In November 2021 our world came crashing down when my mum suddenly passed away. She was just 59 years old, she developed a cough that wouldn't clear up and like other people initially she was diagnosed via a telephone appointment as having a chest infection.
She flew to Cyprus to visit her cousin and when she returned she was so much worse, the doctor finally sent her for a x-ray and more antibiotics.
The doctor rang a week later and told her over the phone that it shows a shadow/fluid and they think its lung cancer, but they wanted to send her for a CT scan the following week.
Before her scan appointment 2 days later I took her to A&E as she couldn't even walk the stairs, due to restrictions I had to leave her there alone and for the next 24 hours she sat in the waiting room waiting for a bed, the care of patients has spiralled out of control, and yes I'm aware they are under pressure but that is there job and whoever is top dog of the hospital trust needs a good shaking, all these people misdiagnosed and delayed treatment is heart-breaking and the government have a lot to learn.
That first week she seemed to get worse and the CT scan confirmed masses on her lungs that had spread, they wouldn't confirm 100% it was cancer until she had biopsies, I was lucky I got to see her for an hour everyday and the ward she was on was lovely.
While waiting for biopsies and a plan of action just 10 days from arriving in hospital I received a phone call to go straight in, I felt sick to my stomach as she was sat up the day before chatting and her chest seemed much better.
They had given her morphine and she reacted to it so ended up on a Bi-pap machine which she tolerated well at first, but 7 hours later I was ringing my older children for them to come straight to the hospital. I held her tight as she took her last breath.
Seeing the older 4 children break down was the hardest thing I've ever experienced.
Still to this day it doesn't seem real, so many questions
Why did she have no symptoms before?
Why did she not stop smoking when I nagged her from being a small child?
Why did they give her morphine when she wouldn't of asked for it, and was not in pain?
Why us, she was all we had, she was never Ill, took no medication just why why why?
But I realised no matter what the answer were, nothing would bring her back.
For the past 13 years my mum had lived with us and even before that she was either close by or with us, for the kids she was like a second mum, she was always there for them.
She lived for her Grandchildren, and she was the only person I had, she was both my mum/dad rolled into one as my biological father never bothered with us. We also lost my Grandad when I was little and my nan 13 years ago. This was the first death the children had ever experienced and boy it was hard.
How do you stay strong for the family when inside you are so broke, you constantly see and read that time heals, I don't think it does heal, I don't think you can ever get over the loss of a parent, you just have to learn to live with it.
Over the coming weeks we made a memorial corner in the house, a place where the kids or myself at any time could go and sit here, reflect, remember, rant, just feel close to her.
The kids are coping great, we made sure to tell them if you ever want to cry, then cry do not ever be ashamed, we talk about the happy times and the memories we made.
Deep down I still cant believe she will never come back, she was cruelly took away too early and wasn't given time to even fight.
The kids have asked to do a challenge for her, so now we are planning a charity walk in her memory, to make people aware just how serious lung cancer is and how even the small signs need checking out, maybe if we knew then she would still be here now.