I am 27 years old with 2 young children.
I sadly lost my beautiful Mum on the 10th Novemeber 2019.
She was 48 years old,
It all happened relativly quickly. We had a lovely Christmas etc and entered 2019 ok…and then from the Febuary I noticed my Mum distance herself…now I would see Mum every single day and if I did not see her I would of spoken to her over the phone. I was pregnant with my 2nd child at the time and of course wanted my Mum. I began to notice the fact she was not coming over as often, not wanting to talk on the phone. I noticed her voice had changed but she suffered with COPD and she always put it down to that and that she had been distant due to stress as at the time her Dad was batterling cancer, she had lost a friend and a family memeber also passed away earlier in the year suddenly so I had no reason to doubt
She did not really want to celebrate Mother’s Day nor her birthday and by the June I had hardly seen her not even for my eldest Son’s 3rd birthday (25th June) so doubts began to enter my mind even more so as I had found out she had been having a fair bit of time off work and asking me or my husband to contact her boss. At the time her father had just passed away and we had a couple other deaths in the family earlier in the year so when she would say it was all stress etc I had no reason to believe otherwise.
Then all of a sudden one evening I recieved a message from my Mum with a picture. It was of the right side of her neck with a huge lump! She explained how she had not been truthful and that she had been hiding it from everyone. Appointment after appointment she then had scans, MRIs the lot and then on the 18th July - 2 weeks after having my son via emergancy c-section a appointment came up at a hospital known for it’s cancer treatments. I knew I had to be able to go…that was the day we were told that my beautiful 48 year old Mother had cancer in her voicebox, around her thyroid gland and lymph node wrapped around great vessels and eroding her vertbre. Safe to say we were gobsmacked. That is it - no cure just pallative care.
Mum dived straight into a dark place, you could see she was scared, and shut herself away. We went out a couple times to the shops but the decline came quick - it was clear the cancer had taken hold long before the diganosis but Mum tried to brush it off.
I felt robbed of time - I had gone from seeing Mum all the time, to then hardly and now becoming her carer all in a matter of months. Trying to be there for Mum - who was refusing all care from any nurses (she was a care worker herself for many years and delt with pallative) along with my 3 year old who just started Preschool and a newborn was hard to say the least. My Husband helped me of course, as Mum had developed a wound on the tumor that needed regular dressing. So we started alternate days - to give me a break emotionally as I struggled to see Mum how she was it was breaking my heart.
The week of her death both our cars were due for MOT - terrible timing and of course was unaware of what was going to happen - this ment my Husband had to be the one going in more that week. My Auntie’s at this point were also going in regular to give me peace of mind but to also take care of my Mum’s 2 doggies that she wanted to keep with her depsite the declined in her health.
I managed to get to Mum Friday 8th Novemember. I washed and dressed her in all fresh clothes and changed her bed sheets. Although she could not talk much (due to the cancer) just to have my Mum’s presence was a comfort. I asked if we could speak about getting the pallative nurse in so I knew she would be getting the correct care - I had been a carer too for about 5 years but it is hard when it someone you love…she told me “I don’t want to talk about it tonight” It was getting late and I said to my Mum I must go and that I would see her on the Sunday…I had intended to spend the day there to make up for the time I had missed in the week. She asked for 5 more mins so I stayed a tad longer.
I told her I must go and told her I loved her.
Saturday came and my Auntie’s had told me she was asleep every visit - this became a regular thing as Mum would worry at night and not want to sleep so come morning she was tired - just a sleeping pattern she grew into I was not worried to much until my Husband tried to wake her and she did not wake for long and this was well into the evening.
I messaged my Auntie who was the last one in there that evening and she told me Mum had been awake when she went in but looked tired. I was relieved and knew I would be there all day on the Sunday.
That Sunday came…my Dad was also due to visit my Mum, but had popped into to see us first so he could see the children. He left and within 2 seconds of him driving down the road we got the call. My Auntie had gone in that morning and found my Mum had passed. I was devestated. Of course we knew the circumstances of the cancer but I felt like I did not have the time to say good bye. I left that Friday and took for granted that Mum would be there on that Sunday. I mean I ALWAYS told her I loved her and she was my world but when this happens you doubt wether you’ve told them enough! I of course went around there…and there she was, not how I thought she would be, she was not in her usal sleeping position…and that deeply disturbed me - it will do forever. The police came (due to it being a home death) and the undertakers. Mum had to have a autopsy due to not seeing a nurse etc withing 14 days - it was discovered she had developed pheunmina ajd her body just could not take it.
It has been 4 months and most days I struggle…on my bad days that is all I can think about. I am riddled with guilt…should I have pushed harder for nurses when she was so agaisnt having them, about both bloody cars needing MOT and me not being able to get there much that week, for not staying even longer on the Friday, the fact she did not spend much time with her 2nd born grandson…just so so much.
Mum was scared of death, a subject she NEVER wanted to walk about and even through her illness she never discussed funeral plans. And being the only child it was down for me to arrange and do all the things I think she would of wanted.
But I just can’t shake the images of Mum, the events that happened over those months where she got diganosed/treatments she had before refusing/how poorly she got.
Everyone tells me things ease in time - but I just really struggle…