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The Hardest Month of my Life


April 2, 2000 - Sunday

This is my parent's 44th Wedding Anniversary.  I called them to wish them a "Happy Anniversary".  Dad said they came back from Florida 2 days ago ( not the 1st as intended ) because my mother thought she had the flu.  She was asleep in bed so we didn't get to talk


April 7, 2000 - Friday

My father called around 4:00pm to tell me that mom was in the hospital.  She hadnít been feeling well Ė thought she had just the flu.  They evened had shortened there stay in Florida by 1 day.  She was sleeping and coughing all the time.   I called David Smudin at work and asked him to cover my hours for the weekend.  Mom was in intensive care and we were concerned.  We got on the road about 6:00pm and arrived at my parentsí house at around 9:30.

April 8, 2000 - Saturday

I went to the Hospital at 10:00 am with my father and for some reason they were doing a cat scan of momís chest.  Maybe the pneumonia they claimed she had been worse than we thought.  She also at a low hematacrit, a UTI, and was bleeding a little rectally (My grandmother Ruth Stebbins died from colon cancer).  She seemed to look ok.  Went to visit her again in the evening.  Siobhan cleaned the house Ė could tell my mother hadnít been feeling well because the house was not itís normal immaculate self.

April 9, 2000 - Sunday

Momís doctor, Dr. Eggbert, came in when we arrived.  Mary and Joe and Sara and Aidan were with us.  He sat down next to Mom and said she had a mass on her lungs.  They also wanted to scope her when she was feeling better to check her colon.  Dr. Conway would be her surgeon to do a thoracentesis and Dr. Mar would be her pulmonologist. Dr. Janik would do the endoscopy.  The doctor said he was pretty sure it was cancer.  It snowed hard so Susie didnít make it to the hospital till late in the day.  Mary and I walked down the hall to call Susie and we cried.  How could this happen to our mother who never did anything to hurt anyone?  Other than her arrhythmias she was always healthy.  My mother insisted no one was to know.  We left for Connecticut at 1:00PM.  I was dazed.  This far outweighs my Parkinsonís, which I believe I have come to grip with at this point.

April 10, 2000 - Monday

I had to go to work for 9:00 and Siobhan at 7:00am.  I brought Sara to school and cried all the way to work.  After being at work Ĺ hour there was afire in the computer room and all the computers and registers were down until 12:00.  During this time I called Mom and Dad answered Ė she was asleep.  We were so far behind at work it wasnít funny.  Siobhan called and said ďI have to talk to you about your mother.Ē  I thought she was going to give me lecture on being strong.  When I got home she told me Sara had been bawling her eyes out about her Grammy. I went up to Sara and told her I had no answers as to why this happens or what will happen and that I was very sad to because it was my mommy.

Siobhan explained to me that things appeared to be much worse.  That CT scan shoed that there was cancer in the lymph nodes and they even thought there was a possibility of cancer in the bone marrow because of her anemia.  Surgery was not an option.  They were going to use chemotherapy and radiation to shrink the tumor.  Mary had told Siobhan that us kids might have to be tested for bone marrow compatibility.  My mother said that if that were the case she wouldnít want a marrow transplant.  I cried going to bed Ė this was my invincible mother.  You think nothing can ever happen to your parents.  Bad enough my kids have to see me struggle with my Parkinsonís, which Iíll write more about at a later time.

April 11, 2000 Ė Tuesday

It was another crazy day at work.  Siobhan was going in at 7:00pm to work.  We received my profit sharing check for 2,300 dollars from Hancock Pharmacy.  My mother had a bunch of tests to go through. The kids were at Chrissy and Geraldís house until I got out of work.

Between April 12 and the 25th I don't have anything written in my personal calendar because everything happened so fast.  We made several trips to Vermont to visit during this period. In the mean time, stress was taking it's toll on my PD.



April 25, 2000 - Tuesday

I woke up in a state of alarm.  I called out from work and told Siobhan I was going to Vermont because something was up - I just didn't know what it was.  I took a quick nap in Massachussets with the help of my Symmetrel. Looking back it was God calling me home.  I went to Rutland Regional Medical Center to see Mom.  She was in and out of it due to the Ativan they gave her to calm down.  She looked like my grandmother in the nursing home. Almost in a fetal position due to the pain. I spent the day there with my two sisters, Mary Margaret and Sue, and Dad.  Came back to Connecticut the following evening.



April 28, 2000 - Friday

I had the day off today.  I was very worried about my mother.  Dad called at 10:15 PM and I knew it was not good news.  Mom was dying and he and Mary were going up right away.  She had passed on to her rightful home next to God by the time they got there.  Dad lives only 5 minutes from the hospital.  One of her golfing friends, an oncology nurse, held her hand as she slipped away.  My mother who had loved and protected us up until the end was gone.  All three of us children were dealing with medical problems and she seemed to have waited to find out this day that my sister Mary had some form of seizure disorder.  Mary told her earlier in the day that it was OK to go home now.  We all knew our personal medical problems now and we all had spouses to support us.  This was the only day in my life I was mad at God.  She was supposed to live into her 90's like her mother.  I still needed her.  How could he take the most precious thing in my father's life.  He always thought he would go first especially with his quadruple bypass history.  (My father still works part time and is actively involved in the community at the age of 70.  He stopped volunteering at the Hospital and does not attend Church every Sunday anymore. "It was something we did together for over 40 years", he said.  The priest told him it was fine.  We waked my mother on May 3rd and buried her on the next day on a beautiful day in May.  Over 250 people came to the wake and at least 100 to the funeral.  I can "feel" her presence watching over me and my family.  Sara's First Holy Eucharist was May 13th and my whole family came down for this special event.  We all felt something or someone was missing!


I submitted this in my journal today because I can not type at all and had this prepared in my own personal computer. It's a special story to me and showed me how insignificant my disease can be in my life.  Throughout this whole time stress didn't let me forget I had PD but it wasn't the first thing I thought about each day!


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