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.

Not even as a Cluster Head who has experienced 4 brain surgeries prepared me for this. Having been at this hospital so much in my lifetime should well earn me frequent flier points or air miles this hospital should get duly noted credit where credit is due for their care with not just me but my family.

I was really reluctant on blogging about this until after the fact of a family member passing but felt it was my time to write now and I will later.

In recent news Former President Jimmy Carter who I am old enough to remember was diagnosed with Cancer. Now has brain cancer and so does my mom. Watching the media I feel as not only as her son but someone else who is sick that she deserves as much as recognition as Jimmy Carter and any other cancer victim out there. My mom has contributed very much to life and also lead and extremely difficult life for her early years in Germany when Hitler was in power and my mom and her 12 brothers and sisters were hiding in a basement from the SS. 1 loaf of bread for a week. 1 cold bath shared between 12 brothers and sisters in dirty water. Loosing one to starvation. They had nothing. Mom lost her dad at 8 months old. They were poor. We as Canadians have no clue how lucky we are to live in this great country. I feel that throughout my moms life, what she has sacrificed for me and giving her family a better life that it should to be recognized. Coming to this country with $25 and working 80 hours a week for a year to save for their first home, raising a family, being a wife and mother giving everything she had to be a great mom should be equally as important as the president.

Within 12 hours of both my parents being admitted  by EMS to hospital I was told in 1 sentence. That mom was full of cancer and there was 25 lesions on her brain. Inoperable, terminal and time is short. And now we became instant caregivers to my father. A cancer survivor himself of 15 years, He lost his voice to cancer and breathes through a hole in his neck. It was a full lyrengectomy. He does speak with a machine that enhances vibration through his mouth. Some can understand him. Some can't. If you are around him long enough you get used to it.f

I will never forget his last words spoken."I love you" and they wheeled him away. The next time I seen dad was laying in a recovery bed with more hoses, tubes, IV's that you could count and his body was shivering  and he tried to speak to me and nothing came out of his mouth. That is impregnated in my memory forever. Throughout the years he has been mocked, made fun of, pointed and stared at and people have made comments that would make your spine shiver. Heartless ignorant fucks.

My family has had first hand experience with cancer. My dad lost his brother to brain cancer, His mom to Ovarian. My moms brothers and sisters to numerous different types of cancer. The list is long. My parents have lost many friends to cancer. its just a horrific painful disease that eats the life out of someone. Its cruel and unfair. This is where I want to thank in advance to the staff at the hospital for taking care of my mom in her final time right now. They have for the most part been so comforting, caring and compassionate for her needs.

My wife and I have been dealing with such a lifestyle change. Yet non of it matters right now. Our focus is on mom. My wife calls them both mom and dad because she is as loved as possible by them both. My wife lost her dad to Super Progressive Nuclear Pulsy and it was and still is very hard on her.
He was too young. I never got a chance to meet and thank the great man who raised such a beautiful kind woman. When other women ran away when I got sick like a coward. My wife ran to me. She is now doing the same for mom.

My wife and I presently have become instant caregivers to dad, from making him meals to helping him get dressed to laundry....anything dad needs. We have had to condense their apt from selling/keeping/packing a 2 bedroom condo to trying to make it fit in our house. While having our basement renovated for dad to live in.( finding a renovator itself was a major chore). Add making arrangements for when she passes was the hardest thing we all have had to do. I do not wish this on anyone yet everyone at some point in their life will loose their mom. I know dad will take it the hardest because at 52 years of marriage they are still best of friends. When dad was in the hospital for 12 days, I would wheel him up in the wheel chair from one floor to moms floor. Dad was in hospital for 12 days for his health but on a different floor. It helped us because we could take his wheel chair and IV pole to see mom. Seem them both lien over the bed and kiss upon arrival and leaving was sad and sweet at the same time.

Mom had 5 radiation treatments to the brain. To slow down the progression, take swelling off the brain from the fluid causing bad headaches. When I found both my parents mom had been in bed for 5 days straight sleeping non stop only getting up to use washroom. She had feel the week before and refused an ambulance. Dad who solely relies on mom to eat, drink etc was dying of starvation. My dad was so weak in the wait for the ambulance I got 3 broken words out of him. It took 4 days for dad toe even know what was going on. Within a couple days and some medication mom was able to stay awake and feel less pain. She is now on hydro morphine. Mom has been there 4 weeks now. And life for everyone has changed. We know time is coming soon to an end and I been praying for mom. I been praying she is no longer in pain. And when she does go that Christ welcomes her and that Buster my dog is waiting for her tail wagging.

I can not stress enough how much care she has received. The PSW she has a lot id a dear friend of hers and former co worker. Which helps dramatically. The care the team has given her is impeccable. As mom is deteriorating fast and no longer able to walk, go to washroom etc they have stepped in and helped amazingly. The oncology department at the Cancer Clinic was so kind and caring and just so loving. When mom started her treatment I immediately shaved my head for mom as she would loose her hair and she has. I wanted mom to feel as normal as possible. Ironically the neurosurgery team (despite being inoperable) is the same team and surgeon I had. And mom is in the exact same room I was in for my brain surgery. At present we are waiting for a bed to open up in palliative care.Not hospitals fault.

As chaotic as my wife,dad and my selves life has been the past month, we only wanted moms month to be as comfortable, loving and caring as possible. The lack of sleep we all have, the headaches I been getting hammered with almost daily, stress, drive-through food and insane $75 a month parking is nothing compared to what mom is dealing with. All of that doesn't matter but mom. We have had no help from no one but ourselves. Mom has had only a couple visitors at her request only. People that have been in her life before this and requested non that have not to visit and that is her wishes which I adhere too.

As each minute passes my only wish is that mom is ok. She is proud of us and we accept this. We love mom so much as anyone reading this loves their moms. She sacrificed so much for us and the result of me,my wife and dad are there for this time for her. My son has been visiting. And he has lost one grandparent already. There is no  turning back time. There is no I should have when you really should have in life. Some things you can not change or take back. Once its done its done. Once she is gone you can not change things. Having almost died myself 3x I know first hand how life can change in a second. How precious life is and how important people can and can not be. When I think of mom I smile. She has the biggest heart and compassion and I 110% get my sappy heart from mom. And can cry on  dime but that's not a bad thing either. When mom enters eternity through Christ I will see her again. I ask that Elvis sing to mom for me until I see her. Take care of my Buster. Send me a sign. I love you mom with all my heart. I am at peace with you leaving. I will miss you forever. And I am grateful to call you mom. We love you beyond any measure of words.

1 comment:

  1. Thank you for sharing this Tom, it made me weep. I know how painful it is to lose a parent so I totally empathise with you. Your dear mother has had very tough times during her life but she did a helluva good job with you Tom and you must have brought much joy to her. Soon she'll be reaping her rewards and be in blessed peace. Prayers and love from Dorothy