I am 29 and lost my Mum back in April. I kept a log of what my experiences were with a gap between 2019 and 2021 when my Mum sadly died. In that period I experienced extreme anxiety. I’ve always suffered with panic attacks but this really messed me up so I didn’t feel in the right placed to log it. I want to share this very personal log with you guys and see if anyone can relate and let these strong men and women be remembered. They battled harder then most in this world and deserve to have their story heard. Her chapter is over now but I will keep her story alive for as long as I shall live.
I am a 27 year old daughter of a beautiful Mum aged 59 who has been diagnosed with secondary breast cancer to the brain.
My mother had breast cancer for the first time approx. 12 years ago and I remember it well however I was too young to truly understand what it could have meant for us. luckily she managed to beat it with an operation and radiotherapy.
7 years later from that she found another lump and we went down that awful road again, this time it wasn’t quite as straight forward, she required a Mastectomy and from that she was diagnosed with breast cancer stage 2 to the lymph nodes. She had the op and went through a course of very aggressive chemo which seemed to age her rapidly.
Once we went through all this everything seemed to be running smoothly until she got to work one day sat at her computer and couldn’t process what she was meant to be doing, how to type or even work the computer. Her boss sent her home worried about her and told her to go straight to the doctors. She was terrified she had early onset Alzheimer’s. The doctor sent her for a scan and it showed a large mass in the back of her brain from the shape of it they thought it was potentially a primary tumour.
A couple of weeks past and her brain tumour removal op was set to take place on 05.10.2018. The week leading up to that date she deteriorated fast. She was trying to eat the fish food, she could barely walk, one side of her body was struggling and she was so confused, she would try put her trousers on her arms and didn’t know what she was supposed to do in the shower or how to prepare any food or drinks for herself.
They day of her operation came and it was one of the scariest days of my life, my Mum was admitted the day before and I arrived at the hospital at 06:30am as she was meant to be the first one down but due to an emergency she didn’t go down until lunch time.
To speed this along a bit the op went smoothly she woke up fine. We were told she should be home within 3-5 days but what happened next we were not expecting. The Physio Therapists could not get her to sit up or stand without her blood pressure going dangerously low, this continued for a week at Addenbrookes. We were then told by the Neurosurgeon that this was in fact metastatic breast cancer to the brain and I knew from that second that there’s no cure for this. This is it.
My Mum was then sent to our local hospital for “rehab” and the same issue persisted. 3 weeks later the Oncologist gave us the news that she is too ill for any further treatment, they can’t give her radio or chemo without her being able to stand and she can’t stand without her blood pressure dropping. She then gave us the prognosis of max 6 months but most likely 2-3 months as treatment isn’t possible.
I was devastated, it broke me to know how something so quickly is going to take my best friend away from me.
My Mum is now pronounced bed bound and the discharge team decided to fast-track her under the NHS continuing assessment. A week later she was sent home with a live in carer, a hospital bed, double up carers to assist the live in carer to come in 4 times a day and a district nurse to come in twice a week along with the palliative care team on stand by.
So now we get to present day where I am working during the day and seeing my mother every evening and spending the weekends with her. She has good days and bad days.
Everyone keeps telling me how strong I am and they don’t know how I cope but truth is I’m broken and this is tearing me to pieces but I have no choice, she needs me and I need her so I can’t fall to pieces every time I see her I have to make the last days, months we have together as happy as they can be. She could be here one day and gone the next.
09/09/2019 Update - So after being given a 2-3 month life expectancy my Mum is still going strong almost a year later, she is still bed bound and finding everything very hard. Life for the family is very hard in general, Mum needs a lot of care and support between her partner my sister and myself we do struggle as we all work full time and our lives for the past year have only what I can describe as hell on earth!
I absolutely love my Mum to pieces but it’s so hard to watch her suffer in bed for almost a year with no signs of an end to this constant suffering! She luckily isn’t in pain as such as you would expect but she is still very confused and stuck in bed 24/7. She hates not being able to move around and finds boredom almost too much bare sometimes. We’re really sure how to help her any further, I spend most my evenings there and my weekends and if I try to take a personal day the guilt is un-real.
It’s been awhile, my Mum died on 16/04/2021 and I am broken…From 2019 until now I have spent lockdown looking after my Mum trying to make her life as happy as it can be. We have watched endless amount of films and TV series. Spoke about so many random but amazing things. When it came to her death I was not expecting it…it had been so long that I had got used to how things were and accepted them remaining that way. She was reading a book a day and just enjoying what life she had. I was getting ready to go to hers and I had a call from her partner to say it looked like she had, had a stroke and had been rushed to hospital. I got there and she was unconscious she remained that way for 2 days when she passed away. She hadn’t had a stroke but a bleed to the brain where her tumour had been removed. It was so fast, so sudden with no further deterioration that it completely took me off guard and turned my world upside down, I miss her so much and want her story to be heard. She was a strong lady who suffered with this horrible illness for so long. Life is often unfair but she never feared death and I hope some day I can be half the women she was. I’m not sure how to cope. Time is not making it easy, I want to keep her memory alive as much as possible.
Thank you for reading.