Sunday, 19 August 2012

Getting over losing someone

Hey everyone.  As you can see from the title, this one isn't a beauty post, so if this isn't your kind of thing, pop back tomorrow :)  This is also my 100th post, yay :)

I wanted to write this post for a couple of reasons, 1 it's therapeutic for me and 2, I'm sure there's a few of you either going through something similar now, or have done in the past and I just wanted to share my experience with you and tell my story.  It's a rather wordy post, sorry!

So 7 years ago today, I lost my dear mum to cancer.  I was 26 at the time and she was just 56.  She'd fought valiantly for 10 months but in the end the cancer had spread everywhere, even her bones (causing them to break), so you can imagine how horrible that was.

It all started when she'd been bleeding extensively, she had a fear of Drs so she'd refused to go.  In the end, my step dad called the Dr out to see her.  He immediately called an ambulance as he could see she was severely anaemic.  She had a range of blood test, and some transfusions and they discovered a shadow/growth in her womb area.  After more tests, she was diagnosed with cervical cancer.

I was really annoyed, it's the most preventable cancer, but because she hadn't been for a smear test since I was born, she had no idea... this all stems from her being scared of the Drs (for a good reason sadly).

After some radiotherapy they decided to give her an operation, a radical hysterectomy.  That's where they take out your uterus and lymph nodes etc, and any tissue around the area to make sure they get all the cancer.  I remember that day well... my step dad and I went for a starbucks while she was having the surgery (I remember he had a marmite and cheese roll)  :)  It felt like there were loads of signs, the papers that day ran a headline article that they'd made an immunisation against cervical cancer, so, in many years time (not in our life times) it'll be a thing of the past.  So, all in all, we were feeling quite positive.  We were there at the hospital ready for when she woke up.  Seeing her after the operation, was the first time she saw me cry about it all, tears of relief flooded down my face... I'd always tried to be so strong for her, she didn't need the added stress of seeing what it was doing to me.

The surgeon came in and said the operation was a total success, all the cancer had been removed and she might need some chemo just to get rid of any cells that were left, but other than that he was confident she'd make a full recovery.  I cannot tell you how relieved I was that day.  A couple of weeks later, mum was home and recovering.

After a few weeks, she called the hospital to book in for her chemo, but she had an infection so they couldn't start it.  Each week she'd phone up to book it, but because she wasn't well, they wouldn't start it.  At no point did they try to get rid of the infection, until she was rushed in by ambulance with severe dehydration.  At this point they told us that she never had the hystorectomy, and that the surgeon had opened her up and said that she was basically a lost cause.  (After she died I wrote to her consultant to ask if this was true, I needed to know for my own sanity and it wasn't... what he told us straight after the operation was true).  All that aside, she was now being treated for her infection.

Eventually, they gave her a round of chemo.  During this time she didn't want me to visit in case I brought any bugs with me as her immune system would be at 0%.  Before that, I'd been down pretty much every weekend (I lived about 120 miles away).  The hospital said her tumour had regrown and was bigger than before and there was nothing they could do.  Mum was determined to beat it... during the whole time she was never defeatist, her attitude was always 'when' not 'if'.

That day, she called me to tell me the bad news... after spending the next hour in floods of tears, my boyfriend of the time and I decided to get engaged.  See, a couple of months before that, mum gave him her engagement ring, so that if he ever wanted to marry me, we'd have a special ring.  I put the ring on my finger, and we got the next train down to see her, it was a red eye train and we didn't get home until 2am, but mum was sitting up waiting for us :)  At least, that's what I tell myself, the reality is she was probably up in pain.

1 month and 2 days later she died.  It was the single most painful day of my life, and not one I ever want to relive.  She died the day before our engagement party, so we tried to cancel that as best we could at such short notice.

As angry as I still feel that she was taken away from me at so young, I look back at her with such admiration, that she faced such a horrendous and despicable disease with such humility, determination and vigour.

Mum and I were very close, we'd speak every day on the phone, usually 2-3 times and talk about nothing, she was my best friend.  I don't think this is something you ever get over, you just learn to cope and get on with life, it certainly doesn't wait for us.

Losing someone close, a parent, a child, a partner will be the hardest thing you have to do.  The only real advise I can give you, is take it one day at a time and at some point in the future, you'll start to feel like a version of your old self once again.  There'll always be times you are sad, and usually when you least expect it, but they'll never really leave you, they'll always be in your heart.

Many love and hugs to you all xxx

And, I miss you every day mum xxx

n.b I was going to put a photo here, but it's just a bit too upsetting, sorry.

Pixi3 out


  1. This is so close to my heart as I was diagnosed with cervical cancer on the 15th April 2008. My treatment involved a radical hysterectomy which thankfully was a success. When my little girl grows up I will never let her make the mistakes I made and risk her life by skipping smear tests.

    Much love to you, especially today on the anniversary of losing your Mum. x

    1. Thank you Elaine. After seeing what mum went through I have a lot of admiration for you and what you would have been through, I hope that horrible disease never returns, and thank you for such kind words, it's a very difficult day so it really does mean a lot xxx

  2. This made me cry, what an incredibly moving heart goes out to you and you have done her so proud. xxx

    1. Thank you Romany :) I wrote it a couple of weeks ago, it would have been far too emotional to read it today :). Thank you for such lovely words, you actually touched upon something that I really miss about mum, she always used to say how proud she was of me, not something I get to hear any more, so thank you xxx

  3. This post is so moving and brought tears to my eyes, you're so brave to write this and I really hope it was therapeutic to write it. Your Mum sounds like a wonderful person.
    I turned 25 four months ago and despite receiving a reminder to book my cervical cancer screening, I still haven't booked it. I just keep putting it off. This post is such a wake up call, I am going to make sure I book it now, thank you.

    1. It was theraputic to write, and I'm glad I did it a couple of weeks ago, I'm far too emotional today to write it. My mum was a wonderful person, she's give you her last £1 if you needed it, she helped carry shopping for old people and was the single most thoughtful and generous person I'd ever known. Please do book in to get your smear, I know it's not nice, but it's so quick to be checked xxx good luck, and thanks for your lovely comments :)

  4. Oh gosh that was a hard read yet compelling. I think many of us carry around a bit of heartbreak with us but only share the nicer stuff. You are very brave and I wish you all the best xx

    1. Thank you Sara :) It wasn't the easiest post to write and I wasn't sure whether to put it on the blog or not, but I'm glad I did :)

  5. This was truly brave and beautiful, much like your mother. I so glad to have read it, you've done a wonderful thing in opening up and sharing your memories with us. Thank you.

    1. Aww thank you - yeah wasn't easy, but really wanted to do it.

  6. it's good that you can talk about this. I lost my grandfather also for cancer... It's a terrible thing!


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