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...
My mother, Dorothy - we called her Pat - she was diagnosed with Stage III colon cancer about 1.5 years ago. She'd always been sick as long as I can remember. She had many medical problems, Diabetes, Neuropathy, and now cancer... She never was good at taking care of her self because she was always taking care of others.. When she was diagnosed with colon cancer, I always had a feeling that it wouldn't be very long. She opted out of chemo, and everyone kind of stopped mentioning it, because she never wanted to talk about it.
Four weeks before my mother died we found out the cancer had spread, we new it wouldn't be long.. as it was only a matter of time. My mother was shampooing rugs and putting up curtains, and like a bullet, it hit her hard. Within a few days she was already feeling extremely tired, and not really interested in much. We all had a terrible feeling. A week later she had an appointment set up with an Oncologist, she was willing to try chemo! I was so happy... Finally!
Unfortunately it was too late, the cancer had already spread to much and she began filling up with large amounts of ascites fluid which became very painful to her and she began suffering.
Five days before my mom died, she agreed to go into hospice, from home.. To manage her pain. No one expected it to be only a few days later that she would leave this world.. and me behind.
The days before her death were very intense, lots of family in and lot.. people jumping to attend her and help her at any sound that made us nervous. I am lucky because I was able to be by my mothers side through the entire process.. I was able to hold her hand, tell her I love you, and that i was going to miss her... I know many people don't get that chance so i should feel lucky right? the last days of my mothers life, she was surrounded by her children, her grandchildren, her cousin, and her husband. We played Christian music and had candles on, just the way she liked it before she was ever sick.
The morning my mother died, I wasn't supposed to be there i was supposed to be taking my daughter to school, but I got a call from my sister that she didn't think it would be long, me and my mother sister rushed to her side... It was within minutes that she passed, as my sister was praying over her, her eyes rolled back and she took her last breathes.
Ill never forget that day, or the days before that, watching my mother die was the hardest thing I've ever done.. It was intense. Watching her suffer, was way harder then her funeral or burial. I know she's at peace now, I just hope that we gave her a good death, and I hope she knew how much I loved her, and felt my presence there with her.
Ill never forgive myself for not pushing her to do chemo 1.5 years ago, I know she wouldn't have listened, but i should have done more... I hope she forgives me. I love you mom
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