Darra's Cancer Blog

Memorial
March 2, 1956 - May 9, 2011

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by Lori
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by Jennifer
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Rest in Peace my friend
by Amy
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by Ann
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Go in peace on your next journey
by Karen
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Free at last, you will always be remembered...
by Vero
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Rest in peace angel
by Missy
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Peace be with you
by shawna
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by
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Rest In Peace
by Joyce In NC
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With love x
by Gems113
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I will always love you
by Darra
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RIP
by Diane
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R.I.P.
by Jeanne
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You 2 are a formidable pair. Peace to you both.
by Andrea
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by Kat
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U'm so sorry.
by Edward
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Til we all meet again. . .
by Nancy Glass
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Peace to you all.
by Kathy
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Be at rest with God by your side
by Gwyn
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by
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Rest in Peace ..
by Fred
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Walk with God
by Keith
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Peace
by Monique
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May he rest in peace.
by LC
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by Sue
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for Scott and Darraand family
by Valerie
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Godspeed.
by Mersea
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For Scott and Darra
by MIchelle
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kelly
by Kelly4
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Rest in Peace
by Cherie
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Free from pain. RIP
by Kimbo
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Rest in Peace
by Smurf
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Wishing peace for you Darra and rest for Scott
by Helen Marshall
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RIP
by Michelle
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Rest In Peace
by Robin
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by Mike
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Rest in peace
by Rachel
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Rest in Peace
by Mishell
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Scott, I cant wait to see you in heaven one day!
by Jennifer
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In Peace
by Ed
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RIP Scott - Hugs and prayers to Darra and family.
by Kathy
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RIP Scott.
by Laurie
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Rest in Peace
by Admin

