Wednesday, July 21, 2010

The final day with my mom.

Is there an interest is having this blog continue?
I just want to thank everyone for the support during this very difficult transition. The service at Our Lady of Malibu Church was so beautiful and to see the church filled with my moms wonderful friends and relatives is something I will treasure.
I really want everyone to know how my mom spent her last day. I was with her from July 5th to July 10th. On her last day, July 10th she walked outside with me and enjoyed the sun on her face. She said we needed to come outside everyday. She sipped on some tea and ate about 4 tablespoons of Cream of Wheat. We were outside for about an hour and she asked me to read from the bible. I am not too familiar with the bible and where to find stories so I just started turning the pages and began reading. I ended up reading a story about Jesus on his last day before his crucifixion. My mother asked me what I thought of that story. She then shared her thoughts and said how amazing it was that Jesus, knowing he would be crucified the following day, he was still able to help the people and continued healing others. I then read to her from a book that shares stories about people who are facing their loved ones on their last day. The stories were so touching and I could not get through the stories without tears in my eyes and a lump in my throat. She loved hearing the stories about people right before they die. This was the first day I believe my mom actually accepted that she was still alive. She was hoping for her own death the entire week. She wanted to go and she wanted the suffering to stop. On Saturday she said, "well, I guess I am going to be here a while." I agreed. I really thought I was going to have her at least another week. My mom then went inside for a short nap, her friend Elizabeth arrived, my mom watched a movie and she ate saltine crackers and chicken broth. My mom also had a strawberry popsicle which she said was very yummy and if I could make sure there were more of those for the next day. My mom was so peaceful all day. She was eating, drinking, talking and participating in life. She was so alive. I had decided to leave at 4:00 to head home and take care of my own life, but told her I would return in a few days. Her friend Elizabeth stayed the night with my mom and for that I am so thankful. I felt so at peace with my mom and her condition that day when I left. My mom did have a look of question when I said I would see her in a couple days, but she did not ask me to stay. The day before she had said I should go home and be with my husband. That was the first time she had said I could leave. After I left, her cousin Ronnette came for a visit and my mom wanted a Starbucks latte. I don't know if she ever drank that latte because she did get nauseous later on. She shared with Ronnette the song that Quincy, Jen, my mom and I had written, End of the Road. Her and Elizabeth then had many conversations and my mom went to sleep. At one in the morning my mom awoke and said she was having trouble breathing. She was given oxygen, a dose of morphine and a hand to hold so she knew she was not alone. She couldn't quite catch her breath, but she was still talking and living. She then took four large breaths and passed away around 1:30 a.m. on July 11th.
After all of the suffering my mom went through the past 3 years with the cancer I am so thankful she did not have any further suffering. Her last day was so peaceful, she was so ready to be with Jesus. She had accepted everything and gave the process to God. I have never met anyone who truly had accepted Jesus the way my mother had. I am so thankful I was able to spend the last six days of my mothers life with her. I am truly blessed. Thank you mom for showing me how to be brave. Thank you mom for sharing your friends with me, they love you so much. I will miss you, but I know you are not that far away. Maybe you are here right now making sure I say all the right things. I am sure once a mother always a mother. Say hello to Grandpa, tell him the beach party was just as he planned. Was that you who turned the music up at Charlou's?
Love always, Kelly

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

1-17-48 to 7-11-10

Dear Friends of Carmen,
My mother passed away on July 11 from the complications of cancer. There is so much to share. What I need to share is how honored I am to know my mother was loved by so many. Thank you for all of the support. She is now free from suffering and I know she is in a better place. She can now play her music forever, swim in the sea, and walk the beaches without every getting tired. She shared that my grandfather (her deceased father) had come to visit her just days before her passing. She told me that he was having a party for her at the beach house. She was so happy to share this. She also thought we should take a train to Starbucks to get a latte. Well, her last day and one of the last things she requested was a Starbucks green tea latte. I want to appreciate Elizabeth who was with my mom during her final moments. Thank you Elizabeth, it means more to me than anyone will know that my mother was not alone during that time. I want to thank Leni and Gilbert who took care of my mom at the home. They both took care of each and every need my mother had no matter what time of day or night. Thank you Leni and Gilbert. Thank you Arthur for having such a wonderful home where my mom felt peace and comfort knowing she was taken care of. Love and prayers to each and every one who had a special place in their heart for mom. I love you mom, say hello to grandpa from me.


