I truly admire those bloggers that are able to write a post daily or even weekly. These days I seem to lack ideas for new content, as well as the energy and time to write/edit/cultivate media/edit some more and then post. I had a while where I was posting regular content. And then back in the fall of 2018, things in my life took a turn when both of my parents became ill.
“When great leaves fall, the winter is at hand.” ~ William ShakespeareTweet
If you’ve been reading my blog for awhile now, you may recall that my father developed stage IV cancer back in 2018, and then my mother had a stroke. I began making monthly trips from Texas to Oregon, to spend time with my parents. My father passed in June of 2019, but I still continued to visit my mother regularly. That is until the Spring of 2020, when we entered a worldwide pandemic.
And then it all started to fall apart
In January, 2020, while visiting Oregon, my family made the decision that I would move my mother to Texas to be near me. However, with travel restrictions and building delays, I wasn’t able to make the trip to move her until November, 2020. Having my mom close meant I was able to visit her nearly every day. And so my time was spent visiting and helping care for my mom. That is, until last month.
My mother passed away in October, after a very brief illness with Acute Myeloid Leukemia (AML). I am still in shock. She had been having back pain for a few weeks that wasn’t improving with rest and medication. An X-ray revealed she had a compression fracture in her L2 lumbar vertebrae. She was admitted to the hospital when her BP dropped and she became lethargic. Within days I was told she was anemic, had AML, and that she should enter hospice care. And within a week, she was gone.
“There are some who bring a light so great to the world that even after they’ve gone the light remains.”Tweet
I had a house full of family. I had to make phone calls and arrangements, and once everyone left, I had to unload her apartment (with my husband’s help).
I couldn’t sleep and felt like I had been drinking coffee all day. I was running on adrenaline for a few weeks, and I just couldn’t stop shaking. The shock was taking its toll.
And then once things settled down and I had time to hit pause, the crash and flare arrived. Ugh. Total all-over body pain and extreme fatigue. Oh how I hate fibro.
I have recovered from the worst of the flare, but am still exhausted and in shock and still dealing with the aftermath. And I have a profound sadness and hole in my life that comes with losing your mother that I just cannot shake.
Thank goodness for my husband, and for a good friend who texted me every day for weeks to make sure I was OK.
Thank goodness for epsom salt baths and lavender to help me relax enough to sleep a few hours each night.
Thank goodness I had those 11 months with my mother where I got to spend nearly every day with her and laugh and reminisce and paint her nails and tell her how much I loved her. My mother loved to laugh and to smile. And her smile could light up a room. That’s one of the things she is most remembered for.
Note: In the picture above, my mother had recently finished several months of chemotherapy and radiation for breast cancer. However, she still managed to go on a family reunion cruise with everyone and smiled and toured like a trooper! She honestly was one of the strongest women I’ve known. ❤ It’s that breast cancer treatment that put her at risk for AML. So I’m grateful she was a 7 year breast cancer survivor and we had that time with her.
“Count your blessings, not your troubles.” ~Hendrik de VriesTweet
It’s hard to get past those first few milestones, after losing someone. I’ve had my mother’s 85th birthday, Thanksgiving (her favorite), and my parents’ 67th anniversary all occur in the last two weeks.
“Autumn shows us how beautiful it is to let things go.” ~ UnknownTweet
My parents will always be with me. Having lost both of them to cancer, I say #CANCERSUCKS. There will be many more milestones to get through before I am finally through my grief and into acceptance. But for now, I am taking it a day at a time and sleeping a lot more than usual, as my body is still suffering from extreme fatigue and chronic pain.
Perhaps 2022 will allow me to return to regular blogging. But for now, I am happy I managed to write two new posts as I progress through the stages of grief and my seemingly never-ending to do list. Meanwhile, here are some posts from my archives as well as some recent posts by some other fibro bloggers:
- Grief and Fibromyalgia
- 4 Tips for Avoiding a Holiday Fibro Flare
- Five Travel Tips for Fibromyalgia
- For Dad
- Finding Joy with Fibromyalgia
- Chronic Illness Christmas Book List by Brainless Blogger
- Days of Laughter by Once Upon a Fibro Fog
- Winter and Chronic Illness by Through the Fibro Fog
- Epsom Salt Baths for Fibro Pain by Fibro Files
I hope you are able to count your blessings, despite whatever adversity you might be facing. The holiday season just isn’t the same for me this year, but I find comfort in traditions and memories of family holidays from years’ past.