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Excerpt from memoir book

I have decided to write my memoirs about Scott and our life together. This is a chapter in that book about his last day. I hope everyone enjoys it and will give me feedback on what they think.......Sorry it's long.....but it is so much more than a book about cancer, it is a love story that is brutally honest about 2 everyday people who together led an extraordinary life! The date was May 9, 2011. It will forever be the absolute worst year, month and date of my life. The hospice nurse had just spent the past hour trying to convince me that Scott was in the process of dying. It took a lot for me to believe it. She went over her little blue 'Death and The Dying Experience' book with me. She pointed out every symptom one by one. He showed every sign of being within hours and minutes of death. I couldn't let myself believe her. I could not wrap my mind around what she was telling me. I didn't think it was possible. God was going to heal him, I had told myself over and over. I couldn't give up now, not when Scott needed me to believe in miracles the most. I couldn't lose hope or my faith in God now. I had chosen to believe that if I couldn't picture Scott dying, it wouldn't happen. So, I chose to ignore his symptoms and the fact that he was losing ground in his battle. God would save him as long as I believed and if Scott died, it was because I didn't have enough faith. It's what I told myself all along. His cure depended on me and I could not let him down. The hospice nurse just didn't get that part. She suggested he was hanging onto life for me and that I should give him permission to die and reassure him that I would be fine without him. I looked at her, realizing she had no idea what she was asking of me. I wasn't capable of telling him it was okay for him to die when it was not okay with me. How would I tell the most wonderful person in the world it was okay to leave me? How would I tell him good-bye for good? I couldn't and I wouldn't, I thought stubbornly. But, as I sat and watched this gentle, kind soul struggling to breathe, knowing he would never again open his eyes, I knew I had to do this for his sake, if nothing else. I knew I had to come up with some way to give him his well-deserved peace of mind. All hope left me at that moment. I went to his bedside only to have to clean his mouth out once again. I had just done this not 10 minutes before but the excess saliva had returned. It was going to choke him if I didn't do a better job. After cleaning his mouth, I tried to get it straight in my mind, what I needed to say to Scott. I checked the time. It was 6 pm and was surprised that I hadn't heard from Bridgett yet today. I called her, still putting off my speech to Scott. She didn't answer so I left her a voicemail telling her she needed to come over. Her dad wasn't doing too well. I then decided to call Nick and Jenny. When my son answered his phone, I told him to come and see 'pops' (as they fondly called him) he was dying. They said they were on their way. My son and his wife deserved to be with Scott and should be here for me during this very crucial time in life. They were an hour's drive away, so I told them to hurry. I just hoped Scott would make it until they arrived. I then called his son, Mickey, and told him he needed to come over and say his final good-bye to his father. I then turned my full attention on my dying husband. I kissed him and the gurgle in his throat scared me. He was hurting and I thought he was going to aspirate and die from those nasty secretions that were coming out of his mouth. Yes, they would be what ultimately kills him. He would choke and die on his own saliva. What a horrible way to go, I thought. As I sat there holding his hand, I began talking to him. I used my other hand to rub his beautiful face. I started telling him how much I loved him, what a special person he was to me, what a joy the time we shared was, how courageous I thought he was, how uncomplaining he had been throughout this whole ordeal. I told him I understood he had to go, that his soul wanted to die and I didn't blame him for wanting to go. I also told him that I would forever love him and cherish his memory. I told him how no-one had ever made me happier my entire life and how I never wanted to stop living my life with him but that I had to and somehow I would be okay. I can't even explain all the emotions that I was feeling. Mostly, my heart just ached. I looked at the clock. It was 7 pm and I still hadn't heard from Bridgett. I decided to call her again. The mucus was pouring out his mouth by then and I knew he wouldn't last much longer. I held his head up so he would not choke. Finally, she answered her phone. 'Your dad is not doing well at all.'I told her. 'You need to come and see him. Waste no time.' I tried to keep emotion out of my voice. I was used to keeping my grief to myself, always concerned with who I was going to upset. Everyone was trying to deal with their own personal grief and they didn't need to be bogged down with mine. So, I tried to stay positive and strong for Scott this entire time. My emotions and fears had been kept to myself since the very first cancer diagnosis in October of 2009. I felt I could deal with these fears myself rather than voice them to someone else. I didn't want anyone else to know how afraid I was. Fear is like a cancer itself and I wasn't going to spread it. To voice my fear would be like I was giving up, something I never intended to do. I never thought for a second that God would actually take Scott because I thought he had seen my need. I needed him so much more than God did. I had kept everyone positive and consoled them the entire time Scott had been sick. I kissed him repeatedly now, chanting 'I love you so much' like a mantra, said vainly trying to keep him alive. I didn't know what else to do. I heard a car outside. It was Nick and Jenny. Nick came rushing into the house and ran to Scott's bedside. 'I'm here for you, pops. I'm here and I love you'. Scott's breathing was more labored and he continued to gurgle. He was also having spells of apnea which were lasting longer and longer. Jenny came around and scooted Nick out of the way. 