May, 2012, my mother was pronounced to be in remission, just in time to see my nephew graduate high school. I was there. It was a good time, I left feeling heartened. Remission is good, life is good.
September, 2012, there were more spots. They tried the 2nd round of chemo. The chemical soup destroyed her immune system. She almost died. She began to come back from that, a little.
October, 2012, they started her on a 3rd round of chemo, more of a maintenance, slower acting chemo. The spots weren't growing, were actually shrinking.
I went home for Christmas. It was a good time. I was able to spend time in the 'bosom of my family'. My nephew was in boot camp, but we talked to him by phone, it was nice. It was home. My mother weighed less than she did in high school, and it flummoxed her. Her short term memory was hit or miss, but she was still Mom. Thinner, her auburn hair a memory, plagued by cataracts, she still laughed. Her doctor allowed her to put a hold on the chemo for the holidays. They would start back up in January.
Mom was back on chemo, then scans. We talked a couple times, but I was busy with work, and my life, still, she was OK. "I'm still standing," she would say. Then she'd laugh, tell me something she told me 10 minutes ago, we'd start again, she was feeling good.
I got a call from Dad. Mom went down, was non-responsive. She was transported to the hospital. Scans showed she had very little viable lung tissue left. She was mostly non-responsive. They transported her to hospice.
She rallied, a bit, in hospice. My sister came in from Utah. My nephew flew in from his A school for the Navy. I was able, through the wonders of G+, to see my mother, to tell my mother how much I loved her, that she was the best mom I could ever hope for and I loved her very much. "I love you, too."
Those were the last words my mother ever said to me.
I compartmentalize. I put things in boxes, taking them out, looking at them every now and again, putting them away again, to rest and simmer and stew until another day, when I can open the box and take it out and look at it.
I went back in March for Mom's memorial. Dad brought Mom's things to me in May. I'm looking right at the box for her computer. It was purchased in November, 2012. It's 8 years newer than mine. It's still in the box. Her jewelry is still in a bag. Her paints, her sewing stuff, her art stuff, all in boxes.
I compartmentalize. And I'm still not ready to open the boxes.