How to cope with loss

My mum was diagnosed with terminal bowel cancer a week ago. We have been told she has around a month left to live.

I’m very close to my mum, so this is an extremely hard situation to deal with. I’m also 26 weeks pregnant with my first child (her first grandchild) and we’re both having to deal with the pain and grief of her not being here when the baby is born.

I’m with her 24/7 at the moment as she is unable to
Do anything on her own. I’m practically her carer and it’s so hard to see her so frail.

I feel so lost. How do you cope with grief? How do you cope with the idea of losing your mum at a time when you’ll probably need her the most?

Hi, welcome to this community although like everyone else here, you would rather not be in it.

The thing about grief is, nobody knows how to cope with it. You just struggle through, doing the best you can. A terminal diagnosis is particularly hard. In medical terms, this means I think that whoever it is is expected to die within 6 months.

Your mother’s prognosis of a month to live is based on her doctor’s expectation given her/his knowledge of disease progression. I hope you have a good palliative care plan in place - this should give you access to a number that works 24/7 to answer any question you may have. The district nurses should be visiting daily. And carers should be provided to help.

This is called NHS continuing care, which is automatically available to anyone with a terminal diagnosis. I hope this is in place, if not you need to call you GPs to put it in place.

A someone who’s 6.5 months pregnant, you need to care for yourself and your baby. Is your partner supportive? What about your friends? Of course your mother is your priority at the moment, but I do not think she would happy with the notion that your priority is her rather than yourself and your baby.

It really is a miserable situation to be in. I can only try to empathise, so this comes with a massive cyberhug.

We are all siblings in grief.

Love, Christie xxx

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Hi Christie,

Thank you so much for your very kind response.

The information you provided has been super useful! We do not have an palliative care plan in place, we are very much struggling to manage my mums pain.

We do not have number we can call 24/7 nor do we have a district nurse visiting us daily!

We do however a care team visit 3 times a day which is great but not particularly helpful when all we want is to ensure my mum is comfortable (which she isn’t currently).

I’ve been in contact with her GP and have a nurse from the palliative care team visiting me tomorrow to discuss her care moving forward.

In terms of support, I have an amazing family and an extremely supportive fiancé (unfortunately he is in Devon and I am looking after my mum in Cambridgeshire). This is hard for both of us, but we speak daily and see each other at the weekends.

We are due to get married in November, which is another important milestone in my life that my mum will miss out on. A strange question, are you aware if the Sue Ryder Hospice allows small wedding ceremonies in situations such as these (I appreciate COVID makes everything more difficult).

Thank you again for reaching out, the information you provided was so useful and I feel better already.

Sara x

I have no idea, phone Sue Ryder tomorrow and as if they could help. If not, maybe your local hospice can???

If neither can, you have have a wedding anywhere, even at home, as long as whoever marries you has a licence. Any parish minister will do that for free, I think.

Love Christie xxx

Hi. Sarav.

So sorry for your difficult situation.

Make sure you get the contact details of the palliative care team and know time they can support you and whst to do if she come unwell suddenly.

As far as i know GP or hospital make a referral to the hospice near you but start asking for diferents hospice help. Ask for help during the nights ecplajn you are pregnant

Hospice normally are very good jn helping the family too. Unfortunately you are now running against the time, wojld be nice for yoh mum to see you get married even in live stream.
Talk to your mum openly and honestly and prepare yourself for the hard time ahead. (It maybe looks cruel but it will help you to grief)
It would help you when she goes like what do if funeral how she want to go, sort out the will , finance (pension paper work, bank account, the house situation, her personal belongings, )

What is more important make sure you tell her everything you want. Perhaps a video now she is strong, video and selfies that you child can see in the future,

There are ideas that i wish someone tall me to do and think i should have sort out when my beloved husband become sick.

Take care of yourself and try to get support from social services ask in hospital or GP.

Send you love xx

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I totally agree with everything Devi has said. I am not aware of the law in England, because I am Scottish, Scotland has its own laws, as has England.

However, this is my best suggestion - call your local church, ask them if they could marry you at home because of your mother’s illness, and have the ceremony once you have got the answer right there at her side?

Christie xxx