'I'm here too Scott and I love you also.' She cried as she grabbed him arm and checked for a pulse. There was none. It was 7:07 pm and my worst nightmare had just came true. He didn't shudder, didn't move or make a sound at the moment of death. His spirit had just calmly left his body. Mickey was here by now and we all just stared in stunned silence watching Scott's lifeless body. Silent in our grief until I began to wail. A sound so full of pain as it brought me to my knees. It was then as I put my hands up to cover my face that I realized I could no longer feel my fingers. They were numb. I frantically tried to think what I needed to do next. I needed to call the funeral home and hospice. I got on the phone with Clark Pulliam, the funeral director first. While talking on the phone, I started pacing back and forth out of the sheer terror I was experiencing. It was then that I noticed my feet were numb as well. I was calmly answering all his questions and when he asked me when he could pick up the 'body', I wanted to laugh but was too nauseated. All my husband was to this man was a 'body'. I was definitely in a dream. This couldn't really be happening to me. As I was talking, my throat and mouth started getting numb as well. I thought I was having a panic attack. I popped a couple of xanaxs and as they were dissolving in my mouth, I called hospice. Then I needed to call family. My oldest son, JR, arrived with his wife. I couldn't remember if I had called them or not. I was slowly going insane. I had too many responsibilities right now. I couldn't think clearly. JR hugged me as did Kim. They had kept in close contact and were aware of Scott's declining health. They whispered their sincere condolences to me. I thanked them and left the room to call Scott's brother. I asked his brother to tell his mother the best he could. She was in a nursing home. During this call, Bridgett arrived. Everyone was in the room with Scott except for me. I was in there all day and couldn't bear to go back and see him laying there dead. It would just send me in a panic and bring back the reality of my situation. I had to bury it for now. I had no more phone calls to make at that time. I had informed close family. Friends and lesser relation would have to wait. I needed to calm down. It had been at least 10 minutes and those xanax weren't working. They were doing nothing for the numbness that I was sure was from hyper-ventilation. I was prone to this and frequently had symptoms of it. So, I knew the feeling well enough. I popped a couple more pills. Shit. I needed to call my mom. I dialed her number and in a few sentences told her Scott had passed. She asked me about visitation which I had arranged with Clark on the phone earlier. I told her when it would be and got off the phone. I sat on the couch in the semi-darkness in the living room by myself. Nick came in to tell me he had called Sara, my daughter. Damn! I had forgot to call her too. I held my face in my hands and cried softly. I had to stop, I told myself. Everybody was experiencing their own grief and sadness and they didn't need to worry about me falling apart on top of everything else that had just happened. Now was not the time. I had to stay strong. I dried my eyes and got up to face everyone. Bridgett was calm but she could not or would not look at her father. I knew she was hurting bad. I went over and hugged her when the phone rang. It was Scott's mother, Annie. She sounded distressed and asked me if she could come over and see her son. I told her, of course, to come right over. If she needed to see Scott, I would not deny her. She was an old woman and this would probably kill her. I wanted no responsibility for her death. Scott had always been her rotten onery boy whom she loved deeply and accepted unconditionally. She was there in a few minutes. I pulled a chair up beside Scott's bed for her to sit in. Annie sat down with help from her walker and took Scott's hand. She sat not saying a word yet staring at his face and sobbing quietly. The airless room was too much for me so I walked outside in the back yard. JR was there standing beside Scott's beloved lawn mower. I sat on the seat and he asked me, 'How you doing momma?' 'You know I will never recover from this. You do know that, don't you?' I asked. 'I don't think I will either.' he replied as he hugged me. 'He was the only pops I ever had.' he cried as I sat with my arms around him, having once again given in to tears myself. My younger son came out and hugged both of us. He was crying also. After a few minutes, Nick broke away and stood to ask me if there was anything I needed him to do. I looked past him and noticed Mickey had followed Nick outside. He was standing with his head down, looking just as uncomfortable as he had when he had arrived. So, I responded, 'Yeah Nick, could you and Mickey remove everything from the house that reminds me of cancer? Including his hospital bed that will need to be disassembled. Clark will be here soon.' They both looked relieved to have something to do. Some way in which they could help. I followed them back in, looked in the den and found it to be packed with people. Annie was still holding her vigil at his bedside. She continued to stare at Scott. I looked at him. He looked so very peaceful. About that time, the doorbell rang. It was Clark. Here to pick Scott up. I went to Annie's side, got down on my knees beside her and touched her shoulder. She flinched, unaware of anything except her son laying on the bed, dead. I put my head to hers and patted her arm. I quietly informed her that Clark was here to get Scott. She looked at me with tears in her eyes and asked me if he could come back later. She needed more time to tell him good-bye. 'Sure. Take all the time you need, Annie.' I told her and got up to tell Clark. He said to call him when we were ready. I was ready. More than ready. But Annie could not let go. I felt so bad for her. I wished I could make this easier for her but I could not. She looked especially old and feeble right now, I thought. She would never get over this. I was instantly afraid for her. I was afraid for me too. I looked around the room at all of the people that Scott had loved and who loved him back and I thought about the impact his life and his death had on them all. We were a select group of people who's lives would never be the same because of this man. While most of the world would go on as if nothing ever happened, our lives would forever be affected by this event and we all were aware of just what the world had lost. I started to talk to God. Because in the past year I had gotten close to God. I knew he hadn't played a part in Scott's demise. I knew that God didn't want me to hurt either and that there must be a lesson in all of this that I had to learn. I thanked God for giving me 10 wonderful years with Scott. Also, I thanked him for letting Scott's life end the way I wanted it to. I was awake and by his side at the end. He knew how much I loved him as I got to tell him everyday. I was able to hold him, touch him, kiss him and cry for him through it all. Some people never get that chance. If it all had to end, it couldn't have ended any better.
Laurie, Pat C sent you a hug.
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Dear Dara, that is a beautiful and poignant excerpt. Good luck and may God continue to hold you and your family close, best to you always, Lori in AZ
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 Thank you Lori for your comment and taking the time to read it. I wasn't sure if I should post this or not but decided to go with it anyway....I'm glad you liked it. Darra

