The hardest conversation

February 5th, 2013 § 17 comments

Today’s brand new post is over at Huffington Post. You can click here to read it: The Hardest Conversation.

This piece is about the conversation I had with Paige after my diagnosis in October of Stage 4 breast cancer. As the oldest of my three children, she has many questions that the younger children don’t. I wrote the piece back in October but kept it to myself.

I waited until I felt she was ready to read it and give her approval before I published it. I would not publish a piece like this without her permission. She said, “You should publish that, Mama.” I think she knows it might help someone else. We both hope it will.

I’ll be back with an update in a day or two. I’m back on an increased dose of chemo this week and did try switching to the new bone=strengthening drug.

Thanks for all of your comments, emails, and support!


§ 17 Responses to The hardest conversation"

  • Carol Graham says:

    I never had this kind of conversation with my mother. She told us the details as she had them or we asked, but not like this. In retrospect i wish I had made more trips down to NY when she was dealing with all teh doctors and such. I never did, and she and I both lsot out.

  • pascisrose says:

    Thank you for both of you for sharing this very special moment. I will ask my daughter to read it.
    She is now 16yrs, and we had lots of wonderfull moments since my diagnosis early 2009, but particularly since last year when I found out about the invasive stage IV, the return of chemo and all what comes with it.
    Presently in the waiting game to know if it is still working enough to continue or if we start something else and all the scare of this unknown part coming.
    Being pro-active and in the medical field helps, but sharing with others in the same situation is still the best medicine.
    My dauther is very gratefull that we can enjoy every moments together. She also took me by surprise when she told me at a moment of lonelyness “you won’t be alone, I will be there to look over you”.
    Thinking of you, and hoping that everything will go ok!

  • Meg says:

    Thank you for the gift of that conversation! You do help us to cope and plan and hope

  • My neighbor is in the hospital right now. She will come home tomorrow and start with hospice. Her battle is nearing it’s end and I cry for her 2 children still in elementary school. Thank you for giving us this today. I don’t know what conversations are happening at my neighbor’s house because her children are younger, but I am glad you were able to talk to your daughter. I am glad your daughter gave you strength. A year ago I didn’t know what “Metastatic Cancer” really meant. I am glad you are here to write and share. Thank you.

  • OceanBreeze8 says:

    Thank you for this raw and emotional post. My daughter is 22 years old and doesn’t want to leave my side even though she is 14-hours away in graduate school. My only positive hope in this horrific journey is she comes out of it more compassionate, more loving and more grateful for how I contributed to her life. She is truly the gem in my life and I KNOW I will be perched on her shoulder every step of her way when I am gone.

  • Risa says:

    That conversation was a gift to both you and your daughter and am sure it will be cherished. I was so touched by your words.

  • terrepruitt says:

    Wow. I am amazed at your strength. I send you hugs.

  • Jess Renae says:

    Thank you so much for this. You write so beautifully and have brought me to tears that cannot seem to stop. I lost my brother older brother 1 month ago today to stage 4 colon cancer. He was 34. In hindsight reading this blog I so wish that I would have been more head on and direct in our discussions rather than blindly optimistic and too afraid of the reality of what was happening. Your words are a gift, thank you.

  • Louisa says:

    How amazing to have the depth of understanding as does your young daughter…perhaps that is something that comes not of age but something from the heart. It is a gift of encouragement to all of us who try to understand the process of losing someone we love and cherish. We never want to let go of someone we love., especially a mother or a child. To be brave enough to face the possibilities, to be strong enough to endure the outcomes and to comprehend that at any age is exceptional .

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  • Amie says:

    My mother who recently passed had so much experience with death, she was a hospice nurse, critial care nurse, hospice supervisor. She asked us each what was important to us before she died, she asked us to ask her anything. I told her to be able to say goodbye, cause we didn’t have this chance with her mother. She asked us, if we chose to, to each to write a letter to her and a letter to be read at her funeral – could be the same. One brother wrote up a beautiful peom of all his childhood memories, my sister-in-law wrote a great letter to her – her husband just couldn’t, but was there for her – both were read at the funeral. I wrote up an interview. I asked her my questions in front of our siblings – they added in additional questions which she answered which was great – but I really wanted to do this one on one. I had a chance later to talk to her more – I stayed in bed with her the first 2 days she was bedridden – a wonderful experience. I rewrote that interview after speaking to a couple of her friends about some other questions I had. I wrote it to be read by another, but I read it to her on her death bed with her blessing – it was in third person and past tense – boy that was hard. I then read it again at her funeral before the others – while fighting back tears and changing it to first person on the fly. If I could do that – I can now do anything. (Thanks mom, for leaving me with one proud last moment that you had direct impact on.) Most of mom’s answered came back to wishing she had more time with us kids and grandkids and how she sacrificed for us when we were little working and going to school, instead of spending time home with us. A great role model! I hope all of you who know you will be leaving soon have time, the gutts, and heart – to have a heart to heart with everyone you love, and everyone that loves you. My mom even had my x-step father to the house one last time a couple months before she passed, so he could have closure. It was eye opening for everyone. (what a wonderful woman she will always be). May these conversations and letters help bring you all peace.

  • Sharon says:

    I lost my beautiful mam in November to stage V breast cancer. She was my best friend, my soulmate and the love of my life. I took care of her in every way and god how I miss her, talking to her, her hugs and kisses. People say I was lucky I got to say goobye to her which makes me so mad. We never had that conversation, yes I had to tell her that it was ok to let go, that we’ll never be apart even though it broke my heart I knew I couldn’t be selfish. I held her as she took her final breath, I’m in so much pain. I just want to be with her because half of me is missing. Keep fighting Lisa, you’re an inspirational woman x

    • Hiiamamie says:

      Hi Sharon – There are 2 things I now hold onto that make the days easier for me. 1) What happened in the past, is now the past – there is nothing I can do about it or change things that have happened – sing to myself in a headvoice “let it go” and picture my daughter signing – always brings a smile to my face. (I do this when I have flashbacks of the bad times. 2) I now know how lucky I have always been to have that special mother/daughter bond – a very close relationship that many do not have. I treasure that.

      I would love to hear what others do to make healing from loss a little easier.

  • JoMcNaughton says:

    I just found you, my sweetest lady, and have been reading through some tears, you awesome. I had colon cancer and chemo last year, BC at age 49. I am now 76. Good thoughts, no (hugs) because of your ribs! Love.

  • Hiiamamie says:

    About 9 months ago I lost my mom to cancer. I ran into an old friend over the weekend and she talked about how lucky I am that I had a great, a close relationship with my mom. I had that relationship for 35+ years. She taught me to be a great friend, to listen, to be a loving mother. Sometimes she regretted being so much of a friend to me. I never regretted a minute of it. I had the best mom a girl could have asked for! I had respect for her and she was always there for me and my friends. I now feel a sense of proudness, thankfulness, and joy. I wish I heard that comment a few months ago – it made such a difference in how I look at her death.

  • schodołazy says:

    I do accept as true with all of the ideas you’ve introduced to your post.
    They are very convincing and will definitely work. Still, the posts are very short for starters.
    Could you please lengthen them a little from next time?
    Thank you for the post.

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