The Beginning of the End

It was all there in her eyes.  The look that described how much she didn’t want to let go of me.  She held my hand gently, only by my frail fingers.  She kissed me goodbye on each cheek.  But I felt she could not walk away.

The sadness and pain in her eyes on that warm, sunny, June day when my mother would finally return to her normal life – if that were possible – was tormenting me.  It was time, even though neither of us wanted it to end.

She had moved in with me and my family shortly before my chemo and radiation therapies began.  My chemo oncologist told me I would be ill, so I asked my mother to take care of my one-and-a-half-year-old daughter.  I had already had a total gastrectomy (the removal of the entire stomach) along with the removal of about one third of my esophagus.

Starting at 135 pounds, I had lost twenty to thirty pounds by the time I began my chemotherapy two months later.  It was a bonus if I was able to eat anything orally.  Hunger was unrecognizable with my new anatomy.  I was constantly nauseated, and was forced to keep a bucket by my side day and night.  The annoying and troublesome tube that hung from my intestine and out my belly got fed daily with 1200 calories of a dull cream-coloured liquid for nine months to help maintain my weight.

…I hope you all had a wonderful Holiday Season and wish the New Year brings you health, joy, and fulfillment.  Keep reading!

Be well!

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