About My Site

Why I Started A Blog

On 12/4/2007 my dad said 4 words that would forever change my life – “Mom has pancreatic cancer.” I lost my mom to this deadly disease 348 days later. Although I knew in my heart my mom wouldn’t survive her diagnosis, I wasn’t prepared for her death.

Sadness. Anger. Depression. Confusion. These were a few of the many words associated with my grief. Writing became the only way I could express what I was feeling, and writing helped me to start my journey of healing.

Why I Still Write

A friend said to me that the untimely loss of a parent can be best understood by someone who has shared the experience. I’ve found this to be so true. The people who really understand what I am feeling are those who have experienced loss themselves. It’s a sad but true fact.

The healing process is a very slow one, and there were many people who did not understand why I was not over my mom’s death after a few months. Connecting with others who understand has helped me to heal.

I write from the heart. I write what I am feeling. I write what I am thinking. There really is not filter, as the words just pour out of my heart, often through many tears.

Some of My Posts

Over the past 4 years, I’ve written over 200 posts, mainly on this site. Here are 10 of my personal favorites over the years:

~ I Missed You Today: http://peace4me521.wordpress.com/2012/08/16/i-missed-you-today
~ A Purple Wristband: http://peace4me521.wordpress.com/2012/09/07/purple-wristband
~ Daily Prompt: An Audience of One: http://peace4me521.wordpress.com/2012/11/29/audience-of-one
~ It’s Ok To Have Hard Days: http://peace4me521.wordpress.com/2012/03/13/its-ok
~ The Scent of My Mom: http://peace4me521.wordpress.com/2011/12/09/scent-of-my-mom
~ Strange Dream: http://peace4me521.wordpress.com/2011/07/10/strange-dream
~ Survivorship of a Different Kind: http://peace4me521.wordpress.com/2011/03/10/survivorship
~ What I Really Lost When My Mom Died: http://peace4me521.wordpress.com/2010/08/18/what-i-lost
~ Taking Time to Grieve: http://peace4me521.wordpress.com/2010/01/20/time-2-grieve
~ A Letter to Pancreatic Cancer: http://peace4me521.wordpress.com/2009/08/04/letter-pc

Let Me Know

If there’s a topic you would like me to write about, a question you have, a post you like, or you want to share your experience with me, please leave me a comment. Writing has helped me, and I hope in some way my writing has helped others who have experienced a loss of a loved one or someone close to them. I want to help others.

Wishing you peace,

Kathy

Responses

  1. Kathy,
    I came across your older blog by googling “cancer anger.” Your post about anger, from Jan 13, so resonated with me. The misdirected but real anger at other people who were alive – women older than your mom. My sister was diagnosed with a very fast spreading lung cancer less than two weeks ago. For months she had been treated for pneumonia. A “let’s try this antibiotic, now this one..” She was uninsured (now has Medi-Cal). I rage because I am angry – at her for not insisting on a chest x-ray sooner, when we all said we’d pay for it; at myself for not “forcing” her to go get one; angry at my parents, who live right next door to her (I am 400 miles away) who saw how much weight she lost but still trusted that my sister knew what she was doing. And anger that she just didn’t get diagnosed sooner…the bad new is layered on almost every day. We’re sorry, it has spread to her abdomen. We’re sorry it has spread to her liver. We’re sorry, it’s in her brain. As I desperately try to “fix’ whatever I can (try to advocate, etc) I feel sick because I can’t control any of it. I am most worried for her 19 year old daughter, Alex. Barring a miracle, my 51 year old sister Diana will die soon. My anger, right now, knows no bounds…I have just started a wordpress blog as well…only one post, but it expresses my anger. Thank you and my prayers go out to you and your family. Barbara

  2. I came across your blog as I was looking at the names of blogs on the web. My mother is one of the survivors of pancreatic cancer. I bless the day that she was diagnosed with cancer, it forever changed my life. The “stuff” it taught me was to question the doctors, they don’t know everything. See the answer to your prayers everyday, they appear when you least expect it. These two things changed the health of my mother and my family in ways I could never imagine. The advice given by the doctor to my mom “if you find something out there that might help, go for it”. Not the kind of advice you want to receive from a doctor, but it sure did work for us. My dad’s cousin introduced us to this wonderful supplement, changed our diet to focus more on plants (can’t quite do the vegetarian thing completely, like to have meat occassionaly) and increase the amount of exercise. Thank you for expressing your thoughts.

