Share Your Story
Hearing about others' experiences can be helpful when dealing with death and bereavement. Do you have a personal experience that you'd feel comfortable sharing with the campaign? If so, let us know...
Real love only found its way to me five years ago, when I met Mel. One year into our relationship, Mel was diagnosed with non-Hodgkin's lymphoma. He suffered so much with the intense itching that you can get with this and almost had a breakdown, but as chemo started the itching subsided and we thought he would be, if not cured, then in remission for hopefully years. This was not to be. The cancer returned with a vengeance and he then went on to have high dose chemo with stem cell transplant.
I supported him through all his side effects, providing emotional support and nursing him tenderly as I loved him so much. Following the stem cell transplant, the cancer returned and he was the given a course of radiotherapy followed. We hoped and prayed this would work but to no avail. Nothing can describe the dread that you feel every time you visit the consultant following a scan, and when those dreaded words are said, 'There is no more we can do,' nothing prepares you for the pain and the feeling of complete helplessness as you know that you now have to watch this person who you love so much die.
Mel was so scared of dying, as anyone would be. All he kept saying to me was that he was sorry. We were told that the cancer had spread to his liver and that he had a coupe of months, possibly weeks, to live, but I wasn't prepared for the perforated bowel that suddenly presented itself. Within 24 hours he was gone. This was three months ago. I still cant accept that the person who died in front of me was him. I think that he will come home again and have left everything the way it was when he was lifted out by the paramedics.
The pain of loss is so intense that sometimes I can hardly breath. The memories of how scared he was when he was dying and how he asked me to cuddle him in bed every night 'just in case', they fill me with helplessness, uselessness. anger and overall, the feeling that wherever he is now, I am no longer there to hold him.
The Dying Matters Coalition is led by the National Council for Palliative Care,
the umbrella charity for end of life care in England, Wales and Northern Ireland.
Freephone 08000 21 44 66