This is dedicated to Donnay, Amazon, Route, Mrs. Jessica for putting a name to what happened to my mother. I will always be grateful to all of you.
My mother was the life of the party when we had a family event. I remember when my sister and I were little how we would sit down to watch movies. The movie that we all loved was called The Sound of Music. We would laugh and sing along with the movie. When my sister and I were scared, Mom would sing, "These Are a Few of our Favorite Things,” and "Do-Re-Mi,” to make us feel better. To this day, when that movie comes on the television, or I hear one of those songs, I cannot help but think of my mother. I remember when I was really little how Mom would pretend I was her Joey. She would wrap me up in her night gown; jump around the house and into my bedroom rolling me onto my bed.
God blessed me with twenty-three wonderful years with my mother. I am so thankful for the years I had with her and for everything that she taught me. If she had not pushed me so hard, I would not have made it through high school. At my high school graduation she was up there in the crowd screaming and cheering for me. Several years after I graduated from high school our world started coming apart
Mom had a 180 degree personality change. She was disoriented and confused. We had just gone to the store the day before for groceries and the next day she said that she needed to go shopping for food again. We would go visit a family member, and after sitting and talking for a few moments she would say it was time to go. These family members lived 30 to 60 minutes away. It was unusual for Mom to not sit there for hours laughing and joking with them. In tough situations and tense moments, Mom would always make a joke to ease it. My aunt thought this was alarming and said that she needed to get checked out. We were horrified when her test results came back. We found out that she had a malignant brain tumor, and it was far advanced. The doctors recommended that be hospitalized a few days shortly thereafter.
A few days after she was hospitalized, she went into a coma. The doctors told us she would not wake up again. My sister and I took turns lying in the bed with her. They told us it would probably be a good idea to say goodbye to her, so we did so in our own ways. We walked in the room one or two at a time to say our goodbyes. I was not sure what to say or how do it, and I was too upset to think straight, so my Uncle went in with me.
The funny thing about doctors is that they are sometimes very wrong. God brought Mom back out of her coma after a few days. At that time, she could not move half of her face when she woke up. We decided it was best to move mom to hospice care. I remember how I would go pick up food for her and bring it to her after I got off of work. You see, I could not just sit there and watch her deteriorate; I had to keep my mind busy with work.
A month after all this happened; I got a call from Dad while I was at work. He told me that the brain tumor had become so advanced and so bad that they had taken her off of the breathing machine. I rushed up to hospice care as fast as I could. I ran to her bedside and held her hand and told her goodbye.
My sister, my Dad and I held her hand as she took her last breaths. Suddenly, she was gone. Instead of a funeral, we had a viewing because Mom wouldn't have wanted us to mourn her. She would have wanted us to remember her this way.
Her dying wish was to be cremated and her ashes to be spread in one of her favorite places. We made sure to honor that wish, but my sister and I got tiny urns that were in the shapes of hearts. I keep mine by my bedside.
I found it strange that mom had developed brain cancer out of the blue. She was the last person we thought would get cancer because she was always eating healthy and exercising. She was always carrying healthy snacks like carrot sticks and water with her. Why had she developed cancer like this when she exercised and ate well?
That question bothered me a lot but I didn't know where to look for that answer. I did not get my answer until I met a woman named D. She talked about something called “Genetically Modified Food,” and how much damage it does to your body. She grew her own food around her house and she canned foods. She had obviously done a lot of research, and had been doing this for a while. However, it wasn't until she asked me what had happened to my Mom that I finally got the answer I was seeking.
Her group had asked me what had happened to Mom, but I was reluctant to say in open room. She pulled me aside to give me some privacy. I told her that my mother had died of a malignant brain tumor.
The first question that D. asked me was if mom drank a lot of diet soda. I sat there for a moment, surprised. How did she know that Mom consumed diet soda? I asked how she knew and that Mom consumed many sodas a day. That is when she told me about an artificial sweetener named Aspartame.
She gave me a video called "Sweet Misery: A Poisoned World," and said that I should watch it. She also pointed me to a website: sweetpoison.com. It felt so good to finally put a name to what happened to my mother.
After doing some research, I realized that my mother had no idea how much aspartame she was consuming every single day. It was in a lot of the products she ate or drank, including the eight Diet Cokes that she drank daily. It was also in the fat free products she ate; like the yogurt and the water flavors from Splenda that she liked. People do not realize how many products it is in, and may consume it without even realizing it.
I have come to the conclusion that the aspartame that mom consumed exacerbated her brain cancer. It is my hope that I reach someone and save them from the exact same fate.