    • Hi Leslie,
      I was just recently diagnosed with pancreatic cancer that has metastasized to the inner lining of the abdomen. I am trying to study as much as I can about this disease.I have been told by my oncologist that we will start chemo soon with a drug named gamzar. I will go once a week for three weeks to get a 30 minute infusion and then get the 4th week off. After that the chemo cycle starts again. Any info you have that helped you mother to beat this awful disease would be appreciated. I would like to know more about your cousins supplement and the changes you made in the diet. Kind regards for sharing this info.

  3. Hi Kathy. My Mam passed away from bowel cancer Jan 13th 2009 and it feels like yesterday. From the time Mam was diagnosed and had treatment it was only six months and I always expected Mam to pull through. Sadly it was not the case. I miss her every second of the day and talk to her non stop. I feel if I keep talking and telling her everything she’ll stay with me. I had a dream last night with my Mam in it and the last thing I remember before I woke up was Mam saying she’d be coming home in 8 weeks. I know my Mam has passed on and I told her in my dream but she smiled and told me to remember 8 weeks. As my Dad is suffering with pulmonary fibrosis and not too good, do you think Mam is warning me of what is coming? I have a great belief that when we pass we are all still connected and will be together again and if something is going to happen our loved ones who’ve gone ahead will find some way of letting us know.

  4. My mom died on March 1, 2010 from pancreatic cancer. She was 66 years old and seemingly very healthy…active and physically fit.

    I live far away from where she lived, but I spent so much time with her in her last four months. She was diagnosed on November 6, 2009. As time goes by, I long for her. I am so lost without her and I miss her more and more.

    Looking at photographs of her is getting harder because I feel like I am being teased. I want her in person, not in photos.

    The end of her life was the beginning of a new suffering for me. I am so very very sad.

  5. Kathy:

    I am so pleased to see that your website/blog is helping others. I remember the time when your mom was sick and how devasting it was for you. Keep up the good work

  6. Kathy,

    Your blog is a true tribute to your mummy and reminded me so much of my journey through grief. I created a blog after my dear mummy passed away from Ovarian Cancer in March 2009.

    http://www.emmybelding.tumblr.com

    I know our mother’s look down upon us and beam with joy as their daughters spread awareness and honor their memory.

    God Bless You

  7. Kathy,I came across your older blog by googling “cancer anger.” Your post about anger, from Jan 13, so resonated with me. The misdirected but real anger at other people who were alive – women older than your mom. My sister was diagnosed with a very fast spreading lung cancer less than two weeks ago. For months she had been treated for pneumonia. A “let’s try this antibiotic, now this one..” She was uninsured (now has Medi-Cal). I rage because I am angry – at her for not insisting on a chest x-ray sooner, when we all said we’d pay for it; at myself for not “forcing” her to go get one; angry at my parents, who live right next door to her (I am 400 miles away) who saw how much weight she lost but still trusted that my sister knew what she was doing. And anger that she just didn’t get diagnosed sooner…the bad new is layered on almost every day. We’re sorry, it has spread to her abdomen. We’re sorry it has spread to her liver. We’re sorry, it’s in her brain. As I desperately try to “fix’ whatever I can (try to advocate, etc) I feel sick because I can’t control any of it. I am most worried for her 19 year old daughter, Alex. Barring a miracle, my 51 year old sister Diana will die soon. My anger, right now, knows no bounds…I have just started a wordpress blog as well…only one post, but it expresses my anger. Thank you and my prayers go out to you and your family. Barbara
    +1

  8. Kathy,

    I found your blog under my tag of “loss of a parent.” I started blogging this month. Like you I decided I needed an outlet for the feelings I had. I also wanted to get my thoughts out there in hopes that someone that might need it will hear they are not alone. I just lost my mom to pancreatic cancer June 27, 2011 after being diagnosed April 8, 2011…. Not three months to prepare for a life-changing pain. I encourage you to check out my blog. I know I’ll be keeping tabs on yours. Thanks for being here with me. It’s a sad comfort.

