THE DREADED ‘C’ WORD

cancer ribbon

The ‘C’ word crept in to our lives insidiously,
first daring to show its face ten odd years ago.
Since buried in hushed tones,
tucked into the silent crevices of our minds

How dare it trespass,
after all this time of quiet repose
now crawling out of the woodwork
exposing itself in all its naked glory

I have spoken of it quite recently
in company although anonymously.
Expecting support and understanding
but only to be greeted with a tick in a box.

With a ‘not on my doorstep’ approach,
most surprisingly in the current climate
where it stalks its prey with no fear or shame
trampling lives into the ground.

The ‘dreaded ‘C’ word’ – CANCER – My Mum has just this week been diagnosed with Myeloma (bone marrow cancer) which in her case is untreatable and incurable (along with Stage 3 kidney failure – stage 5 is ‘end stage’). How on Earth do you come to terms with the fact that your Mum’s death is likely to be earlier than it should/inevitable? I’m trying to support my Mum as best I can. I am researching both conditions and I am trying to appropriate support for her in the community, as left to the NHS, these things don’t get put into place until it’s perhaps too late.

I am, of course, devastated at the prospect of losing my Mum who I have always had a very special relationship. However, I am more concerned about her feelings, her anger, her fear etc than I am about my own feelings. I can’t be there for her physically, firstly because we live too far apart, and secondly, because I have severe disability and cannot even access my Mum’s house. All this leaves me feeling so helpless and angry. But, anger isn’t going to solve anything. Nevertheless, we are entitled to be raging of course!

My dear Mum is so frightened of the prospect of her life coming to an end when she is still active and very definitely is in control of her own mind. But, I love her so much, I would willingly trade places with her without any hesitation! Why? How can I feel this way? Because I have my faith and that is something Mum has not an ounce of, being a staunch atheist. She’s 86 and very set in her ways and most unlikely (I would bet never) to believe in a life with God after death. If only I could take her fear on my back and replace it with a faith that it’s all going to be alright but sadly, I can’t.

Silently, in the midst of all the pain, I pray for a miracle. I am fallible, I am weak, I am not in control. I do all that I can and that, I have to accept.

8 thoughts on “THE DREADED ‘C’ WORD

  1. I’m so sorry to hear about your mum Ellie. I know you have a strong bond with her. It is brave of you to put your own pain and feelings aside to deal with mums cancer and impending death. I hope she will have an easy time of it. 86 is a good age. XX

    1. Thank you for caring, Carol anne. Yes, I do have a very strong bond with her and can’t imagine my life without her in it. Hopefully the cancer won’t be too aggressive and she will have quite a while before it becomes life-threatening. I am going to miss her so much xxx

  2. I’m so sorry for this awful news for you and for your Mum Ellie. Hugs to you both.

    Have faith Ellie. Of course, you have to process all the emotions that come with such awful news – but the best thing you can do – for your Mum – and yourself – is keep your faith strong – and pray. She doesn’t have to know, – and you don’t have to pray for miracles – because it seems to me (& I know this is going to sound weird) that it’s energy wasted (& No, please don’t misinterpret this – anything *IS* possible – it depends on how your Mum chooses to face all of this). What I mean – pray for more great times to come for your Mum – for easier treatments and general love and support from her family and friends and support workers. The longer you can all sustain positive energies thinking progressively about potential continuation of the good stuff – the more likely it is to help in her success.

    No one – not even the most advanced and knowledgeable health professionals can accurately diagnosis what’s what – so yes, be prepared – and live the emotions you must – but choose not to dwell there.

    1. Thank you, Pat, for your sensitive and very much welcome thoughts. I think you are right and in actual fact, since writing this post, my faith has become stronger and even more important to me. I know there is no ‘miracle’ cure but I do have support from friends, professionals, helpful organizations and some family for which I’m grateful. I have been to see my church Minister a couple of times in the last two weeks and he has been so supportive. I pray for lack of pain and general good health for Mum (she is reasonably well so far, all things considered and isn’t suffering too much and is coping well so far). God and prayer are my constant companions at the moment.

      I am managing to stay fairly positive because I know if I ‘go under’, I will be of no help or support for my Mum and I have to keep that in mind. Strangely, I haven’t been able to cry about it all and the prospect of losing my Mum, yet. I think I am a bit fearful of my emotions taking over although that doesn’t mean that I don’t feel them of course.

      I hope you are coping ok at the moment, Pat and I’m sorry if I’ve not replied to any of your posts you may have written lately. Thanks again for ‘being there’ for me. God bless, Ellie xxx

      1. I haven’t written anything in months – on either blog – so no worries. And please Ellie, you take as great care of yourself as you can.

        I too have just received some very shattering news – cancer – quite advanced stages – for another aunt of mine – and even sadder than this, this particular aunt’s daughter, my cousin, who is perhaps just nearing or hitting the 40 mark, has been diagnosed with breast cancer. So at the moment, it’s 2 aunts and one cousin, who are dealing and fighting this awful disease. I can certainly understand how you are feeling.

        Be well and have faith and strength ((((Ellie))))

      2. I am so sorry, Pat, that you have so much awful news and horrible situations to cope with and to face. Cancer is such an evil disease. I know that you understand as I do.

        Take very good care of yourself, my friend. You are in my thoughts and prayers and I am sending you my love and many virtual {{{hugs}}}, Ellie xxx ❤

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