Cancer is a word we shy away from. It’s a word that terrifies most and causes grief among many. It’s not a word you want to hear when being used about a loved one.
My mum was 49.
You would look at my mum and she would seem healthy. My mum looked at herself and she saw healthy.
Yet on the 11th November 2019 she was diagnosed with terminal liver cancer. A tumour to big to treat and a body to intoxicated with illness to cure.
I sat there with my dad and my sister and only heard that one word. Cancer. She was given weeks to months.
Weeks and months before, she was working and laughing.
When you know a family member has a short amount of time left you grasp onto every hug, every kiss and every I love you.
She had 19 days. All she got was 19 days. My sweet, loving mother got 19 days before cancer took her away from me, away from my dad, away from my sister and away from her unborn grandchild.
On the 30th of November 2019 you took your last breath. I held your hand and stroked your hair as your hand went limp in mine.
Your last words were ‘I’ll have a strong cup of tea please,’ it stayed sat next to you cold and untouched in your favourite mug.
I kissed your forehead and said I love you although you couldn’t hear.
You knew I loved you and I know you loved me and I now grasp onto that every day.
I cried for hours because I was angry.
I cried for days because I was grieving.
I cried for weeks because I miss you.
We set you free, our grief free and everything that was building up inside us free, at your funeral on the 20th December.
You would have loved it mum, you would have sung with us, cried with us and laughed with us.
We played your favourites. We played yours and dads song. We played the song you loved and shared with your daughters.
It’s a day we won’t forget.
When a tragedy happens, those around you who want to support you, often don’t know what to say. They offer their love, their time and their shoulder to cry.
However the only thing I ask for, the only thing I ever want is for you all to go and hug your mothers or fathers or anyone you hold dear in your heart, because once they’re gone it’s the only thing you want to do.
I’m not the only one to have lost someone to cancer.
I’m also not alone. Neither is anyone who has had to go through the torment of cancer or watch somebody they love go through it.
I no longer cry from sadness.
I no longer cry with such raw pain.
I cry with a smile as I remember you and the memories we have.
One day cancer will be defeated, just like it defeats the ones we love.
When that day comes I will smile and whisper to myself.
Mum you’re truly free.
I wanted to write this to help shed light on cancer and the experience myself and my family have had. It’s also there for anyone who needs it.
These are numbers you can call if you feel you need someone to talk too-
08088080000: Macmillan cancer support line
0800 090 2309: Marie curie support line
08088004040: Cancer research support line