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The Pain of Losing Two of My Loved Ones to Ovarian Cancer

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I am a granddaughter and a daughter of ovarian cancer victims. Yes, both my lola and my mom shared the same disease. A disease which has a high probability that I, too, may acquire.

It was not easy to be the one who’s always left by loved ones. The loneliness is unbearable. It drowned the life out of me.

Recently, I went through the pain of saying goodbye to my best friend, my mom. She just finished her fourth of six chemotherapy sessions, and the second cycle. And she had just celebrated her birthday.

Being always away because of work, I went home to organize a Thanksgiving for her. She was happy seeing family and close friends gather in her honor. But in the middle of the party she told me she was tired, and so I accompanied her to the master’s bedroom. In there, she told me things that only people in their sick bed utter.

I wasn’t able to hold back my tears. Emotions were so strong I told her I wasn’t ready to let go of her. Not yet. Not ever. She has to fight. She still has to fight. For me. For my siblings. For dad.

She was getting weak day by day. My leave for work will soon be over.

Just before my dad drove me to the airport, my mom and I had a long embrace — which we used to do when I was growing up. We did this especially in the morning after waking up. We usually embrace each other before going to the dining table for breakfast. We did that thing on the day I was leaving for work as she was sitting on the couch.

I cried again. I remembered clearly she told me not to cry for her. And so, I did cry. A lot.

I told her she has to be there when I get home after three weeks to celebrate my birthday.

Two weeks passed. I received a call from my aunt that I have to come home soon because my mom was rushed to the hospital. I quickly booked the earliest trip home.

On my way, I was praying fervently that I would see her and would still be able to talk to her. As soon as I got to the room, I saw her with an oxygen mask on. My dad spoke to her with cheer on his voice that I had come and was there.

I was crying as I approached her bed. I held her hand. I told her to squeeze back. I whispered to her and begged her to hold my hand. The only response she made were the tears that kept on rolling down her cheeks.

Clarissa Blanca Loterte and family

The nurse came in to check her vitals. The doctor followed soon and told us that my mom will expire in minutes. We all cried. The room was filled with sorrow. We kissed her and said our goodbyes. She waited for me.

Then she was gone.

To this day, whenever I think of her, I can’t control shedding a tear or two. There’s never a time I don’t cry whenever I talk about her. It still hurts.

It hurts losing my best friend.

It hurts losing my mom.

I will never move on with this heartache.

I love you so much, mom. And I miss you, a lot. I will see you soon.

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Getty Images photo via Tharakorn

Originally published: December 6, 2017
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