I cant believe she's gone
by nikki cooper
My mum was diagnosed in June of this year,2013 with lung cancer. She was told that it couldn't be cured but that they could shrink it and then contain it. This seemed to help my mum to deal with the chemo that followed and when she was told in Oct that the tumour had shrank, she was delighted. She was then given radiotherapy to her head to stop it from spreading to her brain, again my mum was sure that this was (all for the good). Three weeks later she was told that the cancer was back and that it had spread so fast that it was now in her liver and bones... How could this be, we'd just been told that it had shrank and we were looking forward to a happy Xmas.
The consultant told myself and my mum that she had 'months rather than years'. My mum was devastated as was I, we couldn't take in what we were being told, what was about to happen, it wasn't real.
My mum was 72yrs old, an extremely strong, proud lady and for the 1st time ever I saw her break down. She couldn't face talking to my sisters so I had to break the news to them, this was one of the hardest things I've ever had to do.
We decided that if we all pulled together we could make mums last few months as happy as possible. We thought we would have Xmas still and hopefully celebrate mums birthday on 28th Feb. Mum had set her sights on my daughter coming home from America in October 2014 as her goal, we didn't share those thoughts, we hoped but didn't think it was likely.
A week to the day after the devastating news, mum fell at home and was rushed into hospital. I had a call from my step-dad at 9.30pm saying that mum had fallen and was in a lot of pain. I rang my sisters and rushed to the hospital. I must of gone far to fast as I live 9miles from the hospital and got there before the ambulance and mum only lives 1 mile from the hospital. The events of the following 6days are just awful as we had so many reasons to complain about the treatment my mum received. I am looking into complaining.
After the 6th day mum was taken to the local hospice which she was so happy about. She was at last getting the treatment she needed and the care she deserved. The staff were fantastic. We were told that mum would be there for 2wks while they assessed her home to see what they could do to help her and my stepdad. That Wednesday afternoon was the happiest we'd seen mum for over a week. I painted her nails for her because she always had beautiful nails, she joked that she didn't like the colour and we joked that we would bring blue varnish the next day. That was the last time I saw my mum conscious, when we got back the next morning we were told she'd had a terrible night and that she'd been given more morphine. We couldn't believe it, she seemed ok yesterday, tired and not always quite with it, but this wasn't meant to be happening, not yet.
Mum never regained consciousness and I never got to talk to her again, never got to joke with her again or see her smile. Why was this happening!
My mum passed away the next day, 2wks after being told she had months to live, 10 days after her fall and 2 days after we'd been told that she'd be going home in 2wks.
We sat with her all day, listening to every breath she took. Watching for any sign that she was leaving us and finding ourselves telling her to go, she was ready, she couldn't come back from this and we just wanted her to relax and be out of pain. I still don't know how we got through it but when my mums breathing changed and slowly began to fade we held her hands, stroked her head, told her that we loved her and that it was ok for her to go.
Mum died 3wks before Xmas and 2 days before my daughter managed to get home from America. We feel like we were cheated because we weren't ready for her to leave us. We had things to say, to do and to share and time ran out.
Its 4 wks on and I am devastated, the funeral kept us busy and then Xmas which was extremely difficult but had to be done for the sake of the children and grand children. Now its all over and life has to go on, but how? How do you get over losing someone who you spoke to at least 3 times a day, who was always there for you and who you loved so much?
How do you get the last few months out of your head when you go to bed and try to sleep?
How do you still go to the house my mum lived in for the last 20yrs to see my step dad who is suffering so much. Its just so hard.
I've written this to try and get it out of my head as Im trying not to talk to my family about it as I don't want to upset them. My partner of 4yrs is fantastic and always there for me but he lost his wife to cancer 3yrs before I met him so I really don't want to bring up that pain for him to relive.
I know that you have to take one day at a time and that is what I'm trying to do. I feel lost and so hurt that it is a physical pain that wont go away.
I know I'm not the only one to lose their mum but when its your mum you do feel like it has to be more painful than anyone else.