Coping with loss

Iv been reading some of your brave stories …the morning of 31 October 2020 Brian had a kidney removed in the previous few months he had a tumour,but was assured once kidney was removed he would be ok …Brian was offered chemotherapy to mop up any further cancer …he was one week into this ,on the morning I was giving him his medication…Brian fell to the floor …I thought he had fainted but quickly could see Brian struggling to breathe…I rang 999 and started CPR I was following the person on the other end of phone I was working on Brian for 25 minutes before ambulance came …but he had passed away…I still find myself going over that morning…What if! This is the first time iv shared this dreadful day …

That is absolutely awful. My husband died a month before yours did, and I keep on asking. why?

Paradoxically I live in East Yorkshire, and since COVID started, I’ve noticed that the health services here and in Hull are getting more and more exhausted. It’s just not the same as it used to be. We both had serious issues prior to COVID, but then we had no problem getting a GP or help from out of hours. Now it’s virtually impossible.

It’s been worst of all at the cancer units, because obviously a patient is vulnerable because of chemotherapy. I know orthopaedics has ground to a halt, the surgeons are furious, it’s very difficult to get in touch with mental health service. My husband Jim was discharged from hospital as terminally ill 3 weeks after he walked in to the ambulance that took him away.

What is working for me is seeing a community psychiatric nurse once a week, just having a general chat, but so far 2 of them working in tandem have stopped me from blaming myself for his death, and beginning to cope with it. It will take a long time - I think the notion of getting over grief is nonsensical.

In my case, it’s compounded by the suspicion that Jim didn’t get the right treatment. But he was a man, and he toughed it out. His priority was caring for me as I waited for surgery on my neck.

In your case, it doesn’t sound like that happened, because the the tumour was diagnosed and treated. I had cancer 11 years ago, and it’s like being hit with a brick. I had ovarian cancer - I know that the side effects of chemotherapy are unpredictable.

Now that lockdown is lifting, you might want to give McMillan a ring, to discuss what happened and why. They will arrange a face to face meeting so that you can go over everything. Perhaps also you could consider some form of counselling. Maybe, like me, you have complex grief. The 25 minute wait for the ambulance is far too long. I know the East Riding is a big place, but there should have been a paramedic or trained first responder there to help you sooner than that. Whether that would have helped or not you will never know.

I can only say that I share your sorrow. I’ve found hope in walking with me dogs. I am getting back to things I enjoy, such as reading. I hope that as the weather gets better and lockdown lifts that you will begin to feel a little better too.

Christie xxx

Thankyou for your kind words …I think I will try Macmillan just to get answers… sending you lots of strength…