Roberta  Broccardo's Memorial

Roberta Broccardo
(1926 - 2007)

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General Details

Name: Mrs Roberta Broccardo
Maiden Name: Ferrell
Gender: Female
Age: 81 years old
Lived: Sunday, 31 January 1926 - Saturday, 25 August 2007

My Story

This is my mother's story of the last few months of her life.
She lived a long, healthy and happy life until May 2006, when she was diagnosed with Stage 3, Ovarian cancer at the age of 81.  She endured six months of chemotherapy, only taking her anti-nausea medicine.  Her doctors said that she was in remission in Jan 2007 and so she was elated, as were we all.  In April 2007, her CA-125 was elevated and she had one chemo treatment in late May.  She began to experience vomitting and was hospitalized in late June for dehydration.  Her doctor told her the morning of June 27, that she only had a few months to live and while in the hospital she had a jejunostomy tube surgically inserted to relieve the vomitting.  That was the day my husband and I were driving to see her.  A day after she was released from the hospital, the Hospice nurse came and registered her for home care.  I really had reservations about my mom dying at home.  I thought it was strange.  My mother attended her family's reunion on Saturday, June 30 and was full of energy and joy.  She ate and drank well, she played a few hands of cards and then sat down at the piano with her sister, who is 85 (has Alzheimer's) and they sang hymns for several hours.  The following week, mom went to our local funeral director, made her funeral arrangements and met with the pastor of our church.  She also managed to buy a years worth of cards for all of our birthdays and several Christmas presents, paid bills, went through her jewelry deciding who would get what and wrote a letter to us kids.  That was on top of getting up every single day insisting on cooking, cleaning and grocery shopping.  She took no pain medication except Ibuprofen.  Around the second week of August, she began to slow down a little, her legs became edemitous (swelling) and her breathing was labored, so she began using oxygen.  But that didn't stop her, she used a walker and continued to cook whenever she could.  My sisters and brothers were helping with extra meals for her and dad.  Because her legs were swollen, my sisters helped with her bathing.  On Wednesday, Aug 23, she made dinner and insisted that her hospice nurse join them, which she did.  On Thursday, she got up, bathed and ate very little breakfast then laid on the couch.  My sister called me (I live in Pennsylvania) and told me that she thought mom was at the beginning of needing continual care.  As of yet, the most that her hospice nurse had done was take vital signs and bring whatever medical supplies were needed.  A few weeks earlier I had made reservations to fly home on Friday, Aug 24, because I just wanted to spend more time with her, while she could still talk and have a cup of coffee with me in the morning.  That was something all of us did with her.  If you lived close by, you'd just drop in and have coffee, and for me and one of my sisters that live away, we'd call and talk to mom as early as 6:00am because mom was usually up by 4:30-5:00am. I never got to do that, I waited too long to go home and see her.  I will always regret not going to see her sooner, even though she insisted that I didn't need to come.  On that  Thursday, she complained of pain and after taking Ibuprofen that  didn't help, my dad gave her Morphine, which kind of knocked her out, so she slept very well that evening.  On Friday morning, my sister called me again and asked when I was arriving.  She sounded panicked and told me that mom was not doing well and that her Hospice nurse ordered a hospital bed, whiched arrived at the house around noon.  My flight arrived at 5:30pm and my sister from Chicago, who was on her way down to see mom, picked me up.  We got home at 7:45pm.  When I saw my mom, I was amazed and shocked.  I knew she was dying.  I had seen it many times before (because of my background).  I kissed mom and told her that I was home.  She could barely respond because she was groggy and flacid from the Morphine, but she said she was glad that I was home and that she loved me.  After I got settled and everyone left for the evening, I talked with mom about God and if she was right with him.  She said, Oh, yes.  I also told her that all of us would be fine and that we would take care of dad.  She said, I know.  And, then I told her, that she could go to sleep anytime she wanted because everything was going to be okay.  She just smiled and said, okay.  I could see a tear in her eye.  My sister and I stayed up all night, holding her hands, kissing her and talking to her.  I made coffee around 3 or 4 am, and the smelled just filled the house.  Moms hospital bed was in the family room, so that if she wanted to watch TV, she could.  She was an avid Chicago Cubs fan and also watched a few soap operas. 
At 6 am, we bathed her and changed her pajamas.  She was hungry, so I made beef boullion for her.  But she could barely swallow (one of the last stages of dying) and my sister and I decided that we needed to talk with dad about how moms conditions was deteriorating fast.  At around 7:35 am, I left house and walked to my other sisters house next door.  I told her about moms condition and that we needed to talk to dad.  I was gone no more than 5 minutes.  I walked back into the house and my sister and dad were crying and holding and kissing mom.  She took her last breath right after I walked out of the house.  She had passed away at 7:40am.  I had to call Hospice first and then my brothers and other sister and tell them.  They were the hardest calls I've ever had to make in my life.  Though now, I have found comfort in knowing that my mom passed away peacefully, being held and kissed by her family, in her own home with the smell of coffee and breakfast in the air and am so glad she wasn't in a hospital.  She died 15 months after being diagnosed with Ovarian cancer.  We honestly thought she would have had longer, but are so relieved that there was little physical pain.  I know that dying was on my moms mind all the time, but she never let it stop her from living every day to the fullest.  She is my hero and I hope that I can be as strong as she was in my older years.  I had always thought that I was a compassionate and caring person to people who had lost loved ones, but until it happens to you, you just can't imagine the saddness that you experience.  I miss my mom so much, my heart just aches to talk to her and see her.  I was used to talking to her nearly everyday of my life.  And when that's gone all of a sudden, it's hard to take, but I pray for strength and God gets me through. Our goal now it to help dad and to get through the Holiday's, which of course, Christmas was mom's favorite, her birthday in January and Mother's Day.  Thanksgiving was tough but we did manage.  And our lives will go on because we all have our own families to care for.  But most of all, if it weren't for our faith, I think it would have been much more unbearable.
I hope my moms' story has helped or even inspired someone.  She was such a strong person and God was merciful to her, she only spent 17 hours and 45 minutes in a hospital bed.

