoms. Same information was given, it’s a side effect of the chemo pill you’re on. Hooked up to an IV and was told to come back tomorrow for more hydration.

Wednesday, her doctor actually sees her instead of just the nurses… He thinks she might have a intestinal infection and runs a stool culture. This generally takes 3 – 5 days to get back. So she will go the weekend without the answers or relief of her symptoms.  She is told to come back again the following day for another round of hydration. Today though, she is given an antibiotic. YAY!!! The pills are too big for her to swallow and throws it up with her first dose. Great, just great. I am stuck cleaning the puke from her bedroom carpet… I don’t do well with vomit. I guess it’s lucky that it was all liquids since she hasn’t eaten any actual food in days.

Thursday, she gets her first antibiotic pill down. Goes in for hydration, no new information given. Thursday I have the afternoon off to be with my dad for a doctor’s appointment (I can’t catch a break between these two). He insists that I stay with my mom instead of going with him, he can handle this appointment by himself. I give my mom her antibiotic, she immediately throws up. Nice.  I call her doctor to see if there is another way she can take the pill, crush it and mix it with something, anything! She needs to take the meds. They say yes, crush it up and put it with applesauce.  I do that, she complains about how gross it is, but she keeps it down.  One of the nurses send my mom a text telling her that they received her culture and she has C-Diff, but just continue taking the antibiotic and we will see you tomorrow.

Friday, she has been having an easier time with the medication, she hates it mixed with applesauce, but appears to be keeping it down right now.  She is still dry heaving like crazy, pooping like a mad woman and just over all feels like utter shit. She goes in for hydration again, nobody says anything about the C-Diff (I do my research when my parents have medical issues). With her immune systems and the fact she is older, taking antibiotics frequently, and has been on chemo; there is a chance there is more damage than just this infection. Meaning the infection could be doing more damage to her intestines. They just put her through another round of the hydration and send her on her way.

My dad called me this morning, shortly after she got home from the doctor.  He wants to take her to the hospital to make sure she is getting the care she needs, she can’t go all weekend without getting the hydration, which seems to be the only time she is somewhat feeling a little better. I agree that the hospital is the best place for her right now.  She will have round the clock care and can hopefully get some rest and some sort of nutrition. She is fighting going. I had to call her on my lunch break and lecture her about taking care of her self and all this other crap.

I hate this. I hate always having to be the bad guy and force her to do something. I am really the only one who takes care of her, between full time work, full time school, trying to not totally neglect my boyfriend, it’s a lot to handle.  Add in these new issues with my dad (that he refuses to tell anyone else about), I don’t know how much more I can do on my own.  I have two siblings, both of which live in town and are as able as I am to take care of our parents, but for some reason, all the burden falls on me.  I am the youngest, shouldn’t it fall on the oldest?

I feel like maybe I need to have my antidepressants increased. I am starting to feel like I was before I started the meds, without the suicidal thoughts.  I am overwhelmed.  School started again last week and I’ve already had to skip some classes to take care of my mom because nobody else will. I don’t understand it.

To top it all off, we are repeating history this year.  Exactly one year ago, she was admitted to the hospital from complications with chemo. I woke up on my 30th birthday to a missed call from the hospital saying she is being rushed to the ICU.  Sunday is my 31st birthday, needless to say, I am terrified of what’s going to happen to her. I don’t want a repeat of last year, but I can feel it coming, and possibly even worse.

Thoughts and prayers are appreciated during this time. I will try to write more later, but I’ve got a lot of school work to try to get caught up on.

2 am thoughts

I spent the weekend with my boyfriend. Not much is new about that, we spend every weekend together. I adore this man, he really is everything I have ever wanted. He is a hard worker, he is kind, he knows the importance of family. Not necessarily he importance, but maybe the obligation of family. He understands family is a priority. He is handsome, has blue eyes that I can just get lost in, and his laugh, my god it’s infectious. I can’t help but give in to his pouty faces. When he makes the pouty face, I can seriously see how stinking adorable our kids will be. And he seems to want to make me happy and tells me on a daily basis he loves me.

I have trust issues. I have for all of my adult life. It’s not just with men, it’s people in general that I don’t trust. I want to trust this man. I want to believe everything he tells me. But sometimes it just too hard. This weekend, I had this nagging feeling that he relates love with sex. I feel as if maybe he thinks because we’ve done the deed,he thinks he loves me. The first time he said he loved me was during our first time, which yes, to all the judgy people, was pretty early in our relationship.

I know I am in love with him. Everyday we spend together, I learn something new. I love learning about him and learning the ways our lives are intertwining. We talk about the future a lot, having a family, traveling, getting married, spending our lives together. I can’t wait for these things to start, I want all of that, and I want it with him. He says it’s already started and we’re doing it now. But we’re not, and we can’t until he handles certain things in his life. I don’t know how to be patient and let things play out. I am terrified that he is going to wake up one morning and decide he wants something or someone else. I know nothing in life is a guarantee, but I’m scared. He has come to mean more to me than anything else. And just re-reading that, it sounds like I’m trying to trap him. I’m not, I promise.

Patience, without nagging… this is what I have to learn. But at what point does it become a respect thing? If he keeps putting this off, does that mean he doesn’t really feel about me the way he says he does? There are things in my past that make me not want to believe him at all, I’ve been down this road before. I don’t want to do that again. Maybe I’m just breaking my own heart here, getting in my own head, and not giving him the benefit of the doubt.

One day I will describe these things in full; the trust issues, and what he wants to take care of that I feel is keeping our lives from moving forward together. Tonight though, I just don’t have the energy for it.