  9. Your blog is always so inspiring… I am giving you The Lovely Blog Award:
    http://365daysofcourage.wordpress.com/2012/01/22/one-lovely-blog-award/

  10. God blessed me by bringing you into my life. I call you my sister by choice, as our bond is stronger then best friends. Although life is busy, and we no longer live as close, know I will be here for you forever. I love you my sister. I am so proud of you and I know your mom is too. OXOXO

  11. So sorry for your loss. Losing a parent, particularly your mother, is a difficult one regardless of what takes them from us. My mom passed away 3 months ago. She had Alz dementia. I was her caregiver for 4 1/2 years and I miss her everyday. My blog served as a therapeutic tool for me while caring for her and now for my coping with loss and grief and the healing process. Godspeed to everyone.

  12. I have not lost a parent so I cannot directly speak to that pain, but I did lose my 10 year old son to cancer just over a year ago. I do know the devastation that cancer can cause in a family. May God bless you. It sounds like your mom was a remarkable influence in your life for the good-continue cherishing that.

    • Hi Peter: I cannot imagine the pain of losing a child, especially one to cancer. I am so sorry for your loss. Yes, cancer is devastating on everyone and healing from that devastation is a long road since it’s not just healing from the loss of a loved one, but also healing from the illness itself. At least that’s been my experience. I wish you all the best and may God bless you as well. Take care.

  13. Hi Kathy. I came here to thank you for visiting my blog and liking a recent post “Clearing for Bluebells”. I had a feeling, as I was reading your intro and a few of your posts that you found me through Laurel Oettle (Laurel’s Reflections) who has also been sharing her struggle since her mother’s death. She has become one of my dearest blogging friends. I want to express my heartfelt condolences for your mother’s passing. I am fortunate to still have my mom who is 83, but her mother died from breast cancer at 46 (my mom was only 10) and I know how difficult that was for her. I shall revisit your ‘pages’ soon. Blessings for your heart’s healing and better days ahead. Diane

  14. Hi there,

    I’m glad I found your blog. I lost my mom two years ago to ovarian cancer. I was 25 then.

    Looking forward to reading your posts,

    Sunny and Take Back Teal
    http://www.takebackteal.wordpress.com
    http://www.facebook.com/takebackteal
    http://www.twitter.com/takebackteal

    • I’m so sorry you lost your mom to ovarian cancer. My son lost his grandmother to pancreatic cancer and then a woman who was like a stepmom to him to ovarian cancer 7 months later. It hit him hard. I will definitely come visit your blog. Take care.

      • Hi Kathy,

        I am so sorry for your son. I hope he has found constructive ways to deal with his grief, which I’m sure is tremendous.

        Best,

        Sunny

  15. Hi Kathy,
    I lost my dad to a brain tumour in 1981, 31 years ago.
    My mum died last July, almost 30 years to the day from my dad, though she died as a result of post operative infection.
    Cancer is a terrible illness, it creeps up on you and assassinates you from the inside.
    That’s a really nice picture of your Mum here, and a lovely way to remember her, with a smile on her face.
    I have a picture of my Mum on my desk, taken on her 80th birthday with a lovely big beaming smile on her face too. It reminds me of happier times.
    Be brave xxx

    • I know my mom would want me to remember her with happiness and love. I try to do that, even though the grief still hits me at times. My mom was always smiling. I can still picture her with a smile on her face, hear the sound of her laugh. A good memory to hold onto. I’m sorry you lost both your parents. My thoughts are with you. Take care.

