Sunday, August 30, 2015

RIP mom

Aug 26, 2015 my mom. Mein Kleine Mutter has gone home to the lord after a 33 day battle with brain cancer.

My mom was my life and my family and I will miss her immensely and very deeply.
If you met my mom and knew her she instantly became your friend and you would walk away with a full belly. She had spent a large portion of her life as a chef. Mom had served Queen Elizabeth twice in Germany. But served as a wife and mom every chance she could. Mom spent her life being an incredible loving supporting wife to my father of 52 years. A mom to me for 43. A mother in law to my wife for 5 years. And an Oma to my son for 16 and last her shadow,her dog.

From the moment my mom entered University Hospital here in London Ontario, the emergency staff, the 7th floor staff in neurology and the palliative car staff was second to none. Impeccable. They treated me with such dignity and care from telling me my mom was terminal within 12 hours of arrival to taking care of my dad at the same time 3 floors down in General medicine. My dad was brought in with my mom at same time in 2 ambulances. As extremely chaotic as it was my wife and i were cleaning out their apartment, packing, cleaning, selling and bringing their stuff to the hospital, our house for dad to live in, driving from our home to the hospital, back home then their apartment across town. It helped us so much that dad was under the hospital care for 12 days as we could wheel him up in the wheel chair with IV pole to see mom. And eventually a wheel chair and then walker for dad. Having to make arrangements for mom, dad and find a renovator all while trying to visit mom was insane. I can't even explain it.

The erie part of all of this was mom was under the same surgical team as I was. Despite mom being terminal and inoperable we had the same neurosurgeon caring for mom. Mom was in the exact same room and bed that I was in for my brain surgery. It bothered me the most but was comforting at the same time. I can't really explain it.

I sincerely want to thank every single health care worker that came in contact with my mom and dad. Especially Fritz. He had worked with my mom at the Kiwanis Centre. It was moms last job cooking there. She retired after that. My dad had worked with his dad back in the 70s. My mom babysat Fritz when he was a young boy. Having Fritz there was comforting very much. He having lost his parents helped my dad and I cope when we both had a hard time coping. He explained to my wife and I the dying process and it was easier to hear from him since my mom really liked him very much, Thank you Fritz. If you ever read this my family thanks you from the bottom of our hearts. I also want to thank those who are always often missed. The porters, the Voyageur drivers who brought mom and me back and forth every time to the Cancer Clinic, The oncologist, The nurses, PSWs. Everyone, thank you for a thankless job. I really mean it. Many many times I had to leave the room in tears being unable to cope with mom needing help and the hospital staff took care of everything. Thank you. A special thank you to the Nurse Practitioners at UH for helping mom get to palliative.

While all this was happening. Dad being on 4th floor and eventually coming home to live with us and all the medical staff who came to my home to help dad. While all this was happening. My wife and I and dad had to watch the mother, I so dearly love pass away before our very eyes everyday. We did this alone with no help from no one. Everything was done by myself and my wife. Not a single person helped us. But really who could. Only the people who were in my moms life mattered to her and us anyway.

The out pour of support we received from neighbors, from my club brothers, from my fellow Cluster Heads world wide and my in-laws was greatly appreciated. While none of it was physical or decision making, It was comforting to know how much my mom was loved by so many. How much at the end of the day of my head constantly pounding a simple card, email, plate of cookies, or card meant to us.
It also surprised the shit out of me how some said absolutely nothing. Not even sorry for your loss.

The only complaint we had over this was the Ontario Cremation Service who at first said they would take half the payment for the cremation and then changed their mind and demanded full payment only after we signed. Nor when we called to have mom taken from the hospital did the moran on the phone offer a single condolence. DO NOT USE ONTARIO CREMATION SERVICES.

Cancer is a dreaded horrible disease. Why people still smoke after watching this happen just baffles me. Whatever excuses people give is just that. An excuse. Excuses are only good tot he people saying them. If you smoke, quit. No excuses. If I can quit with the worlds most painful disease known to medical science you can too.

