My Story is about my mother, Joy Greisman Bonn
This event took place from 12/02/2020 to 05/06/2021
It was discovered because my mom went to the doctor for a check-up. She had some stomach issues but not life-threatening ones and felt the pain differed from other times. We thought for sure her diagnosis would be Crohn’s or Colitis or Ulcer because she never expressed just how painful it was or that it was a different type of pain that came along with a lack of appetite. This made her doctors immediately do bloodwork and scans due to her ailments.
This is My Story
My mother retired at 72 as an interior decorator and designer. She and my father decided to retire in October of 2021 and move full-time to south Florida. As soon as they got to Florida my mom started complaining that she wasn’t feeling well. She was getting sick from everything she was eating and spent many sleepless nights feeling awful from dinner. My mom always had stomach issues but they were not unusual to what those of Eastern European descent seem to have in common. My mom was the hardest-working person I have ever known. She never complained and even if she was feeling horrible, she was always moving along. After a few weeks of not feeling well and she felt the pains she was having were unlike her stomach pains of the past, she went to the doctor. He immediately did blood work and sent her for tests. I will never forget where I was and what I was doing and what my mom was wearing when the Facetime call came in on December 2nd. My mom and dad called to tell me of the diagnosis. I immediately said, “oh no that’s what Alex Trebeck had”. They instantly downplayed it and explained what would be the next step. My mom was very calm and kept saying they gave her the wrong test results because she was the healthiest sick person. My parents returned from Florida and my mom was treated at SK Memorial Hospital. She underwent aggressive treatment. The treatment didn’t go well and she had four strokes. This all took place in a matter of five months. Any chance I could be with her or my brother, Craig, or sister-in-law, Nicole, and my mom’s two sisters, we were with her. My dad never left her side except to grab some ice cream he hoped would make her smile and possibly try to eat. My mom decided after the round of chemo that she wanted to go the palliative care route. This was a very hard one to digest for all of us but we wanted her to do what would make her most comfortable. As things rapidly changed and the disease became more prominent, my mother would talk to each of us. She gave each of her five grandchildren, Jacob, Jordan, Peri, Harley, and Dani, a message of how much they meant to her. They were her life. No one brought her happiness like the five of them. My mom’s last message to me as she held my face from the hospital bed at home surrounded by HOSPICE workers is one I will never forget….I love you more than anything. Those were her last words to me just a few days before she passed. On May 6, 2021, my mom passed. There was no one like her. While she was sick, she kept saying she had a wonderful life and how lucky she was with her family and friends. She was there for everyone always and has very big shoes to fill. I just hope she knows, WE WERE THE LUCKY ONES.
The Impact of Time
My outlook on time changed and the value of time because it is so hard to detect. It has not been like other cancers where early detection is widespread and available. The value of time became even more meaningful because my mother’s diagnosis showed that it was metastatic. She had stage 4 and time was running out because of this fast-growing, moving disease. There is never enough time with those you love especially when you get his with a diagnosis out of the left field. You expect the loved one to be a part of all that is ahead but Pancreatic cancer doesn’t give its people it chooses a fighting chance if you had the diagnosis my mother had. Although my mother had five months with us after diagnosis, each and every moment was important. The last few months, weeks, and days, were filled with loads of emotions and more crying and fear than ever before but the time was precious and we got to share how much we loved her and she shared how she loved us. I will never forget the precise moment of my mother’s passing as I held her left hand and only wanted more time.