For me every day is mother’s day…. Reason? I just lost my beloved mother and I can’t begin to explain and enumerate the ways and instances in which I remember her.Credit: http://www.flickr.com/photos/laurenmanning/
To give the reader some background, I lost my mom to a long standing battle of brain tumor. In GBM (Glioblastoma Multiforme) terms, 20 months is eternity. When diagnosed with this deadly tumor (in its 4th stage to top it all), most patients can’t expect to live beyond 6 months without treatment and 12-13 months with treatment (standard treatment comprises surgery followed by chemotherapy and radiotherapy). She fought and fought and survived beyond what most doctors predicted or what we’d expected.
Remembered by one and all as a jovial, hearty and helpful lady, my mother fought every day of this disease as if she could surmount it. Her spirit has always been a source of inspiration for us.
Our Introduction To a Bitch
Malignant brain tumor is one of the deadliest disease you could have - it spells certain death in the near foreseeable future. Mom, who was a hearty and active person suddenly turned into a confused, baffled and often irritating person. She knew of the diagnosis but did not understand its implications since we’d never known anybody with that condition. She believed that with determination and the correct treatment she could defeat this monster of a disease. We did not want her to believe otherwise.
She forgot stuff, so she wrote down everything she essentially needed to remember, like the names of people around us and she’d “revise” it every morning like a student appearing for the exams. Realizing that this wasn’t working for her, she’d get extremely frustrated and question us about why it was that she was unable to remember stuff. It was heartbreaking and utterly frustrating for us.
Buying Maximum Time
It started with the typical symptoms of brain tumor - headaches and forgetfulness. After a month’s wild goose chase we ended up at a neurophysician who asked for the routine tests – CT scans, MRI .. the works. It was soon pretty evident that the diagnosis as well as the prognosis was not something anybody would have liked to hear. Then began the visits to doctors, meeting the best doctors in town and evaluating where it would be best to start treatment. Nobody would say that out loud but all we were aiming at was buying maximum time.
The Circus Begins..
A series of never ending ifs and buts and whens … it is debatable how much good the treatment did to her. The doctors claim that the standard treatment of radiotherapy followed by chemotherapy (after the resection and biopsy) would not only increase the cancer patient’s life span, but will also improve the quality of life. Whether it did any good or not, we can’t say .. apparently it did since the splitting headaches of the initial days almost disappeared and that she looked less “lost”. The radiotherapy made her weak and nauseous and she lost her beautiful long, curly and may I add dark black hair (black even at the age of 58). The cosmetic side effects of the treatment – the scarring on the side of her head and then a soft protruding mass at the location where the skull had been cut open and then the subsequent hair loss (caused by radio) made her less enthusiastic to appear amongst public and rather self conscious when she had company. Days progressed and her continuous harping on things and insistence on doing stuff she couldn’t manage made me and my father irritable. We knew she was sick but really we are humans… and might I add that my dad is probably the most loving, caring and patient husband in the whole wide world.
Nearing the end
Approximately a year into the disease and my mom was becoming rather weak - physically. One day she stood up and couldn’t hold herself up, so she sat down again on the bed and lay down. That was the last time she walked by herself. Then there was gradual but sure decline which progressed into her becoming completely bed ridden 4-5 months hence. Then began the usual problems of bed ridden people – difficulties in feeding, bathing and passing stools … and then the inevitable bed sores. Mom fought with all these and so did we .. until on 20th of March, 2012 my beloved mother ceased to be.
I still don’t feel like she’s gone. Sometimes I just feel she’s going to emerge from her room all of a sudden but then she doesn’t and the house feels haunted. The silence is deafening and her presence sorely missed in every single activity of the day. I can’t even say that I understand my dad’s pain – I can only understand mine …. I can’t even begin to fathom what he must be going through.
What’s In a Day?
Now that mom is no longer here, I curse every day I could have spent with her when I didn’t and every moment that I could have passed talking to her when I was in fact glued to my computer. I regret the days when I shouted at her and I lament the moments I could have spent with her cooking in the kitchen when I chose to just sleep it off.
All the readers who have their mothers with them in this world should hold them tight and thank them every day for being alive and for just being there. Mothers are the most precious gift from God. When the world judges you, mothers just love you. They don’t care whether you won or you lost or whether you were right or wrong. They just love – unconditionally. That is mothers are – unconditional , pure love.
They celebrate Mother’s Day on a particular day of May. But how can we bottle up a lifetime’s love and caring and giving and sharing, and thank the person for almost all that we have and all that we are, in a single day? For all of us who love our mothers, every day is Mother’s Day.