Services for Carmen will be on July 17 at 10:00 a.m at Our Lady of Malibu Church, Malibu, CA. A reception will follow at 22000 Pacific Coast Highway, Malibu. We are having a potluck please contact Kris Larronde at 310-968-5293 or Robin Zimmerman at 310-488-2735 if you can contribute. Also, in lieu of flowers we are asking if donations can be made to Our Lady of Malibu Church in honor of Carmen Dragon.

Some of you have asked for my address which is: Kelly Arbaut, 29801 S. Lower Valley Rd. Tehachapi CA 93561. You can also send correspondents to Quincy Carroll at the same address.

Friday, July 09, 2010


My mom has an amazing nurse who is a nephew of Deepok Chopra, his name is Shev Chopra. He is handsome and she is in love. He comes to give her a full body massage with lavendar oil. She is so very relaxed after this treatment. Hospice has such a great support system for both my mom and our family.
The cards she has received offer so much support for my mom. She knows that she is loved. She is thankful for your sincerity and at peace with the "goodbyes".
My mom is sleeping more and talking less, but know that she is not in pain and seems very peaceful. She had a few sips of liquid today and requested Oswalla lemonade. She likes frozen coke ice cubes which makes me laugh since my mom has never been a coke drinker. She says the cancer craves the sugar.
You can send an email to my account at or send a card to 1109 E. Homestead Rd., Sunnyvale CA 94087.
Thank you for all of the positive comments on this blog.
Love and peace to all of you.

Sunday, July 04, 2010

Sunnyvale update

Dear Friends of Carmen,

I so appreciate the support from everyone. During this time, my mom needs her rest and is not answering her phone for that reason. If you would like to contact Carmen please send a card to her Sunnyvale address. You can also reach me by email as I know everyone wants to know updates. My email is Please know that I will now be spending as much time as possible with my mom and when I can respond to an email I will take time to do that.

Have you ever noticed how bright even the smallest light looks when everything outside is dark? In turbulent times, share your light. No matter how little you think you have, it will shine bright. --Zen Life, Daniel Levin

Mom, you are still shining bright. I love you!


Sunday, June 27, 2010


Dear Friends and Family of Carmen,

The ever changing world of cancer has come to another chapter. My mom is currently at Domincan Hospital, but will be moving Monday, June 28th to assisted living where she can be close to my brother. She will have hospice and a full time caregiver. The cancer has advanced once again and now the focus is on comfort and not treatment. My brother, his wife and myself will all stay with her through this very difficult time. My mother loves to receive cards and her new address is Micro Star Care Home, 1109 E. Homestead, Sunnyvale, CA 94087. Your continued support to her at this time has been appreciated beyond words.

Sincerely, Kelly Arbaut

Monday, June 21, 2010

Girls in Malibu

Just spent a week in Malibu at Charlous house on the beach. Everyday I took walks, saw good friends (about 15), from grade school, high school, and even had breakfast with Monseignor Sheridan and Sister Mary from my old Catholic school; Our Lady of Malibu. It was very rejuvenating and healing to see everyone and reconnect. I was really blessed to be able to be picked up and delivered to Malibu by Robin, and then driven home by my daughter Kelly and grandson Sean.
I finished my second round of chemo this morning, and didn't feel as nauseated and my doctor thinks I'm doing well and getting the old 'life force' back. Still have pain in my abdomen though.

Thursday, May 27, 2010

The inevitable

The doctor decided to start the new chemo regimen today. It's called: Alimta, and it's a newer drug mainly for lung cancer. They got the results back from my CT scan and blood work, and the news wasn't too good. There are new cancers in my back in the lymphnodes, and the ones in my abdomen have multiplied. The CA 125 shot way up to 7,000 (normal range is between 1-35). The chemo wiped me out and I am now resting. I will try and drive to Malibu on June 13 with Kathy Roberts and visit for about 5 days; probably stay at Charlou's house. Will keep in touch!