What do I mean by a statement such as this?
Well, my life changed completely on the 27th May this year when I went with my mother to see a Dr B, and he said my mother had Cancer after being told on the 3rd May it was not.
Only then to be turned completely upside down on Monday 4th June at 4pm, when we visited the oncologist Mr G and he told us the type of Cancer (Pancreas and Liver) and the prognosis.
For those of you who know me, I am a very organised, a matter of fact person and so everything I heard was written down so, there could be no confusion and I am pleased that since then I have kept a diary of all the meetings.
I went into that consultation a happy go lucky daughter with a Mum who is never ill, and healthy at a size 18, if a little overweight but then she was a chocolic. So, she had to be ill as she had not eaten chocolate since February but nothing prepared me for his straight forward manner of Dr G, which I have come to like, no bullshit.
My Mum today, 7th September is a size 8 and won’t live by the motto ‘food is fuel and food is medicine’ though she tells everyone she is – how roles reverse when you become the carer.
It has been a mix of emotions from a roller coaster to washing machine spin cycle since we embarked on the treatment with chemotherapy. Her timing was not ideal, but is any time? June was the busiest month of the year, and if I looking back just three months, I don’t know quite know how I did it, as certainly I encountered a number of additional challenges along the way but that’s another story, but what else would you expect from an event manager,.
Watching cancer take over not only the body of a loved one, but your own life is hard and sometimes you feel angry and most of the time just outright exhausted.
Why the ‘unknown’, well every day is different. You are not handed a manual to say what the symptoms are going to be, as every case is different. Friends tell you success stories, tell you about wonder foods but if that was the case why doesn’t the specialist Mr G say it. I believe in Mr G and having been to numerous appointments now, absolutely trust him and he in many ways, is now my GOD on this subject.
As for ‘time’ standing still, well I think you live in a bit of a haze, is it really happening and on a good day you see the light at the end of the tunnel, and on a bad day you want to turn back time. Mum wants to see people and puts on a brave face but it is me as the prime carer who has to pick up the pieces after they have all gone at the end of the day.
Our lives changed when Dr G announced on Monday 4th August the day that he was stopping her chemo after only three sessions as it was not working, if anything it was killing her off, as she was not the women he had met exactly two months before.
So, it was time for me to act and I resigned from my job though that was on the cards but not a story I will go into now. My relationship and friends had to take a back burner and that is hard as I had to realise my life was now living at home with Mum.
So, when I heard a bang followed by a faint cry of my name at 6am on Sunday 9th August, I knew that I had to embark on this journey of main carer full time and be selfish and think of my Mum and my well being only. Initially it was panic that hit me first when I saw the blood, but then I went into auto pilot and order came into my mind and within a couple of hours we were in A&E. They were amazing, though I have to say the doctors are definitely getting younger or I am getting older. When, they said I could take her home on the Monday evening, I had melt down as I wasn’t ready I didn’t have any help and nobody had prepared me for my role change. Thank goodness for a baby alarm which would become my ears in her room at night and for the support nurse at the private hospital who helped to kick in the palliative care? Within a couple of days, I had got the palliative care in place and we started with night nurses but no thanks to the local doctor who we are still awaiting a house call from!
Since, then we have been back to Dr G and he has told her she must get stronger for him to consider a milder form of chemo. We have had more ups and downs since then as frustrations show on both sides, from an argument over how to poach an egg to winding a grandfather clock. However, never in this process did my mother loose her head strong approach maybe that why she is in politics!
Now, we wait and we see what is around the corner which will be revealed tomorrow.
I wrote this as I needed to say it out loud and over the past few months my only internet experience for cancer, has been reading blogs of other carers on cancer sites and buying a book of poems in aid of Maggie’s having read something in the Mail on Sunday a few weeks ago.
All, I know is that if I didn’t have a support system around me, to listen to me when I rant and give me a hug when I don’t want to talk. I would have cracked as its hard work as I will be the one left behind. I have gone from a care free 44 year old with my own company to a full-time carer and a full-time housekeeper , as ours decided to bail after 14 years’ service.
I love my mum but this disease sucks as it’s not like when my Dad died 12 years ago from MS but all I have to remember is that I must take some ‘me’ time each day to recharge my batteries too.