  16. Well I had started typing and somehow it erased so let me try this again. My Mother just recently passed 1/1/2013. Its still very fresh to me. I am trying to learn how to live this life without my Mother. I feel so LOST left to face all my responsibilities Alone. I am a Mother myself of 2 young children 5 years and 7 years. We or I was called back home by Jesus, he knew my Mother needed me. My Mommy had many aliments but the one I know took her away from this earth was HIV… I became quite fond of my Mother in these last 4 years; I along with my children were her primary care takers. In which I stifled with a bit because I suffer from OCD and anyone that knows me knows I’m a germ freak, it got worse when I became a Mother. Anyhow it was a task for me to just watch the illnesses take my Mother out. I’ve idolized my Mother since I can remember; she was smart, overflowing with charisma, a boss, strong, and always the life of the party. What girl wouldn’t Love a Mama like such; we bumped heads a lot because the same attributes my Mother was made of so am I. So, I studied read up on her aliments and begin to execute what God assigned me to do. It was no cake walk watching this woman go through and fight such a battle. Having buried her son @ the age of 16, fighting HIV, and raising 4 children alone. I know had to be a difficult task, my 2 wear me out some days. I remember my Mother’s and I conversations; miss her is an understatement. I’m left her alone to decide alone, face responsibility alone no one to encourage me, no one to share my trials and tribulations with, no one to Love me like Mommy. This is a cruel heartless world; who really cares? I honored everything my Mother requested during my time with her; she was such a classy woman. Nothing was to much to her and such a giving person if she loved or liked you, you knew it and if she didn’t care for you, you knew that too. I let a lot go when I came to stay with my Mother, but was enriched with so much quality time and when you become a personal care giver you develop a keen sense of self-worth. I was the only one in my Family that stepped up, they say there is usually only one family member to do such; well i guess that was me. I tell you I wasn’t sad of my Mother passing I am sad because we became so close and shared so much these last 4 years It is very hard to find one person who loves you for you in the entire world that one person was my Mother. That woman loved me and used to tell me often I don’t know what I would do without you and now I feel the same. What am I to do without her. She fought a long hard battle I never knew how long my Mother suffered from HIV but once she passed and I spoke with her physician he confirmed that my Mother had been fighting HIV since 1989. Its 2013 and not only that I’m 35 years young: my Mommy didn’t tell me of her illness til I was 25 just 10 years ago. So for her to have carried such a heavy burden all those years and to fight so long is Amazing. My Mother was a very private woman she didn’t want company over and rarely expected nothing from no one. She was so proud!!! I just feel some kind of way when I think of the time in all of this, my poor Mama. To keep keeping on knowing the fight she was up against. She had some really good doctors and also retired from the government which afforded her medications. When my Mother’s health began to decline I knew a part of her was tired of fighting. She always reminded me of how our time was special us with her me and the children. I need my Mother so much right now. Up against all kinds of hurdles haven’t yet really grieved for my Mother due to the fact of not knowing where myself and the children will be residing, no funds to do such moves, wasn’t working cause I was home caring for Mom, w/o Money how does one even begin to pick up. I need to confer with my Mother I need help with making these moves support although I am 35 years young I was my Mother’s child and I feel so lost. I wonder when I will be able to smile at the thought of remembrance of my Mother. I stay busy to keep from crying and i have enough to stay busy. All that took the time to read this please PRAY for ME and MY CHILDREN. I’m in for the long walk and walking alone just doesn’t seem right. Missing my Mother’s presence. I feel somewhat better cause I was a wreck when I sat down to search for Help with my Issues of Learning to Live w/o Mom. Thank you for providing an outlet.

    • Hi. I’m so sorry you lost your mom. I know how hard it is to live without someone special in your life. Please know that you’re not alone in your journey of grief. One day you will be able to smile when you remember your mom. You will remember her with love. You will keep her memory alive for your children. Your mom will always live within your heart. You and your children are in my thoughts and prayers. Take care.

  17. Kathy, stay strong!

    • Thanks for stopping by. I do try to stay strong, every day, for me and my kids. And it’s want my mom would have wanted me to do. But sometimes you just need your mom. I think of her every day, in some way. I miss her. Take care.

  18. Hi Kathy,

    I wanted to tell you about an opportunity for young children who have lost a parent from cancer (or have a parent who is battling cancer currently). It’s a weeklong summer camp (absolutely free to families) called Camp Kesem. I am a part of the chapter at the University of Georgia, but there are chapters all over the country.

    The camp is not a bereavement camp; it is for these children to just be able to be kids again in an understanding environment. If you’re interested in learning more or writing about the camp, you can look at our national website: http://www.campkesem.org.

    Thanks for your posts Kathy, I really enjoyed reading them and feel like I’ve learned a little something. My father is a cancer survivor and these kind of stories always touch me. Take care!

