Selfless vs. Selfish
Not sure how to start. I’ve been bombarded with so much over the last couple of months that I feel like I’m spiraling down into a pit full of monsters that are trying to suck every last bit of hope and optimism out of me. I try to ignore the sad, melancholy doldrums I find myself in more often than I have in a long time. But the more I try to ignore it, the harder it is to do what I need to do. I find myself procrastinating more than I have in my entire life and ignoring things and people I shouldn’t. I’m filling my day with stupid mind numbing games or web surfing, anything to avoid the pain that accompanies my reality.
My mom is dying. There. I said it. And I don’t mean dying as in, everyone does sometime, but as in the ruthless monster that is cancer is killing my mom. She’s fought SO hard over the last few years, but it’s finally beaten her. The fact that she had colon cancer was bad enough. We later found out she had an extremely aggressive mutated form of it. It spread through out her entire abdomen, her liver and her lungs. The last round of chemo she was on wasn’t curing her, or even killing the cancer, it was at best, just keeping it managed, and it wasn’t spreading. My personal life was coming together, my daughter was about to graduate high school and my youngest was embarking on her first trip away from home, down to Key West. Be careful thinking that everything is ever as good as you think it can be. A month and a half ago I received a phone call from my dad, telling me that her bowel had ruptured and I needed to get there as soon as I could. I did just that but wasn’t there before she had to go into surgery. They just couldn’t wait. That was the most agonizing 5½ hour drive, the not knowing. My struggled begins there, is it selfless or selfish that I wish she had passed away then.
That feels so wrong to say out loud, or at least write down. I love my mom SO much and I’ve watched her pain and anger at the filthy disease called cancer. She has been fighting so hard, how can I just sit back and wish that? I hate myself for feeling that, but I do. I will NEVER be able to get the vision of her out of my head when I finally made it to the hospital. Death was standing in her room that night. I couldn’t see him, but I felt him. I wish he had taken her that night. She is a shell of a human now. There will never be any quality of life. My mom is at home now, with hospice care. I went up a few weeks ago to help my dad and brother out in taking care of her. She is so frail and weak, dependent on everyone else to care for her. She can’t eat and can barely drink water. My mom who taught me to be a strong, independent woman is not that at all anymore.
There are glimpses of her now and again, when she’s not sleeping. Her mind is there, but her body is failing her. The week I spent up caring for her was the hardest thing I have ever been through and believe me, that’s saying a lot. I stayed strong for her and my dad. I stood my ground with my brother who I feel will ALWAYS see me as a little kid. I cleaned up poo and vomit, dispensed medicine, changed sheets and dressing gowns, bathed and massaged. I scrubbed the house from one end to the other, dusted and vacuumed and swept and cleared out all the crap junk food my dad had been buying and stocked his fridge with healthy food, veggies, fruits and proteins. I was a good daughter, did my part.
I did my part… That’s where I feel even worse. Am I selfish for partially wanting to go? I feel an immense guilt for leaving all the while feeling a bit relieved. I’m angry that this monster has taken my mom from me. I’m angry that I can’t be there everyday to help out. I’m angry that I had to leave. I’m angry that I wanted to leave. I’m angry that she is still suffering. I’m angry that she confided in me that she wished my dad had slept just an hour longer and hadn’t found her in time. I’m angry that I agree with her. I could go on and on at what I’m angry about, another 4 or 5 pages I’m sure.
I want my mom back and she isn’t even gone yet. How the hell do I accept this? How do I let go? When does ANY of this start to make sense?