At about 10:40 p.m. PST last night, my mother passed away. She was 77 years old. Diagnosed with terminal melanoma last February, she had a relatively easy time of it throughout most of the year. She had been able to take (and thoroughly enjoy) a two-week trip to Europe with my father and her sister in September, and flew out to South Carolina for Thanksgiving with my brother and his family.
It was during the Thanksgiving trip that the cancer asserted itself, necessitating a trip to the ER. She was stable and pretty comfortable for the flight back home to California, and on December 6 she was enrolled for home care in hospice. The real pain started about a week later, and was handled reasonably well with primarily meds by mouth until last Thursday, when it was decided to put her on a morphine drip (subq). Last Friday was the last time she took anything by mouth, and on Sunday, the family was given the okay by her doctor to stop turning her, as that was causing her more pain than bedsores.
She passed away forty-five years to the day from the day we moved into the house in Torrance (my family has evidently always been willing to go the extra mile to add stress to Christmas).
Married at the end of summer in 1952, she gave birth to twelve children over the course of the next twenty years. One of my baby brothers was born prematurely, and died on Thanksgiving Day 1960, and another was a victim of SIDS in the spring of 1963. The rest of us are all grown and reasonably healthy, although scattered to the four winds. Pretty much everybody will be back for the funeral, though.
My family and I spent the night in the old home place, and will be heading home in a few minutes to get the dog fed, and some grocery shopping done. I’ve been assigned to cook the Christmas dinner, and have spent the past couple of hours re-familiarizing myself with the kitchen (I don’t even know how many times it’s been remodeled since I last lived here).
Merry Christmas to everybody on the SDMB, and please join me in being glad that her ordeal is at an end.
We’re not sure how Dad is going to make it through this, though, and I anticipate that my support will be needed on an ever-increasing basis. So any positive thoughts you wish to hold for us will be greatly appreciated.