There are some things you can only learn from the storm

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This time last year we were living a nightmare. Updates were challenging to write because our parents didn’t want us to share the brutal truth with you all. Something that caused me great discomfort. Some read between the lines, knowing what wasn’t being said, while others were oblivious to our daily struggle. The brutal truth was, the cancer Mam had was aggressive and we all knew it from the get go, Mam included, but our parents choose to focus on the fight.

A fight that brought me tension and conflict, which is why I’m sharing.

There’s a system in place in emergency, which contributed to Mam’s pain cisis. The Palliative team warned us about this, but Mam refused to transition into Dove after her hip operation. Refusing to confront the brutal truth, that we had already reached the end of life too damn soon. A truth no one was ready to accept.

In hindsight, if we had transitioned to Dove after the hip op before going home, Mam could have presented to Dove for prompt treatment when she became symptomatic after the chemo. But instead we were forced to go to emergency, where we had to follow “procedure”

It was a pain crisis that still hurts to think about. NOTHING can compare you for seeing your Mam crying out in extreme pain, seeing your Dads heart break when Doctors tell him the fight is over, seeing your sisters trying to hold it together as their hearts break and hearing your Mam pleading “please dont give up on me” when you’re all fighting harder than ever to keep her alive for as long as you can πŸ’”

It was a day, that’s been etched into the fabric of my heart πŸ’” I had a vision of that hospital scene weeks after Mam’s diagnosis, during a meditation in the UK. It was a vision that literally brought me down to my knees. As I wept into the carpet of my client’s front room, I felt overwhelming grief and rage, even tho Mam was still alive. I told myself it was only my mind taking me to my fear, but I knew intuition was guiding me.

In reflection, as I stood around the hospital bed observing my family, it felt like I was having an out of body experience. I felt everything yet nothing. I remember hugging Mam and saying “its time to stop fighting but you still have control over how you want to die” words that felt so very wrong to say, but the words needed to be spoken. We could no longer deny the brutality of our truth. Treatments were NOT giving Mam more time like we had hoped, they were bringing her life to an end quicker πŸ’”

The only way I could cope was to focus on what Mams last wishes were. To die at home, surrounded by family and friends, with NO pain. So, a transition into Dove was essential, but no one was ready to confront that reality.

My sister and I listened to our guts, knowing if we didnt get out of the hospital system, then Mam’s death would be very different to her last wishes. None of us wanted Mam to go to Dove because it was taking that next step. The step into a different reality, where we were no longer holding onto hope for a miracle, but we were accepting death πŸ’”

The first night in Dove has also been etched into the fabric of my heart, because it was the night I felt the burden of my family’s fear πŸ’”

A burden I carried because I felt responsible. The transition into Dove happened much quicker than my family was ready for. When we told Palliative, they had a bed and ambulance transfer arranged within hours. In any other circumstance we would be grateful for prompt service, but I suppose it all depends on the destination.

Mam is only here so we can get her home

Is what I told myself as I walked away from my parents that night. After kissing them both goodnight, reassuring them that tomorrow they would be in a much nicer room. That they only had to be in the small shared room, with the dying man for one night. That its only because we’ve admitted at 9pm and tomorrow they’ll have their own room. That it was only for afew days to get pain sorted, so we can get home.

Mam is only here so we can get her home

Is what I told my sister as I comforted her in the hallway. She was pacing back and forth, demanding that we take Mam back to the hospital. Distressed about leaving Mam in a place that felt like death.

Mam is only there so we can get her home

Is what I told myself as I lay in my bed that night, alone in the dark, with my thoughts and a heavy broken heart, thudding in my chest.

That night we all faced the brutal reality of what was … that Mam was dying πŸ’”

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