    • Hi. Sorry for the delay in replying. Life has been busy. Cancer survivor. Love to hear that term. Wish I heard it more often in terms of pancreatic cancer.

      Thanks for the info about the camp. My son has struggled a lot with his grandmother’s death, and my daughter just doesn’t understand why she didn’t get any time with her with her grandmother – he was 9 and she was 2 when my mom died. All I can say to her is that life doesn’t work out the way we want it to sometimes and can be unfair. But I remind her that her grandmother loves her and is watching over her.

      Thanks for stopping by. I will share the camp info with others. Take care.

  19. Hi – thank you for your blog…I lost my mother-in-law to stomach cancer several years ago and I still miss her…

    I too found consolation by writing – poetry, journals…and last year, a children’s book was born from that pain and also my friend’s grief at losing her best friend to breast cancer… We wanted to console our kids and reassure them that love is forever….

    Anyway, a gift to you…the book is free on kindle today and tomorrow… Sun Kisses, Moon Hugs…. your Mom’s love and yours for her are ever present!!! Xox

    • Hi Susan: I deeply apologize for missing your comment until now. I’m sorry you lost your mother-in-law to cancer. The book sounds wonderful. My son was deeply affected by the loss of his grandmother and was very close to her. They did a lot together in the 9 years they had. He is almost 14 now. He won’t talk about his grandmother, but I know he hasn’t forgotten her. Although sometimes I think my mom’s death affected my daughter more. She was only 2 when my mom died. She feels like she missed out and that life was unfair for taking her grandmother from her before she got a chance to spend time with her. The other night, it was late and my daughter was hot and tired, but instead of complaining about that, she broke down into tears and said she missed Grandmom. I will definitely check out the book for my daughter. One day I’d like to write a book too. I just haven’t figured it out yet. Take care.

  20. l am so happy found your blog. Lost my mother 6 months ago. And people has told me “time will cure”. Dont think so. I miss her more everyday. Thanks for your writting it is so very helpful. Leyla, 59-years old and grandmother of four. :)

    • Hi Leyla. I lost my mom four and a half years ago. Time does lessen the pain and grief, but you never forget. I will never stop missing my mom. Take care.

  21. Kathy,

    I read your About section with hot tears. The moment I read your byline, I thought, “Oh, no. Here comes the flood.”

    I’m so sorry about your mom. I know this pain too well. I lost my mom to brain cancer. She died 108 days after her sudden diagnosis. I blogged throughout the entire journey, and I’ve found it to be incredibly healing to share the experience with others.

    I’m looking forward to reading your blog and sharing in your journey.

    Much love and comfort to you…

    • Hi Lori: I’m sorry you lost your mom to cancer in such a short amount of time. Writing has been my way of healing from the grief, loss, and other feelings that have plagued me since my mom died. I have met many incredible people through this blog who have understood my feelings and helped in me in my journey of healing. I’m looking forward to checking out your blog. I wish you peace and love. Take care.

  22. Hi everyone – glad to have found this blog and community. Every comment I’ve read sounds like a person stronger than myself, and I need that desperately. My mom has been living very bravely and resilient-ly (I know that’s not a word haha) with pancreatic cancer since 2006. Two rounds of chemo then and last summer, after which it fell under the radar so to speak, and now it’s been found in her lung in a small amount, but still, I now am starting to understand what’s coming. I found this out two Sundays ago.

    I really need help, flat-out, to cope. some days I feel all right, and others, it feels – like a black hole. My dad and she have been together since 1968. I am 33, married happily, no kids yet, and live in San Diego. In a week, I’m headed home to NYC to spend two weeks with her better understand the many unknowns about her situation. It’s so hard being so close to one’s parents when this is the situation. I wonder how it is for those people with lots of fighting and distance in their families – both are probably just as hard. Anyway, I digress. I’d really like to keep in touch with people on here about this a possible impending loss. Thanks for reading. I can’t do this on my own.

    • Hi Molly. Thanks for visiting my site and leaving a comment. It’s amazing that your mom has lived for so long with pancreatic cancer, but with that being said, I understand your fear about what may be to come. I’ve started writing a post/short story about what it’s like to live everyday knowing that your worst fear may come true at any time. I lived this way for 348 days, and it took me a long time to not only heal from my mom’s death but also her battle with pancreatic cancer. It’s a hard topic to write about, but one day I will get it done.

