When my mother was diagnosed with cancer, having lost my grandmother and my dog to cancer, I just knew that this evil illness would take her away from me. I couldn’t talk to mum without crying and couldn’t talk to dad without being angry. Why me and why again? The hospital staff were very good but all I kept hearing was ‘terminal’ and ‘palliative’ – what use are those words when you don’t fully understand what’s going on around you and you are too scared to ask , in case you are told the inevitable. I was scared but trying to be brave. I was lonely but trying to be spirited. I was broken but showing signs of having mended. Mum needed me to be strong for her and in turn I needed to draw my strength from someone else.
That’s where the wonderful support I got from you all from the wonderful Kirstie giving me such a kind treatment and array of therapy helped me relax and breakdown all rolled into one therapy and then there was Sarah, my lovely counsellor, who was forever warm, patient and answered all my crying needs. I was never made to feel like a burden or a nuisance, even when I had to cancel appointments because I couldn’t motivate myself to come and talk or cry again. But you were there for me always, you were there from the daunting moment of first walking in and feeling angry, anxious and alone to being welcomed by a receiving smile and greeting, followed by the offer of a hot cup of tea. All of this made me feel less anxious and that I was in a place of understanding and calm, and even distant laughter from those who were clearly affected and were showing signs of facial disfigurement and the loss of hear through their pretty scarves.
Once the CT and therapy doors were open, I entered a new vacuum of support, I was hooked yet burdened but they were all good because I wasn’t rushed, I was peacefully and pacifyingly handled and allowed to move at my own peace…my healing had started and I was now in a position to heal my mum and support her. I am pleased to say my mum is still here, two years on and whilst I have learnt all about ‘palliative’, I still don’t understand nor do I want to know what ‘terminal’ signifies because truthfully I think it means different things for different people at differing stages of their journey and the only one thing I know for sure is that what is required by all sufferers, is that PRACTICAL and EMOTIONAL support that I got from all at Coping with Cancer……what a wonderful and warm place, it will remain forever in my heart and life and I have been told I can join the team as a volunteer in 2 years time and without fail I shall surely be doing that because I want to share my experience with another mirror of me, with my mother standing with me or watching over me.