So this has been the hardest post by far to write. I wanted it to be perfectly articulated as this story is one that changed my life forever. But I realised it would be better to be completely open and just roll with it so, if it doesn’t flow very well, forgive me. When I created this blog I wanted it to be a happy, positive space but I feel I cannot provide advice or be there for others without you all completely understanding what I have been through myself.
In 2010, I was 11 and my sister was 6 and we received some news that shattered our world forever, that our mum had breast cancer. We had already lost my nan (my mums mum) the year before I was born in 1998 to the same disease so immediately fear was present. I was only a child myself and I obviously hadn’t experienced anything like this before so it didn’t properly sink in. I remember the day I was told. We was sitting in my old house, just me and mum and I was on the computer on Facebook, probably writing embarrassing statuses – “Who wantz to go park wivv mii xx”. Mum called me over to sit on the sofa with her and said she needed to tell me something. She told me and immediately was reassuring me everything would be ok. Being abit older now and looking back imagine how hard that must have been for her, she must have been so scared inside.
After that the next 5 years were just a pure blur of emotion, ups and downs. Mum went through courses of chemotherapy, radiotherapy, surgeries and everything else inbetween. She lost her dark straight hair and it grew back bouncy and curly. It fell out again. She was weak, she got stronger, she got weak again. We went on family days out, holidays away in the UK as she was too ill to go abroad. We had an amazing week in Center Parcs where we just felt like a normal family.
Soon after we found out about mums illness (though she never liked to identify as being an ill person), she contacted my school and organised for me to see a school counsellor weekly. This is when I met the amazing Denise. She honestly helped me handle things in the best way possible. I went there every week, spoke to her for an hour about my feelings in regards to mum, school, boys, friends literally anything. I saw her continually from Year 7 to Year 13. I grew up with the help of Denise. She saw me go from a scared little girl to a 16 year old who had just lost a parent to someone who had just finished their A Levels and was looking to make the best life for themselves. I cannot thank her enough, I truly believe without her I would not be the person I am today. I didn’t see her for around a year, when it ended I truly felt like I suffered another loss as she was such a big part of my recovery but I carried on using her techniques. But around 3 months ago I felt like I really needed someone. I reached out and contacted her and am now seeing her again. It is wonderful to speak to someone who has seen me go from a baby to a woman and know how my brain works without having to start again with someone new.
In approx. May 2015 I was getting my prom dress fitted with my mum and a friend at the time when she began experiencing a horrific headache. At first we put it down to migraines but after further testing it revealed the cancer had spread to the fluid around her brain (forgive my lack of scientific terminology) and this was untreatable. From there we saw my mum deteriorate. She made it to my prom though! I believe this was the last time she properly went out. Eventually she was in the care of Saint Francis Hospice and they were the most wonderful people. They provided 24/7 care that was simply not achievable to be done at home. It became a home away from home for us. In her last weeks mum lost the use of her arms and legs and eventually her sight and hearing faded also. This was all occurring whilst I was sitting my GCSEs and thereafter. We lost her on the 21st of July 2015 at 11:20pm.
For the first 6 months to a year I was in a state of shock and didn’t deal with it at all. I stayed strong for those who needed me, I continued to go out and tried to pretend I was ok. It eventually caught up with me and I was prescribed antidepressants, which I still take now. I have had dosages increased and decreased since then and have found a suitable dosage which helps me but does not determine me.
It has been a really rocky road but I could not have asked for a more caring and loving dad and sister. My dad acted as my mums carer for 5 whole years and never complained or loved mum any less for it. He was the rock of our family and still is. Dad I love you. Lily was a baby and is growing to be an amazing young woman who my mum would and is unbelievably proud of. Lily I love you.
I hope this makes sense as I haven’t proof read it and am going straight to publishing as I want it to be as real as possible.