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Cancer Sucks

It really does.

On November 11, Torrance’s mom, at age 48, lost her battle with breast cancer.

Deb10 Even though she had been battling metastatic breast cancer for the last year; and even though we knew the cancer was getting more aggressive, it still seemed like it happened so fast.

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Deb(Torrance and his mom last summer)

We had plans to go down there (FL) for Thanksgiving – all of us – me Torrance, his aunt and uncle (her brother) and nephew that live here in NC – but on Thursday the 8th, I got a call from one of her friends that she had been taken to the hospital for some breathing issues, but it wasnt portrayed as anything “too serious” and I actually texted her throughout Thursday while she was at the hospital, about typical things.

Torrance and his uncle decided to go down there the next day just to be with her because I’m sure she was scared. I decided not to go, just because we figured it would be a weekend trip for them and then we would see her in 2 weeks for Thanksgiving.

I texted her (one last time) Friday morning that I was sorry I wasnt coming down with the guys but to hang in there and they would be by her side soon!

Now, I’m not sure what the doctor’s told her (because she never wanted to tell us what the doctors told her if it was something bad – she never wanted us to be afraid for her) but her last text to me was that she was really scared and that the cancer was “all through her” (her brain, her liver, stomach, etc).

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Deb1 (Her and grandma – her mom – earlier this year)

When the guys arrived Friday morning they stayed with her all day and they said even though she was scared, she was stable and was able to laugh and joke with them and the focus was basically for them (the hospital) to get her breathing under control.

On Saturday, I guess things deteriorated quickly and she had immense pain and was struggling greatly and her breathing was very labored – and things just started getting more difficult. I know it was really hard for the guys to watch.

Saturday evening, Torrance asked me if I could fly down, – so I booked the next flight out, which unfortunately wasnt until early Sunday morning.

I didnt sleep at all Saturday night, just worried… I got a text from Torrance late Saturday that they were taking her to ICU and had to put her on a ventilator and that it could be the last time they saw her awake.

I proceeded to the airport and had one short layover on my way down. On my short layover at 8am Sunday morning, I got the call from Torrance that his mom had passed away.

I dont know if you have ever seen someone in the airport that is a complete mess doing a full on ugly-face-cry, but if you ever do – assume that they just got really bad news – because that was me.

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deb9 (Torrance, his mom, and his uncle in the rain in Daytona earlier this year)

The next few days were a whirlwind. We spent them making arrangements and such in Tampa. And just taking a break to reflect on what happened.

I am thankful for a couple things – 1) that the guys went down there Friday morning 2) that they had one really good day with her (Friday) while they were there, and 3) that she didnt have to suffer too long in the hospital.

And again, like I said before, I am still glad that we are in NC  and were able to spend so much time with her over the last year, and that at least a “quick flight” down was possible…which definitely wouldnt have been the case if we were still in Alaska.

It is so hard dealing with a family member that you are so close to when you are so far away (geographically). We keep looking back, like “oh if we would have been there more” or “…could have helped with this,” or “done this…” but in the end, there isnt much extra we could have done to help – and there is no reason to go back on the shoulda-coulda type thoughts, because in reality- cancer just sucks.

Even after talking with her Oncologist at the cancer center, he said it was one of the most aggressive cases of breast cancer he had seen in his 20 year career.

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Her and I had a special relationship, over the last 9 years, even though she lived in Florida, we just became really close like good friends. we just became really close like good friends – we talked about almost everything.

She was just one of those people that was friends with everyone and was always someone who could do anything she wanted and feared nothing (seriously, Torrance said when he was 12, a group of guys in the ghetto in Tampa stole his bike and and when he went home and told his mom, she jumped in her car and drove to the area and found it sitting at their house and went into their back yard and took it back, haha).

She just loved being around people, traveling, and having a good time and I loved that about her. And whenever she visited (or if we went and visited), her and I would always stay up late and share a bottle of wine.

Us (The three of us in Belize in 2010)

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Anyway, I shared the details of this with you, just as a reminder to cherish your time with your loved ones – especially this time of year.

We actually spent Thanksgiving Day and Thanksgiving weekend cleaning out her apartment and going through her belongings. We found some special things, that we felt she left in specific places for us to find, including some poems, notes, and letters. It was tough…but I think it is all part of the healing process.

Her service will be next weekend, and I know that is going to be hard, but we are all getting through it together!

Losing someone you are so close to is hard, no matter how you slice it – but it is weird that in a bad situation, we are able to find at least a little bit of peace in knowing that she is in a better place and not suffering anymore.

Rest in peace Deb ♥

pink-ribbon

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11 Comments Post a comment
  1. Connie #

    I am so sorry for your loss! Its hard to lose a loved one. Ben (husband) lost his Dad very suddenly last year and I didn’t get to be there because he had to fly last minute from AK to VT and it was just too much for both of us to go. Fortunately he had four siblings there to support each other and that makes all the difference! I agree, we have to charish every minute we have with those we love – friends and family alike – because when the end comes, it never seems like it was enough. 😦 Thoughts and Prayers are with you guys!!

    November 30, 2012
  2. I’m so sorry to hear about your mother in law. I almost lost my dad in March from cancer. We’re incredibly lucky he’s still here. It was a horrible experience. I can’t imagine what it would have been like if things had turned out differently.

    November 30, 2012
  3. my thoughts are with you. Thank you for sharing your story. She sounds like a wonderful lady. I’m glad you got to spend the time you did with her. Hugs.

    November 30, 2012
  4. I’m so sorry to hear of your loss. You are in my prayers during this difficult time. I’m fortunate to not have lost anyone very close to me, yet. I can’t imagine just how hard it is. Big hugs to you!

    December 1, 2012
  5. Rachel #

    Im so sorry, andrea. I cant imagine what u all are going thru. I will be praying for all of you. God bless

    December 1, 2012
  6. I’m so sorry to hear about you & your husband’s loss. :/ My thought and prayers are with your family. I loved the bike story. She sounds amazing.

    December 3, 2012
  7. OH honey, I am so, so very sorry. I’ve never dealt with cancer, but grieving is hard and it sucks. My Dad was killed in a car accident 2 years ago, just minutes after I talked to him. If you ever just want to talk or cry, let it out, it helps. My thoughts and prayers are with you. xoxo

    December 3, 2012
  8. Molly #

    I am so so sorry for your loss. I cannot even imagine what you are going through. It sounds like she was a remarkable woman. Thinking of you and your family ❤

    December 4, 2012
  9. Oh, Andrea, I am so very sorry. Cancer does suck – no doubt about it. I will be praying for you, Torrance, and the rest of your family. I am so glad that you made many wonderful memories with your mother-in-law so that you can always treasure them. Much love, girl!

    December 4, 2012
  10. Kayla Borba #

    Im sooo sorry to hear about both of your loss, this broke my heart. My mom just lost her really good friend this past sunday from an agressive form of cancer and we just keep saying that cancer sucks, and how life is truly not fair sometimes. So sad, thoughts and prayers to all the family! xoxo

    December 4, 2012
  11. Andrea, I am sorry that I’m just now responding. But I really wanted to take the time to read this post slowly and be able to respond appropriately. But I still don’t know what to say. I am so incredibly sorry for your loss, Torrance’s loss, and his family’s loss. She was such a beautiful woman … I love the pictures that you shared. You all are in my prayers today.

    December 9, 2012

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