6 months later

It's been 6 months since Scott passed and I'm struggling to make peace with all of it. Still. That calm girl who nursed him through his illness and held it together for the funeral is gone. Now, I'm falling apart. I get up in the morning and almost go into a panic as I realize he's not here anymore. My selfish side comes out and I just want him back! Bridgett wanted to take my house from me - so I gave it to her. Then, she didn't want it. Go figure. So, anyway, the house is finally sold and I am living with my mother. At my age, it's not an ideal situation. But, it's better than living in the street - which I did in September. A long story. But, Thanksgiving was hard and I am sure Christmas will be even harder. Not something I look forward to. Not anymore. I like to go back and re-read my posts for the memory effect. But, it seems that all that does is make me sadder, so I probably shouldn't do it anymore but I can't help myself. It's just not fair as I still need Scott and God didn't need him, so why did he take him from me?? I know that no-one has the answer to that but it goes round and round in my mind constantly. I've been told so many times that it gets easier with time but frankly I think I handled this better when it first happened than now. I'm just angry and no-one to blame. Isn't that depressing?
Kellye, Rachel sent you a hug.
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Darra, I will keep you in prayer. I hope time heals and what is left are the fond memories and the laughter you shared. May God keep and bless you Mac
Darra I am so sorry, and don't have the words to comfort as I have not walked in your shoes. Please know that you are in my thoughts and prayers, and I don't think it does get easier, I just hope the pain fades and the memories you have pull you through all this. heres lots of hugs fir you! val
I am so sorry that yr heart still yearns for him. Time doesn't always heal, it gives us more time to think and reflect on what was a wasn't done, more time to feel guilty even tho that is the last thing we should feel. I have followed yr bloggs for a while, long before Scott died and you should be proud of all you did. Yr strength and love for him was obvious in every action you took and I hope that when grief has passed this is what you remember, he was very lucky to have such a special person as you to love and care for him. Keep yr chin up and I am sending you prayers for strength x
Hi Darra, I hope you are still blogging now and again. Only the Lord knows what the plan is...I was told once..Anything Worthwhile Is A Struggle. So keep in mind that when you are struggng, Scott is looking down and walking next to you. I hope you can feel him-if you are open to that. I used to get creeped out thinking about souls and angels but I took comfort when I was sure my Grama was still around me. It sucks that familt can be cruel as well-your Mom will always be you Mom and I hope she is helping you get through this. I wish I caould help, Merry Christmas Darra-you have a family of support here.
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Scott

March 2, 1956 - May 9, 2011

Vital Info

Posts

April 8, 2011

Robinson, Illinois 62454

September 20, 1960

May 9, 2011

Cancer Info

Nasopharyngeal Cancer

December 31, 2011

Stage 4

over 6.1

Grade 3

Yes

the pain and suffering

Cancer always wins

talk to me

yes - to brain

get a support group or talk to someone who has been through it

Pray and be close to God

Headaches, mental confusion, vision changes, incontinence, memory problems, weakness, paralysis, problems remembering the words for things

Stats

Posts: 47
Photos: 11
Events: 0
Supporters: 30
Friends: 27
Comments:
-Made: 58
-Received: 152
Views:
-Posts: 97464
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