So my mom is on her death bed

Jeez, where to begin.

At the end of February my mom was hospitalized for general fatigue and for bruising that was developing on her arms and legs. Phlebitis and thrombosis that, the tests discovered, were symptoms of a much larger problem: liver cancer that originated in her gall bladder.

I’m the oldest of three children at 23. My bro is 21 and my sis is 17. We don’t associate with our father anymore. My mother fought tooth and nail against his deadbeat ass for the last 12 years to make sure that we always had a roof over our head, school loans for me, making the most out of modest Christmas’ and birthdays, and keeping food on the table, and spirits high.

The oncologist was hoping that chemo could keep the cancer under control, but it just made her worse. She was readmitted to the hospital three days ago because she was frail, and had the mentality of a 90 year old Alzheimer’s patient. We were hoping it was the morphine that she was on. Two days later and after an hour and a half meeting between me, my bro, my sis, the doctor and a nurse practitioner, our worst fears are realized.

The condition in her brain and in her body in general is because of liver failure. She is in her last days.

She raised us extremely well. Because of all the drama we’ve had growing up, we’ve always been extremely mature and level-headed for our age. My brother went to a two year tech school and is working three jobs (mainly because he finds himself bored, not for lack of money), and next month I start my career. I graduate from college this Saturday and already have a very nice job set up.

We have tons of family in the area. After one phone call, all three of her sisters are on their way, and don’t plan on leaving until…well, yeah.

The three of us are handling things…surprisingly well. We each took turns having our emotional moments with her after our meeting this afternoon. She knows what’s happening to her, and she understood what we were saying to her, but she was unable to cry. Mentally, physically, or maybe a little of both.

Our big hope was that she would be able to make it to my graduation on Saturday, but she won’t. This devastates me. The actual ceremony is infinitely more important to her than it is to me. I’ve always tended to be rather modest about my accomplishments. But I’ll be walking, because I know she would want me to.

We’ll be alright. When she was first diagnosed back in February, I wasn’t sure what made me more sad, the thought of losing her, or the fact that I knew we didn’t really need her anymore.

With my finances combined with my brother’s, we will easily be able to keep the house and keep my sister in her school with her friends for her senior year. That sense of normalcy is really the most important thing right now.

I feel terrible for my sister. Back when I was getting ready for my senior year of high school, an online friend of mine died, and I grieved for quite a while about it (only to find out three years later that the girl’s whole online persona was a hoax and she had faked her death). And now my sister is preparing to lose her mother. I couldn’t imagine going through this at her age.

Tomorrow or the day after they’ll be putting her in hospice, to bring us down the homestretch. And I’ve got so many people I still need to notify, so many things that still need to be done. Conflicted doesn’t begin to describe my mindset right now. I feel like I know exactly what I’m doing, while at the same time feeling like I haven’t the slightest clue. I feel like I have things under control while simultaneously feeling completely overwhelmed.

We just lost her mother AND her father over the last four years…and now this. My mother has always been a woman of considerable faith, and over the last decade things have fallen into place almost perfectly for my family to continually escape financial disaster. And today, as we talked to her, and cried, she sat there and asked “how did this happen?” Part of me feels like we’ve come all this way, and fought the good fight, and now we’re going to lose. But in my heart and in my mind I know that she did the best job she could, that she gave every ounce of her being to us and raised us right, and we’ll be okay.

I just…wasn’t ready to say goodbye to my mom this soon.

I love you mom. :frowning:

I’m sorry. Peace be with you.

My condolences to you and yours.


Oh, man. That’s awful. You have my deepest sympathies.

Take care of yourself, too.

What is her name? I feel like going out into my neighborhood and writing it on something.


I’m very sorry. Your mom must be very, very proud of all of you.


I am sorry to hear about your mother’s condition. Your post was a very moving tribute to her. I know she is proud of her children.

You will be in my thoughts.

Beautiful post, Soapbox.
My condolences.

I’m so sorry for your loss. Nobody should have to go through what you and your siblings are dealing with.

I’m so sorry to read this. It’s wonderful that you and your brother are able to provide for your sister. Your mother sounds like a remarkable woman. Good thoughts and prayers heading out for all of your family.


I’m so sorry. We’re here. Take care of each other, and let your aunts help. We’ll keep you and your brother and your sister in our prayers.

May whatever gods there be, be with you and your family - and you Mom - during this difficult time.

Sending supporting thoughts your way.

I am so very sorry.

But let me add that you are handling this extremely well - much better than many people twice your age could do.

You are doing everything you are supposed to be doing now, and it is 100% proof that your mother obviously did everything right. She has every reason to be very proud of you right now, and that is the best gift you can ever give a parent.

My best friend growing up was almost exactly your age when he went through what you are going through. It was a very difficult time - but he turned out to be the strongest, most amazing guy I know. He and his wife raised four great kids, and were just here to see their youngest married. And while he was here, we reminisced about his mother - she was truly a wonderful woman and we shared some great stories about her while his son and new wife listened.

I am so sorry you have to go through this and wish I could offer you more than just a few words on a thread.

So very sorry. Prayers for you all.

I’m very sorry to hear this.

This bears repeating.

Do make sure someone records your graduation and you show her the tape.


I can’t add much, but you and your family are are in my thoughts and prayers. 20 years ago, when I was your age, my mother passed away (breast cancer). It is really difficult, and the sense of loss will be with you for a long time. You’ve just got to hold on to all the good memories, and grab as many now while you can.


I’m very sorry. My father died at the start of my last year of college, and I felt adrift for quite a while. Thank you for sharing about her, and maybe we can help carry something about her forward in this world.

Soapbox, my heart hurts for you and your brother and sister.

I know you are being strong for your family, but do make sure you look after yourself. Let your extended family help you. Congratulations on graduating, and landing an excellent job. Know we as a community are here for you.

Take care of yourself.