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My Mum's Daughter



As some of you may know, my mum has cancer.   She is 81 and has, until recently, never been sick.  She is a very good tennis player but hasn't played for months.  Her mum died in 2001 at the age of 101 (and a half), and we thought Mum had a good many years left.

She has cancer of the vulva.  She is in agony, and has been for over a year.  She recently had some scans and, because the cancer hasn't spread, the doctors feel they can remove, well, everything.  She will have a colostomy and a urostomy.  Two bags.  This is the good news!

My mum is, and always has been, my best friend.  Today she stood in the shower while I exfoliated and lotioned her legs (she wants to look nice for her surgery).  She hates that she cannot do this herself.

My 86 year-old dad is her nurse, basically.  His knees are shot but he's in there helping her clean herself and helping her try to get comfortable.  They literally saw each other across a crowded room and fell in love.  She was 19 and he was a very handsome 24 year-old in the RAF.  They celebrated their 61st wedding anniversary this past April.

So, this is where we are.  I, and my brothers, have had it easy until now.  But now the time has arrived that we all fear.

For those of you who still have your parents, please, love and appreciate them.  I don't mean to be a downer here, but, life one day bites us all in the ass. 

And I think of the young lives taken in Paris and Beirut and everywhere this shit is happening.  My parents would no doubt change places with them.  Just, everyone, appreciate those you love.   

Sorry, I guess I just needed to have a bit of a release.  Thanks, FJ, for being a place to do that.

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That is a hard situation for you, your mother, and all of your family. FWIW, I'm glad too that FJ gave you a place to write about it.  I for one am sending you my biggest Internet hug right now, because you sound like you could use one. 

It might be too raw for you to see it yourself right now, but I have to say that your description of you and your dad helping your Mum to clean herself was beautiful. Yes, it's probably not going to be your happiest memory, but it was a moment where you both showed your love for her very, very clearly.  


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Your parents' love story makes me well up with tears.  Happy ones. 

Your Mom's journey now is a tough one.  God bless you and your Dad for being there for her.  My husband and I went through something similar over the last years with his Mom... humiliating situation for her, but we made it as dignified as possible.  She had loved ones taking care of her ... and your Mom is blessed to have the best care possible.

I will keep your family in my prayers.



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I will also be keeping you all in my prayers. Is there some sort of internet hug emoticon? Because now would be a good time for one, I think.

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Your family is definitely in my prayers!  Your father is a hero for helping her with the personal things, I know this from personal experience.

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@ClaraOswin, I'm so sorry I didn't see your kind comment here until @SoSoNosy commented just now, and I thank all of you who have posted such encouraging words.  Mum had a twelve hour surgery on the fourteenth and is still in the hospital.  I think she's doing well, all things considered. But I really don't know how things will unfold.  It's been a horrible time. And my dad is there by her bedside, all day, every day.  Christmas was a little sadder this year with her in the hospital. One of the worst aspects is that she's pretty drugged up and finds communicating a bit of a challenge.  But I couldn't help laughing the other day when she asked my dad why he was putting coins on his eyes and his socks over his high heels. She was amused, too.

Well, I rambled on a bit there, sorry.   Just really wanted to say thanks for thinking of us.  I'm away for a few days with my husband and feel terribly guilty.  But my brothers and their wives are covering.  Life. It really can suck. 

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