Lost my mother a few days ago, traumatic 4 years.

My mum was diagnosed with a brain tumour in October 2019. I found the news so hard as we were so close that my chest was painful and my heart would have irregular beats. I couldn’t eat or sleep. The only way to make it stop was by convincing myself she was going to survive despite a terminal diagnosis.

She had surgery that same month and recovered very well, the best they ever saw anyone recover. She had whole brain radiation therapy starting January 2020, and by the end of that month it was clear something was wrong. Steroids made her start to swell and she was behaving oddly and doing strange things. Within weeks she was unable to walk, had no short term memory and couldn’t look after herself. Hospital didn’t really have any answers but told us she could be dead within two weeks. I don’t even remember how I survived the news because my life seemed like a blur and I wasn’t in a good way. To all the doctors shock and disbelief, one day she got up and although she found it hard to walk because she had laid down so long, her motor skills and cognitive ability had improved and was better than I had seen her in years. It was a miracle - my mum was back and better than before!

2021 was a good-ish year health wish, stable scans for her tumour although she did have another brief episode of cognitive decline again but recovered within weeks and could still walk. I saw everything as a miracle at this point and didn’t think anything could keep her down. She was positive and happy.

2022 she was more slow and poorly, particularly from October onwards. She wasn’t the same but I couldn’t face it so ignored it to a large degree. Her memory by Christmas was poor and she wanted to rest a lot. Her scan results did not come in from months prior, they always took a while.

2023 in January she completely stopped taking care of herself and the house. She lost bladder control and lived in a mess. She never ever let herself or her home get that way. I still ignored the fact it could be anything bad and helped her clean and encouraged her to bathe.
By February she lost bowel control too and couldn’t stop being sick. She was taken to hospital on the 9th and was mobile (although less than she had been) and there it was confirmed she had significant tumour progression with another tumour. They told us she would have surgery as the tumour was in an easy place to operate but had to be in two weeks because every day mattered. I was desperately upset but again so very happy and grateful surgery was an option and that my mum could be helped.
Within those two weeks she became immobile again and was unable to think properly. It was a shock to see her go down hill so fast. Surgery still didn’t happen and no one could tell us when it would be, no one seemed to know anything it all.

By the time we reached my birthday on 23rd February she had a consultant appointment where we was informed that mum couldn’t have surgery because she was immobile and mentally couldn’t properly consent. I was shattered to pieces. I was so angry with them for leaving it so long to the point that she became that way then to use it as a reason she couldn’t get any help.

She got worse and worse and was a different person both physically and mentally, almost unrecognisable. The tumour sometimes made her tell her she hated me - I knew that was not true but hearing those words in your mothers voice is particularly painful. She would scream and scream because her tumour made her do random things and it was beyond heartbreaking to see her go through that daily. She ballooned up further with medication and seems trapped in a body and mind that didn’t work. I would visit her in floods of tears at the care home where they placed her for around the clock care. She had a few better days and just kept surviving despite her poor state. I was so traumatised that I didn’t see her as much as I should because it was so painful. The guilt would then eat me alive.

I was her on 10th October this month and she wouldn’t wake up. No responding to my voice or opening her eyes, nothing. The home thought she had an infection and would be ok. She was still the same later that night so an ambulance was called. My elder sister and I saw her in the ambulance but the medic said she doesn’t think my mum was critical and after antibiotics would improve. We almost didn’t go to the hospital knowing she would be ok as it was 11pm by that point and we had children at home. We decided to go anyway just to see mum settle in… by the time we arrived the doctor there said he does not think it is an infection and was likely significant tumour growth or a brain bleed as by that point her pupils remained dilated and she was not responding to pain. She was there but she was gone. Her breathing was heavy and noisy. They said they would scan her but prepare for the worst. We cried and went home to wait.
Within 2 hours we were called at around 1am and given the news - mum had a significant and unsurvivable brain bleed. She would never wake up and would be kept comfortable until she passed.

I didn’t really take it in, how could i? I spent so long convincing myself this point would never come.
We visited her on 11th in the morning and sat with her for hours. Her breathing was still heavy and her body began to turn a funny colour. She had red dots appearing on her arms and neck and it was beyond heartbreaking to see. She was just laid there, looking so very bad. I still didn’t say goodbye. I thought I would have more time to see her again and that she might just wake up. I planned on seeing her the next morning but as I got ready to go, I got the call… mum died. I could not believe it. I still don’t believe it. It’s been less than a week but I still can’t believe she will never talk to me again and I’ll never see her eyes look into mine. I’m relieved she doesn’t have to suffer anymore but miss her so desperately it hurts and now I have to face what I’ve ignored for 4 years.

How can I begin to accept this? Mum was my best friend, my rock. She was so amazing and suffered so terribly I can’t even start to acknowledge the trauma of seeing her go through what she did. I am lost and broken


Samantha your story has brought me to tears. So so sad and what you went through is truly heartbreaking I’m so sorry your dear mum had to suffer so much. :cry:


you have been through a long and terrible time.

