Colleen's Journey

She gets what she wants.

So, here it goes. I haven’t blogged much about my feelings because, honestly, I am overwhelmed. My emotions swing on an hourly basis between anxiety, sadness and heartache. I feel as if I am in purgatory. I wonder who will I to turn to when I’m sad? When I’m happy? When I just need to chat without judgment of my decisions? Who will give me the advice of someone that has known me my entire life?

I am scared and angry on a daily basis. I am 32 years old, I am losing my mom to ovarian cancer and there is nothing I can do about it! I am angry writing this blog right now as the thought of not having her here makes me teary.

Watching my mom struggle has been very difficult. Her breathing has become more labored and her eating has slowed. She has a list of things in her head she would like to do on a daily basis and the majority of them are out of her house. We are doing our best of accommodate every wish, but that is becoming more difficult as well.

My sisters and I arrive every day at my mom’s house to wait and hope. We wait for a brief moment with her, we hope for a smile, we want more of her. Period. We are selfish and we want more. We  know she wants more too, which is even more heartbreaking.

Where do we go from here? I have very few answers at the moment. But, what I know for sure is that we continue to grant every wish possible and we continue to make her feel as good as we can. If she says she wants ice cream, she gets it. If she says no visitors, no visitors. If she says she wants to look at pictures, we bring them to her. If she wants pot butter, she gets it.

I will miss my mom for the rest of my life. I miss her now. I love you, mom.


  • Kathy Ulrich

    Danielle~ We are all with you and your family. This is a part of life that somehow isn’t acknowledged these days. It doesn’t help to know others have been in your same place. It is a deep place. After the death of my daughter, I found great solace in poetry and in a CD, based on a book, “Graceful Passages.” It is for people dealing with death and dying. Many people of various backgrounds with no specific religious axe to grind, speaking beautifully. If I had your address, I would send a copy to you, but you can get it from Amazon. I can guarantee you will never regret being there and that the entire community is sending you energy, love and support.

    Kathy Ulrich

  • MJ gannon

    I have been watching my mom move away from me every day for the last 11yrs due to Alzheimer’s – my heart goes out to you all- my mom can’t talk or walk anymore and now I feel she is my child and not my mom- we care for them in our heart always and forever- but so heartbreaking to watch
    Hugs to all, mj

  • Jenny Larson

    Danielle-I can’t imagine what you are going through. How hard this for you, your mom, and your sisters. Just know that we are thinking about you and sending love and hugs.

  • Jeanine Brannigan


    My one regret was that I didn’t get to spend time with my mother before she passed. You and your family have an amazing opportunity to share love, support and time together. How beautiful it is that you let us share it with you.


  • Pamela Donison

    Danielle ~ That “selfishness” is just a part of having a wonderful, loving relationship with your mom. As Kathy Ulrich said, what you are all going through is part of life … the not-very-pretty-or-fun part that we like to dismiss, but is an all-important piece. All of us arrived with a one-way ticket.

    This past weekend, a young mother of two little boys, whom I’ve known for over a decade, died suddenly from complications of colorectal cancer. Boom. Gone. No time for a hug. The wonderful gift that Colleen is giving you (through her sheer determination!) is that of a sweet goodbye. I’m holding space for you all in my heart ~ Pamela

  • Annette Gubler Lake

    Danielle, Beautifuly said. My heart goes out to you and the the family. Time is a precious thing. Some people are very unaware of how fast time flies. You all have been blessed with amazing well spent time together. It won’t make up for the loss to come but will become a cherished treasure for a life time to come. Love to all. ~Annette

  • jennifer hanhila

    Hi girls, I love your mom. She is so brave. I was on the trip to India with her. She never complained. She was in a buying mood to make her house special. It was such fun. She knew that I, too, had had ovarian cancer (and breast cancer, too). We were both treated by the U of A. My love to all. Jen

  • Helen Wooden

    Oh, Danielle my heart breaks for you and your family. Your mom sounds like such a wonderful person. I am sitting here with my daughter and feeling your pain as a mother trying to imagine a most unfathomable loss. My daughter’s observation is that you are an incredibly lucky family to share the bonds you do. You will carry this blessing for the rest of your life.