It really does.
On November 11, Torrance’s mom, at age 48, lost her battle with breast cancer.
(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).
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.
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.
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.
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 ♥