      In this situation, coping is the hardest thing to do. Emotions are up and down, all over the place. For me, the uncertainty of my mom’s illness was like a vacuumed sucking me into a black hole. Her tumor could not be removed and just knowing that this deadly thing was living inside of her weighed so heavily on my heart. I cried, I screamed, I prayed, I begged God to save my mom. Most of the time I felt helpless because there was nothing I could do to change the situation. All I could do was be there for my mom and dad. I called my mom every day, even if it was just to say hi. During the last 3 weeks of her life, I worked from my parents’ house during the day. I know being far away as you are must be difficult. The one thing I learned about myself was that I was stronger than I thought I was and I “stepped up” when I needed to. You may not feel strong, I didn’t, but like me you are probably stronger than you think. Right now, the uncertainty is weighing on you heavily. My best advice is to take one day at a time, even one minute at a time if you need to, and most importantly, reach out to someone if you need help coping. My biggest mistake was trying to hide my sadness and deal with the situation on my own. I couldn’t do it and I fell into a very dark place.

      Know that you are not alone in this journey. There are people who understand what you’re feeling and going through. I am here for you – whenever you need to talk, cry or a shoulder to lean on. Please feel free to email me (peace4me521@yahoo.com). I hope something I wrote here helps in some way. You, your mom and your dad are in my thoughts and prayers. Take care. Hugs.

  23. So happy to find your blog today… I am in a similar journey.. just a little behind you. I started a blog as well. I say its to help others going through the same thing but honestly it helps me just as much if not more. I’ve read through some of the postings and will continue my way through them. Well done and thanks for sharing. I wrote a posting this week that may help some of your readers as well… it was about the day we decided to stop treatments and enter Hospice. I wish patients and their caregivers knew what a courageous step this is…

    http://whenyourparentisdying.com/2014/03/17/finding-the-hero-in-the-dying/

    • Hi. I apologize for the delay in responding to your comment. I will definitely check out your blog. I wish you the best on your journey. Please know you’re not alone. Take care.

  24. hi, :) I nominated you for Liebster. http://seikaiha.wordpress.com/2014/04/22/my-response-to-a-liebster-award/ I know you have way more recognition already, but I wanted to include you. I hope you like it.

    • Thank you so much. I’m honored to receive this award. I deeply apologize for the delay in responding to you. Thanks again and take care.

      • Thaks, Kathy, for your comment and reply.
        No need to apolozige. It’s the nominee’s right to decide to receive it or not, and when to do it.
        And it’s okay to decide when and how you socialize on the net.

        Thanks for your reply and consideration. Take care. :)

  25. Hi Kathy,

    I think your blog is wonderful, and especially useful for those who need it. I am the head of social outreach for the organization, SLAP’D: Surviving Life After Parent Dies. This organization was created by an intelligent, compassionate young woman, Genevieve Liu, to honor her father who drowned in Lake Michigan while saving two boys.

    To share some quick information about SLAP’D, its real purpose is to connect teens who have lost a parent, remind them that they are not alone, and to provide hope for the future, no matter how cliché that sentiment may sound. The three main components of SLAP’D work together to provide a space for teens to connect with their emotions and with those of others who have been in similar situations. These include a discussion forum, articles and interviews from experts and teens, and a personalized scrapbook where users can develop a memorial for their parent.

    We believe that your blog would be a great asset to SLAP’D; the dedication and commitment to helping those in similar situations cope with grief are both exceptional and uplifting. As an organization that focuses upon the youth who have experienced a loss, we would like to kindly ask you to write as a blogger with us.

    SLAP’D is also based in Chicago and is supported by the University of Chicago. We are planning to launch our organization very soon such that it would be official, and we would love to have you on board. As we are a burgeoning nationwide organization, the distance between where our organization is based and where you are is not an issue.

    I would love to talk sometime soon to get your insights and coordinate. For now, you can view the site at: http://www.slapd.com. If you are interested, please let us know about your availability to discuss this or shoot us an email soon!

    Thanks!
    Roxanne

    • Thank you Roxanne. I would be honored to help others and have sent you an email. Take care. Kathy


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