Moms who lost adult children to cancer

Jana - posted on 10/26/2014 ( 2 moms have responded )

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My son was diagnosed with alveolar soft part sarcoma on my birthday, November 26th in 2008. He just turned 21. He died on my couch on July 9, 2014, my nephew's birthday. Its only been 3 months, but it seems that things are getting worse instead of better. We were incredibly close. He wasn't married and didn't have a girlfriend. His first chemo made him sterile so there was never a chance of him having children. I went with him all over the country to try and find treatment for a cancer that has no cure. It may be wrong, but I get very angry when I see all this money going to breast cancer research - in 2012 they took in $474,000,000 and sarcoma research didn't take enough in to be on the charity watch. I don't begrudge anyone research money, but when I see pink ribbons in virtually every store I go into I want to yell - pink isn't the only color. I am glad they're getting so much money for research but when someone loses a child from a cancer that isn't even recognized, that isn't right. Sorry for the rant. As I said, he died just over 3 months ago.

My son's favorite time of year was Thanksgiving with his dad and older brother and Christmas with me. He would decorate the entire house - we'd go out and buy a live tree from TROSA. He always wanted a live wreath for the door, so we would get that too. Last Christmas I think he knew would be his last, so he sent cards to every family member on both sides and told them how much he loved them and what they meant to him. I had someone at church come up to me about a month after he died and said time heals all wounds. I told her she was wrong...time healed nothing - it gave you time to adjust. I have times when I'm okay and feel functional, and then I have times when I can't seem to stop crying. I'm dreading Thanksgiving and Christmas when everyone comes over to be together because Andrew won't be there. I called Hospice to see if there was a support group for moms who lost children but there won't be one starting up for several months.

If you've ever dealt with this, please share with me how you got through it.

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Chet - posted on 10/26/2014

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I haven't gone through this exactly. I have a family member dying of cancer right now though, and honestly, my heart breaks for the caregivers that will be left behind when this relative dies in the very near future. Similar to your son, this person is very young, and dying from a lesser known cancer.

I'm sorry to hear that there won't be a support group starting up for a couple of months. I think an in person support group would be the most helpful thing for you right now.

I've been reading cancer forums online though, and many are very good, and very supportive. You might be able to find an online support group of sorts if you look around... either on a forum specific to soft tissue sarcomas, or one of the general cancer forums.

It's very early for this, but possibly, in the future, you might find some comfort in helping others. There is clearly a need to increase the profile and public awareness of soft tissue sarcomas, and to raise money for research in that area - and one thing I've noticed reading cancer forums online is how hugely helpful and supportive the knowledgeable posters are in the discussions. The family and the caregivers and the patients who have suffered through the disease for years offer so much understanding, and information and support to the new members who join - especially when they don't have anyone around them who understands what they are going through.

Right now, it's only been three months, and that's not very long when you consider that he'd been your son for 27 years. Even if you can't find a support group you could look around for a general grief counsellor if you think talking to someone like that could help.

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Gena - posted on 10/26/2014

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I am sorry for your loss. I havent lost a child to cancer,but my 10year old sister died in my arms when i was 16.Chemo,operations..nothing worked. This happened 9years ago..but not one day passes without thinking of her. My family are in a support group. My parents go on short vacations with other parents who lost a child to cancer. They can speak to eatch othet and they all understand the pain because they all went through it. I have one younget sister and we get together with siblings that have lost a sibling. Its usualy the children of those parents that go with my mom and dad. It helps alot to speak to somebody who KNOWS how it feels. And i like what you wrote,that time doesnt heal the pain,it helps you to adjust. But if i may be very honost with you..time will help deal with the pain. But that pain being a parent and losing your child is the most painful thing ever. My parents have learned to cope with it,but there are still (9yrs later) times where my mom is in bed crying her heart out because she misses Rebecca so much. I try comfert her. And every birthday of my sister is a hard day,also every deathday is horrible..worse then her birthday.
I just hope you can get in a support group. Or go to counseling if you feel you need to talk to somebody.
Again i am so sorry for your loss! I will light a candle for your son today. I light one everday for my sister. Take care and big hugs!

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