This past week has been a tough one for me, emotionally. Next week will make 1 month since my son passed and I’ve been doing everything imaginable to keep myself busy. The moments leading up to his death still find a way of creeping into my head but I realized that I have to learn how to live with those thoughts. The sad thing is he didn’t accept his fate & pass peacefully in his sleep like in the movies. The truth is he was in denial about his illness. The moment the doctor told him there was nothing more they could do except make him comfortable, he begged for his life. He pleaded with the doctor to do something, anything to help him. He fought hard till he took his last breath. That’s something that will haunt me forever.
My husband & I were the only ones that physically cared for him day in and day out for the past year while he was ill. We took him to his bi-weekly chemo appointments and to the hospital in-between those appointments. The nurses taught us how to change his feeding bags that were attached to his body when his body weight was dangerously low. The nurses taught us how to drain his catheters when they were attached to his lungs so he wouldn’t drown in his own fluid. My husband & I had to alternate giving him blood thinner shots because he was in danger of getting blood clots in his lungs. Not to mention the countless times he refused to take his other meds because they tasted terrible & I would plea with him to take it just to find the pills sitting there in the morning. I bargained with my son on a daily basis to take his meds, eat, exercise, rest and do all the things the doctor recommended that would help his treatment work better.
My son was stubborn and if he didn’t want to do something he wouldn’t do it. At one point over the summer, when his treatment was going really well, he refused additional treatment. The oncologist warned him that if he didn’t continue chemo the Cancer would come back with a vengeance. His famous last words “I’ll take my chances”. Oh my naïve son, how foolish you were. Six weeks later he was hospitalized for a month because the Cancer did come back and spread. He learned his lesson and accepted chemo at that point but he was never the same again.
Now, not only do we have to deal with my son’s death but we have to deal with my parents blaming us for not doing enough to help him. Can you imagine that? Not to mention no one volunteered to help us and we also had to care for 2 younger kids (one who is disabled). It’s been an incredibly tough year and we’re still reeling from the blame being placed at our feet for his death. My family also wanted, what I coined as a “Kardashian Funeral” and as a grieving & traumatized mother I wanted a private service. Well I got criticized for that as well. My family wanted to please my son’s social media “friends”. The very friends who threatened to crash the hospital when they found out where he was when he sent his last tweet. But the irony is no one once stopped to ask me how I felt or what I wanted.
The smoke has cleared & now I can see how selfish all these non-involved individuals have been. All these people who were trying to call the shots and go over my head only made cameo appearances in his life when it was convenient for them. Not one time in this past year have they ever called to say “Do you need a break?” “I’ll take him to his next appointment” The only two people that were EVER there for my son when it counted were my husband & I. Yes the other people loved him but they were non-factors in his medical care.
Sometimes you need time alone to reflect and listen quietly for answers. They say to forget what hurt you but never forget what it taught you. Well my eyes have been peeled wide open.