I am very sorry. my mother is gone and after eight years, I am normal. but miss her terribly.
your mother wants the best for you. regardless, you will grieve a long time. this is life, I am afraid. the very best to you. :heart:


Thank you for your replies and I’m so sorry for your own losses :broken_heart: every day just gets worse and more painful :broken_heart:

1 Like

I’m so sorry for what you’ve been through. I can totally empathise with the absolute mental and physical exhaustion of dealing with years of seeing a loved one with cancer (my husband is 43 and terminally ill).

Every day is a battle of emotions and no one can truly appreciate that unless they’ve been through it. It really does sound like you’ve not had any emotional support throughout this? Whilst my situation is horrendous (and my two kids will lose their dad which breaks me) I’ve never been in that denial phase which must have been so hard for you.

Have you had any counselling atall? There are quite a few cancer charities that maybe able to point you in the right direction. Xx

1 Like

I’m so sorry for your lose but can relate to your journey so much. My mum battled for 6 years with various health conditions, which took their toll a few weeks ago, when she passed away in hospital. Right up to her last breath she hadn’t accepted the position she was in, so neither did we, although obvious how sick she was. I look back and wish I done more sooner but to be honest we made the most of what we had, without dwelling on the negatives, those were happy memories for me. I have comfort knowing how unhappy she was with life towards the end, so she is at peace now, but feel so selfish that I miss her for everything she did for me. She was my everything, and helped me in more ways than I can explain, so every little thing triggers me knowing I won’t ever see her again. I find my self talking about her as if she was still here, but it is soothing knowing how much she impacted my life. I bought a dear mum journal, I write in most nights, my little escape to tell her all the things I would’ve if she were here. She may not be here in person but her spirit lives on in us. There’s no easy fix to move on without someone so important in your life, but try not to dwel on what ifs and things you can’t change but all the memories and positives they brought to your life x

1 Like

I’m sorry about your husband :disappointed: watching someone terminally ill fade away is… well there are no words are there really?
Not really any support I need. My siblings are more of keep it together and cry privately where I am scream and cry and talk about it a lot. So I just keep in it as much as I can as they change the subject anyway once anyone starts to cry for more than 2 minutes. I am wanting counselling as I don’t feel like I can handle it but haven’t had the energy to try find out how so I will look through some cancer charities once the funeral is done, thank you for mentioning that :pray:

1 Like

I’m so sorry for you and feels almost like I could have written your reply as it’s so much in tune with how I feel too. It’s heartbreaking to know others have to go through this too :broken_heart:
I have a journal of letters to mum I started but not sure it feels like it’s helping. Maybe I just need to change the things I say because it’s mostly just my despair at everything and how I’m desperately wishing it’s not real. X

Hi Samantha, I am so sorry for the devastating loss of your Mum. My beautiful Mum passed a month ago tomorrow. Wasn’t cancer but she had several chronic illnesses and fought so bravely. I can’t put into words how proud I am of Mum’s fight and resilience. She was in and out of hospital this year, and through August/September she had 5 admissions. It was very upsetting and traumatic for all of us. You must be so proud of your Mum too, the courage and strength she showed.

These early days are horrible, the physical and mental pain are almost unbearable. As the days went on I started to think more about being like my Mum, strong and resilient. Like you, my Mum was my best friend and she always will be. She isn’t in pain anymore but that’s little consolation just now.

1 Like

I’m also so sorry for the loss of your mum :broken_heart: the back and forth with all the worry of f the hospital admissions must have been the worst :cry:
A month on seems like so very long, are you finding time going so slow also? It’s been 8 days and feels like so much longer.

Like your mum, mine also had so much strength and resilience and I want to take that forward into my own life too… but just feel too weak right now like I don’t have her strength. I hope in time it’s what helps to keep me going. X

Thank you. I’d way prefer the stress than this. We were told Mum could come home, day and a bit later and everything changed.

I felt after Mum’s service I wanted to try to be strong for Mum. It’s awful and I miss her so much. I’m proud of my Mum, and that’s giving me strength. You’ll find the strength, it’s just really difficult and everything aches.

In a way time is moving fast but it feels like a long time ago it all happened. I’m exhausted, have naps during the day and broken sleep at night. How are you sleeping? Small things are exhausting, like need to rest after washing the dishes, or hoovering, stuff like that. Are you the same?x

It’s been 6 and a half weeks now and since the funeral on 15th November it’s 100x worse. I thought it was bad before but the shock of it must have protected me some, this is so unbearable and consuming. 3 days ago we also got her ashes back and looking at them and thinking about her dead and turned into that is making me physically sick and disturbed. I’m my chest hurts all the time, this isn’t life this is just suffering. I just want my mum back. Being on this level of physical and emotional pain is just suffering and not living