Latest Tributes

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Memory Memorial Tribute
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4 years have now passed but the yearning to talk to you and see you is still in my heart.
Flower Memorial Tribute
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Mom, This will be short, because I have done well all day, but tonight I'm very sad and teary. I love and miss y...
Heart Memorial Tribute
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Mom, This will be your second birthday in Heaven and I hope it's as wonderful as your first one. I don't need to te...
Candle Memorial Tribute
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Mom, I know that even though you weren't physically with us this Christmas, your Spirit was everywhere. Di put out al...
Memory Memorial Tribute
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Mom, Tomorrow it will be a year since you left us. It went by so fast, yet you were on my mind almost all of my wak...
Candle Memorial Tribute
From: dpittro
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Mom there is not a day nor an hour that I do not think of you, miss you and love you. We were not ready to loose ...
Heart Memorial Tribute
From: MBillings
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Mom, This will be my first Mother's Day without you. I think about you all the time and still weep and probably al...
Song Dedication Memorial Tribute
From: MBillings
Song Name: A Broken Heart
Artist: The Royal Philhar...
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Candle Memorial Tribute
From: MBillings
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Mom, I'm lighting this candle for you in hopes you'll feel it's warmth as the weather gets colder. You've only been...
Flower Memorial Tribute
From: MBillings
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Mom, I think of you almost every hour of every day. I miss you so very much and wish that we'd had more time to jus...

Biography

Fathers Name: Clyde
Mothers Name: Anna
Country of Birth: USA
Country of Residence: USA
Marital Status: Married
Religion: Other Christian

Interests

Passing

Place of Passing: Home
Date of Passing: 25 August 2007
Cause of Passing: Ovarian Cancer
Type of Funeral: Private
Place of Burial: Springfield, Illinois
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