My lovely, brave Mum passed away on 10th November after fighting cancer on and off for 17 years and I can’t stand the silence.
She fought and beat double breast cancer at the age of 60 only ten years later for it to return but this time to the bowel. She fought and beat that but she didn’t come out of the battle unscathed, she had to manage a stoma for the rest of her life which was like water off a ducks back to her. “I’m lucky, I have my life” she used to say. I was always in awe of her. Then in 2017 (on my birthday) she was given the news that the beast had returned and was now in her bones. It was secondary cancer to the breast cancer she originally had which was absolutely crushing as she had fought and beaten that one but it was lurking in the shadows all the time. She managed to keep it under control and keep going until she started to dissolve slowly since the start of the pandemic, largely down to treatments being stopped. Eventually her mobility went, as did her continence and dignity along it.
She would ring me all the time for comfort, sometimes in the middle of the night if she wasn’t feeling too well or in pain. Sometimes I would drive round and sit with her until she fell asleep. She never knew but I reduced my hours at work so I could help care for her. She didn’t want the carers giving her a shower, only me. I never told her that I had done that, I used to say that work wasn’t that busy . She may have known deep down but if she did, she never said.
She ended up in and out of hospital many times during the last four months and passed away, luckily at home but in considerable pain. After everything she had been through fighting cancer three times she deserved to pass away peacefully in her sleep but she didn’t. It was me that discovered she was dying and so I raised the alarm. A district nurse came round and then all hell broke loose with syringe drivers etc. I had witnessed my Mum in distress and pain but not to that degree, it was devastating to watch. I felt helpless. I couldn’t even hold her hand as she was in so much pain. These are the images I now have seared into my memory that I am told will fade in time. I’m not so sure.
The main thing is that I miss her, I miss her so much it hurts. I was mentally and physically exhausted most of the time and now I have so much time on my hands. I even miss being so tired that I cry when I pull up on my drive.
I’m 46 and lost my Dad suddenly to a heart attack when I was 24. I never thought I could ever feel such pain and as I did since then but I do.
Everything is reminding me of her. The organisation of her funeral kept me busy as did my husband and I sorting through her things but now it’s so quiet and I long for the phone to ring. I even still take it to bed with me at night, just in case. How silly is that.