My mom died

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Hey y’all. It’s been a really long, long time. So, the title sums it up. She is gone. My mom passed away. I have written and re-written this blog post 100 times, struggling with what to say and how much to share. I decided to just speak my truth and speak from my heart.

For those of you that have been following me for some time, you know that my mom had cancer. She was diagnosed with uterine cancer in 2013. It spread to her lungs in 2014. She fought long and hard to live and by 2015, she was in remission, or so we thought.

Last Christmas, my mom came to visit me for the holidays. Her plan was to stay for just one month and return to her home in NYC in late January. Since she was only supposed to stay for a short while, I immediately starting the holiday fun. We went to plays, the movies, ballet shows, dinner, church, every where that I knew she would enjoy. She was full of joy and so energetic. I also got engaged within the first week of her visit. She was actually in the house with me when my fiance proposed. We hugged, jumped for joy, and we both cried. She was very happy.

Two weeks into her visit, right before bed, she had a mild seizure and my fiancé and I rushed her to the hospital. We received horrific news. She had a seizure because THE. CANCER. SPREAD. TO. HER. BRAIN. You read that right.  I almost lost my footing in the hospital. I screamed, cried and told the doctors they had made a terrible mistake. I asked them to run more tests. Well, they did and again, the diagnosis was the same. Cancer to the brain. Multiple lesions (spots) to be exact. My world slowed down and I was in complete disbelief. I told my mom that I didn’t want her to go back to NYC, instead I wanted her to stay with me long-term so that I could be with her and take care of her. She agreed and our lives changed instantly. Mom left her life behind in NY and my home was her new home.

The doctors told us that all they could do to try to stop the growth of the cancer was aggressive radiation to the brain for 10 days. That was it. Because of the number of spots on the brain, they could not do surgery to remove the spots. There were just too many of them. Also, Chemo therapy would not help because Chemo cannot penetrate the brain due to a protective shield. Have you ever heard of that? I sure didn’t.

After radiation was complete, she was given medication to try to help prevent further seizures. The medication helped for a very short while. Within weeks, mom had more seizures, was hospitalized a few times, became weaker, confused and was no longer the mom I had known all of my life.  She was slow in her movement and processing skills, childlike, quiet, helpless and her overall health declined. I loved on her as hard as I could. I prepared all of her meals, made sure she ate, gave her her medicine around the clock, took her back and forth to the bathroom throughout the day and helped with everything she needed. She just couldn’t manage her own life anymore. It was traumatic to witness this decline in her health. It all happened so fast. It hurt like hell because no matter how comfortable I had made her for the day, she still had brain cancer and I could not change that. I could not help her, or save her.

She was getting weaker and weaker by the day, eating less, moving less, talking less and comprehending less. The decline was rapid. I was terrified because I witnessed this on a daily basis and there was nothing that I could do to help her. I was in denial of how bad things were getting. I kept thinking, hoping, praying that she would get better and fully recover, just like she did the last time the cancer spread. But aggressive cancer to the brain is very different. On one of our hospital visits, several doctors pulled me aside and told me that my mom did not have long to live. They predicted that she would not live longer than 4-6 months, if that. I didn’t believe them, but they were right, she didn’t have long at all.

Despite my constant prayers for healing, despite my mom reading her bible everyday and saying her own prayers for healing, she became more ill. The confusion and helplessness was a constant and she started to experience terrible back pain and headaches. One night, she had what I thought was just another seizure, but it was her last seizure. Just like with the other seizures, the ambulance came, took her to the hospital for treatment, but this time she didn’t wake up. She never woke up. She was completely unresponsive.

I wanted her to come back home with me like she always did, but the doctors sat me down and told me that was not possible this time. The very next day, she was taken from the hospital  to a hospice facility near my home. I still thought she would wake up, get better and come home with me. But she did not. For 9 long days, she laid in the hospice bed, completely unresponsive with no food and water.

Her organs began shutting down and each day was worse than the previous day. She experienced kidney failure, her heart started to beat slower and slower, her skin became bruised in certain areas due to poor blood circulation, her ability to take in oxygen decreased and she just laid there day after day, dying slowly. I was so numb during those 9 days. I was by her side each day, still hoping for a miracle, crying, praying and in complete disbelief. The hospice nurse told me that I needed to say goodbye to her and tell her to let go…. I was thinking, heck no! I’m not saying goodbye to my mother! But I eventually did because I knew the end was near. My son, fiancé and I all took turns talking to her privately and telling her how much we cared for her. It was the most awful experience I have ever had to endure.

A few more days went by and 3 days before my birthday, she took her last breath at 3am, Saturday May 20th, 2017.

I have been riddled with pain and sorrow. My precious mother, who was so gentle and kind is no longer here with me. She was the first person I ever loved, deeply and truly. I no longer have a mother in the flesh. No more birthdays to celebrate with her. No more mother’s days with her. No more talking to her on the phone every single night. No more listening to her stories about what she did and ate for the day. No more. All I have now are pictures and memories. I miss her. I miss her voice and her smile.

Cancer is scary and brutal. My mom fought to survive uterine cancer, and when it spread to the lungs, she did the same. But the cancer on the brain was different, violent, swift and wicked.

I took care of her for 5 months and I cherish all of the moments she was with me. The sound of her voice as she laughed while watching her favorite shows, her playing with my dog, talking with my fiancé about sports, being overjoyed to speak with my son when he got home from school, talking to me about all the celebrity gossip she heard on Wendy Williams and TMZ- those were the last and fondest memories before she passed. Oh, I am going to counseling, and it has helped.