Mom was cremated and there will be no funeral, no wake, no gathering. It was moms wishes and dad, my wife and I will honor her wishes. I have the same wishes. Mom said to me if you didn't come see me when I was alive don't bother now I am gone. I feel exact same way. Mom was nor bitter nor upset about that. Mom was 100% at peace with her decisions and life.  She was a fantastic mother to me. Incredible Oma to my son.

I remember so many times of my mom making forts with my son when he was little or taking him bowling, or taking him to get candy. She treated my son so well. Always, and I mean always made sure he had a full belly. pocket full of money and hugs and kisses. She spent time with him every chance she could. I don't even think to this very day my son knows how good he had it, I myself never knew my Oma or Opa.

My wife was so blessed to have her in her life for the 5 years. She was mom to her, My mom truly adored my wife.  They say men marry women like their mom and its true. My family knows I struck a home run with her. My wife is as grieving as all of us for losing her mom too. I can not thank my wife enough for being so grounded, so helpful, so caring, supporting to me throughout all of this when others where completely absent. But my wife and I never have to worry about living life with regret,

My dad. Where do I begin? Dad went from being unaware of where he was from first admitted to hospital for 4 days to loosing his wife and now living with his son and daughter in law in 1 month. After 52 years of marriage, raising a family, travelling the globe with his best friend to now watching her pass. How my dad is keeping it together I am at a loss of words. The only thing I foresee is time. No one ever "gets over it". But we learn to live with it. Dad said in the hospital if its what God wants, Its what will be. We lost mom but heaven gained the best. We in this house are Christians. We beleive in our hearts 100% that mom is in heaven.

I pray Elvis is singing to my mom right now with my dog Buster. Mom is no longer in pain. My mom lived many many years in great pain from knee replacements to bad arthritis to just getting older. She told me she was not affraid to die.

The day before she passed she had completely stopped talking and eating the day before that. Rarely I had any alone time with mom, Because we were always there together,

I had mom alone and said that we would be ok. That I loved her with all my heart and would miss her but we were at peace with her leaving. I begged her for a sign to let me know she was ok. She opened her eyes for a split second and lipped "I love you" to me. Last words she ever spoke.  She gave dad a kiss back on the day of her passing.

I played Amazing Grace by Elvis as we were with mom and read her Psalm 23.

As we said our good bye to mom, I turned around and looked at the door way of her room. Whether you think I was under duress or making this up I know what I saw. My mom was partially poking her head out of the room with a glow around her head like a light from heaven. She waived at me twice and smiled. I know what I saw. I could care or less if a single person believes me. I saw my mom as an angel. I do not need to prove it. I saw it. I don't care if a single person believes me either.

Now we must continue on in life. I only ever wanted one thing from my mom and dad and that was for them to be proud of me. I promised my mom we will be ok. And we will in time, For now the renovations on our home will be finished. Dad will have his private space and we will be there for dad for as long as he needs.

Mom, I will continue to be the best son to dad, the best husband to my wife and dad to your grandson. I will continue to advocate for my fellow Cluster Heads world wide and make you proud and make a difference in this world. I dedicate this all to you momma. We all are going to miss you beyond words. I will see you again in heaven mom and then I wont have any more attacks/headaches.

Until I see you again mom, I love you

Saturday, August 22, 2015


Cancer, yes the "C" word. I have never heard of another person not knowing someone affected by cancer either directly or indirectly.

Cancer is the  mothership of all diseases. It is the disease that is the most funded for research yet takes lives in multitudes every single second around the globe. Yet there is no cure just prevention and care. I am not going to blog today about the possibilities of cancer cure. Because there is so many different types of cancer unlike my disease the only difference is sides of the head unless you are super fucked and get attacks on both sides. But today this blog isn't about Cluster Headaches.