Thursday, October 13, 2005

Post Script

Just wanted to leave a note to say I don't expect there'll be any further entries to "Mom's Recovery." This was Mom's blog and now it's finished. However, I think we'll leave it here for a while; there's a lot of Mom's personality, humor and spirit captured here, especially in the earlier entries before I took over writing for her. If you want to know more about Mom, read her archives from last June and earlier.

Meanwhile, I have a blog focusing on the upcoming publication of the book "Mom's Cancer," while my Kid Sis writes about her life and interests in her blog, "Kid Sis in Hollywood." You're welcome to visit.

Thanks so much to everyone who read Mom's blog: the few new friends she made, the many who left encouraging comments or e-mails, and the many more who just transmitted good wishes Mom's way that she was certain she could feel. Our gratitude to you all.

Brian Fies

Monday, October 03, 2005

The End of Mom's Recovery

Brian here. I’m sorry to have to write that Mom passed away the afternoon of Saturday, October 1. She died peacefully and painlessly with family and friends, including my sisters and me. She was 66.

It seems odd to say that Mom’s death came as a surprise but, until even hours before the end, we and her physicians always saw a reasonable path to recovery. In fact, I’d flown to southern California just three days earlier to help move furniture in preparation for her return home from the hospital. But her body had simply had enough.

As far as we know, Mom died free of cancer. She beat it. However, she took steroids to control brain inflammation caused by the brain tumor and its radiation treatment. Administered in high doses over a long time, they were as damaging to her body as cancer would have been. The steroids had to be reduced, renewed inflammation put pressure on unexpected parts of her brain, and the end came quickly.

Mom never regretted moving to Hollywood. Despite her struggle in recent months, I don’t think I ever saw her happier living anywhere else. She loved her new neighborhood: the brilliant bougainvillea spilling over her back fence, the giant avocado tree next door that dropped guacamole hailstones into her yard, the towering palm at the curb, the yellow curry dish from the Thai restaurant around the corner. This was where she needed to be.

The publication of “Mom’s Cancer” will go ahead. Mom always sought purpose in her life and, in recent months, her suffering. She shared in the production of “Mom’s Cancer”: the drafts, proofs, correspondence with my publisher and the public. She wrote the book’s Afterword. Nothing made Mom more proud or happy than hearing from readers who said her story had helped them or that they’d quit smoking because of her. She told me she thought she’d found her purpose after all. I didn’t disagree.

She lived and died well. I will miss making new memories with her.