My mum had breast cancer in 2013 and she had treatment and we never thought it would come back. In March this year, we found out it had come back in her stomach and lymph nodes and was incurable.
We were all heartbroken but tried to stay hopeful that treatment would work well and that maybe she would even end up in remission.
Mum had tablet chemo which didn’t work and managed to have one dose of iv chemo before she died. Whilst on the tablet chemo, the cancer actually spread into her lungs and she had spots come up on her chest which turned out to be skin mets.
She just kept losing more and more weight, in and out of hospital all the time, could barely eat, getting weaker and weaker.
She was discharged from hospital on 1st August, she had been in due to a bowel blockage because of her cancer.
When in there, she told me it felt like she was fighting a losing battle. I still tried to remain positive and kept saying to her I was sure chemo would work.
When she was in, the nurse even said to me to encourage her to keep doing things for herself to keep her independent.
My mum came out to my house as she had stayed with me since her diagnosis in March.
She couldn’t walk up the stairs when she got home, my husband had to almost carry her. I kept telling myself it was because of the fact she was malnourished and not because of the cancer. I did what the nurse said and kept telling my mum she needed to make sure she could get up the stairs.
The next day, my brother came round and he had to carry her up the stairs. She just couldn’t do it.
I rung the macmillan nurse because I was so worried and I wasn’t coping well, it was so hard.
The macmillan nurse spoke to mums oncologist and he saw her as an emergency the next day. He also did a head scan because of ongoing vision problems.
He couldn’t believe how much my mum had gone downhill since he had seen her around a month before.
He said the breast cancer had now spread to behind her eyes.
I will never forget the words he said to her - “I think you are coming to the end of your life”
I broke down and my mum was the one reassuring me. I begged the oncologist that there must be something he could do.
I cried almost every day since my mum had been diagnosed but the only time I cried in front of her was when we first found out and the day they said she didn’t have long left.
My mum was so calm and just wanted to go home.
We spoke to the macmillan nurse after and I asked my mum why she was so calm or had she just had enough and she said she was just so tired of it all.
I spoke to the macmillan nurse in private after and asked her how long she though my mum had and she said weeks.
We spoke to my mum about a hospice and my mum agreed she wanted to go in one, although she said just for a few days.
When we left, I helped her in the car and I cried on her shoulder and said please can you just not leave me and she said I’m not going anywhere.
We went a long scenic way home that my mum liked and my brother came and carried her up the stairs into bed.
She asked for some gin so she had some and she also had some double cream.
She thanked us both for all our help and we said she didn’t need to thank us and we told her we loved her lots.
That night was really hard. I checked on my mum regularly, I kept offering to be in the room with her and she kept saying no.
The doctor came out at 5.20am to give her morphine and something to stop her being sick as she was bringing up coffee ground type vomit a lot.
I checked on her last about 7.45 and asked if she needed anything and if she wanted me to sit with her and she said no and we said love you lots to each other.
My brother arrive about 8.30 and he went to check on her and she was gone.
How does that happen just like that? I can’t get my head around it.
I’m so broken. My mum was my best friend too, we were so close. I don’t know how I will live with never seeing her again. People keep saying I will create a new life and remember the good times. I don’t want to create a new life without her.
I have so much guilt too. All the times I said to her to try and keep things cleaner in my bedroom (she had an ileostomy and it would leak and go everywhere and I gave her my bedroom while she was here) why does that matter, what a stupid thing to mention!
I feel awful for all the times I felt a bit resentful because I felt like I couldn’t cope with looking after her.
I feel awful that I never brought up death with her and I always made out it wouldn’t happen. She probably knew it would and wanted to talk about it but knew it would upset me. I feel like whilst she was staying with me there was almost a bit of a distance between us because neither of us would mention death.
I feel terrible for encouraging her to do things and being firm with her, I had no idea she was so close to dying or I would have done absolutely everything for her without trying to encourage her!
I feel terrible for her being in dirty sheets when she passed away. She had the bloody vomit under her and I had to sit her forward and put a clean sheet on top of that so she wasn’t laying right on it but it was still on the bed. I tried to give her a clean by wiping her mouth but she said it was too rough. My plan was to get her up into the chair when my brother got there and do the whole bed and give her a wash. I wasn’t sure if it was safe doing it alone.
Mostly, I feel horrendous guilt that she was alone when she dies. That cuts me in half. I should have insisted on being in there. I feel so bad but every time she said no to me being in there, I felt relief because it was so painful seeing her in the state she was in. How selfish is that?
I just know I’m broken and I don’t think I can ever be fixed.
I have a husband and two kids and I found out the day before my mum died that I’m pregnant again. She was so happy but I don’t know how I will get through a pregnancy grieving and how I will have a baby my mum will miss out on.
I have my brother and his girlfriend and kids too.
But I still feel so empty. I was so close to my mum that I feel like half of my heart has been ripped out