This will be my very first holiday ever in life without my mom. We have spent them all together. She was with me last Christmas, right in my living room, opening gifts. This Christmas, she is no longer here.

I encourage you all to take a hard long look at your lives. At any moment, things can change. Try to live your best life NOW, right now. Be good to yourself and love those around you. Each day that we are here and able to wake up, get out of bed disease free is an absolute blessing. I know it will be a long road ahead of healing and dealing with this heavy loss, but I have no other choice but to try to live and continue to make my mom proud.

Before my mom passed, she told me she admired me because I was brave. Me, the girl who is anxious, sometimes insecure and often afraid, my mom saw me as a brave soul. Hearing that really igniting something in me. It made me want to live the rest of my life that way- being brave, continuing to take risks, and pushing through the hard times. I will continue to make my mom proud. She made me the woman that I am today and I am forever grateful that God chose her to be my mom.

Miss Jenn as she was affectionately called- you will be eternally loved and missed. Rest in peace my love. .

With love,

Nicky

23 thoughts on “My mom died

  1. Love you Nicky…..so beautiful You are a great daughter and it’s evident in e everyway.  My mom is now living with me

    ⁣Sent from Blue ​

  2. My heart goes out to you in more ways than one. Losing your mom is devastating, I know. I pray God strengthens and comforts you the rest of your days. Your advice to live each day that we have diseased free to the fullest and love on our loved ones is spot on. My own husband is living with a terminal illness— pulmonary fibrosis. He has it for 2 years and beginning to decline. He keeps telling me it’s getting worse but I want to focus on our life together while he’s here and not give too much thought to what’s ahead of us. It’s not easy facing a illness with a loved one but we do our best to make their remaining time here as comfortable and joyful as possible. You will definitely be in my prayers.

    1. Hi! Wow. It’s been so long since we’ve messaged each other. Thank you for your prayers. Oh my, I’m sorry to hear about your husband! That must be so hard. I agree, focus on each good day that you have with him. I extend heartfelt prayers to you as well. We are all a diagnosis away from a different life. I will read up on his condition. I hope he is not in any pain ☹️.

      1. I was glad to see a new post from you, aside from the sad content. My husband is not in such physical pain but struggling to breath might be worse. He’s pretty scared, frustrated, and angry that he is dealing with this. He’s only 51 years old. Not how he expected to be living still so relatively young.

  3. Hello Nikki! I have missed you! When I saw my notification of your post, joy hit my spirit. I could not wait to see where you’ve been and what was new with you that you were sharing. Well, I read the title of your post and I read it again. My mind went blank for a few seconds. Then I began reading the what, where, when, why, how, I never thought this was what was happening. I’m really sorry in my heart. I felt really sad as I kept reading. Tears welled in my eyes. Then, I thought about the details a bit further. Your beautiful Mother spent the last months of her final days with the one person she loves and needed the most. God brought her there to your door steps to share those precious hours final hours with you. And you took precious loving care of her. Just as God assigned for you to do. This is a beautiful love story, one that will always be remembered by those who read this. Especially by me. Thank you for sharing this beautiful and amazing memory with me. I pray for the Lord to strengthen you. To mend your broken heart. To comfort you in every way possible by His loving arms. May the good thought and memories of your beautiful Mom always bring a smile to your face, joy and laughter to your heart. I’m praying for healing for you. I know that God is pleased with you. 🙏📖✝👑💖💖💖

    1. Hi Jeanie! It’s nice to see that you’re still in the digital space! I have not blogged in so long. I miss writing and I’m looking forward to blogging again. My mom loved my blog. Thank you for such a thoughtful message. 2017 has been one of the most difficult years ever. I have been through painful things, but this takes the cake. At first I thought the post was too graphic but I wanted to really tell the story as I experienced it. Yes, our last 5 months together was so precious, despite what was happening. I was with her every moment of the day. I worked from home, and it was such a huge blessing because I hardly left her side. I like the way you described it- a beautiful love story. I never thought of it like that. Thank you for your prayers for healing. Long road ahead, and I’m taking it slowly, day by day ❤.

  4. Your mom was right…you are brave! Sounds like she was an amazing woman. I pray that the Lord draws you and your family closer to Him than ever during this time, in the Mighty, Matchless Name of Jesus!

  5. I’m so sorry to hear about your loss. Losing someone close to us is always devastating and based on your story, your mother seems to be a really good woman and I am sure she is now happy with her saviour. I pray healing for you and the rest of your family. Thank you for reminding us how precious life is.

    1. Hi Arlene. Thank you for your thoughtful message. She was a really good woman. Thank you for your prayers also. It’s been hard, but I know this is a process. Happy holidays to you and family.

  6. A beautiful story. Yes JB will be missed forever, such a wonderful & gentle soul. So blessed to have known her all of these years and most of all to have shared the last year with you both. Thanks for sharing your story. Today I am also learning to “ be brave”… thanks #mommacreole ❤️

  7. You are brave, strong and admired by many. Aunt Jen’s light shines in and through you. I know you will use her spirit to propel you forward.

    Love you, cousin.

  8. I’m so choked up reading this as I was when you first told me. You ARE such a brave woman & I applaud you for speaking from your heart about what I know is a terribly heartbreaking tragedy for you. Your mom knows you were there with her until the very end & she is no doubt watching over you & your family now & beaming with pride. I pray that you can find some kind of peace in your healing process though I know there’s not much if anything that can take the pain away.
    I wish I could offer some comfort however small or brief to take your pain away but know that I love you my dear friend & will always be here for you if you ever want or need for anything. Xoxo

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