Mother's Battle with Cervical Cancer

My mother's cause of death is cervical cancer. I would like to share it to you, what goes in and out of my mothers battle with cancer. I think, it is time for me to unload the pack of pain in my shoulders when she died.  My mother had undergone a lot of operations.

Her first operation started when she gave birth with my brother. It was caesarian.

This happened during my high school days, though. I can not remember exactly the year when this happened. I used to tag along when mother went to see a respected surgeon in Iligan City. He told us that mother should undergo an operation because a cyst is on top on her ovary. The doctor adds that it's good the cyst is on the top than inside the ovary. And so, mother took the operation. When the operation started, the doctor found out, aside from a cyst on top of her ovary, there's another one inside her ovary. So, he remove the ovary and took it out of her body. At the end of the operation, mother has only one ovary left. I cried when mother was in the hospital room. She was moaning and I pity her. I still remember what the doctor told me when he saw me crying. Don't worry, your mom have 20 years to live!

Mother is a hard-working woman. Even if she's prohibited from carrying heavy tasks, still she's had done it with ease.

Next, he had a surgical operation with a faith healer. I have no idea what happened because mother did not tell us. So, we all have zero knowledge on this part. We only knew it after the said operation. I asked how did it go? She told me that the faith healer used his finger, draws a line (that looks like slicing her skin to open without pain). Then used his hands to remove something out from her body. That I can not imagine but honestly, she regret it.

In 2007, I got a phone call from my mother. She's living in Butuan City while I'm staying and working in Manila. She informed me of the abnormal uterine bleeding. A doctor advised her for a dilatation and curettage. It is known as "raspa", a surgical procedure performed to get tissue samples; to stop prolonged bleeding or to remove small tumors. The result of the tissue scrapping is "moderately to poorly differentiated squamous cell carcinoma". (Happened on November 2007)

Squamous cell carcinoma is a distinct form of cancer. The doctor after knowing the result suggest another surgical procedure for mama. He suggested after one month of the previous curettage. In this surgical operation, he removed the ovary and fallopian tube. This means that mama has no ovary and no fallopian tube left in her reproductive system. The diagnostic results: Uterus has cystic endometrial atrophy, large cell non-keratinizing squamous cell carcinoma (again!). Ovary is fibrotic while the fallopian tube is chronic salpingitis, though. There was a remark that the surgical stage cannot be definitely assessed since the exocervix and vaginal cuff are NOT included.) Cervix was left in her womb, that is what I understand amid the medical terms used. I based all these from the medical report I have and filed. She's in stage three cervical cancer. This indicates that the cancer cells spread to the lower part of her vagina and pelvic. 

I resigned from work and went home, middle of the year 2008, to take care of mom. When I saw her, she's thin. Her weigh decreases because she eat less, though. She walk slowly and complain the pain in her pelvic. Whenever she goes to the bathroom, she wails because of pain. She can not poo and pee immediately without enduring the pain. There's a bad smell after that. It's not the poo, it comes from her wetness - white fluid. Almoranas or hemorrhoid adds the pain she suffered from popo and pee. At first, mother used a pantiliner to change every time she feels the wetness. The wetness is a white fluid coming from her vagina. Then, she used napkin and lastly an adult diaper. At this time, mother was bedridden, though, she can still talk. 

A neighbor suggests to bring my mother to the hospital. She doesn't looked good and pale. She cannot talked and her tongue is drawn inwards. We bring mother to the hospital. She recognized us in the emergency room and kept on asking the whereabouts of our little helper. But, when the medical staff brought her to the hospital room after an injection, she can not recognized us. A doctor told us to prepare ourselves anytime. It's stage 4 wherein the cancer cells spread out to the other organs inside her body. She wants us to bring mother home because she can not do anything at this stage. But mother wants to stay in the hospital instead of home. If only, I am financially capable, I'd obliged in her wish and wishes. So, we bring mother home and let her stay in my brother's room. It is wide and spacious with an aircon. At this time, mother doesn't like to eat. The doctor insert the ngt - a nasogastric tube used for feeding and administering drugs. A  nurse who is our neighbour, once in a while, visit my mom to check on her bp. I think mom had 8x inserts of ngt because she will removed it while I am sleeping. Yes, I slept with mom and I can not stand it when the assigned nurse inserted the ngt into his throat. She cried in pain. It's the only instrument/way to feed my mom with milk. I forgot the name of the milk but it's certainly for an adult. We changed her diaper every time she pee and poo. I observed that the fluid is not white, it's somewhat brown-red in color. The foul smell is gone.

My brother bought a television and placed it in the room. Mother loves to watch tv especially the issues of different local celebrities. I tell you, she's updated about it. Then one night, she started to shake and shiver. My brother thought that it was the aircon, so, he turned it off and went home to his wife. I was left alone in mother's room. I did not scream but watched and hugged my mom shivering from head to toe. I think that the cancer cells spread into his head. Her right hand is on top of my left leg. She calls my name and asked for my brother. She told me to let Jun oversee everything. I didn't know that she's dying. 

Then morning came, it was sunday, mother died. When mother died, I regret it. I never knew that she's gone because I was watching tv until I saw her toe nails. It was gray. 

1 comment

  1. oh my, sad story. your mom is in a peaceful and pain-free place right now