Sunday, July 24, 2011
Coming up to the anniversary of the saddest week of my life, its so hard not to think about what went on during that time.
Looking back over the last week and what happened is something I need to write down.
I remember the first morning I woke up after mum and dad had arrived in Brisbane, it was a Monday and I was heading off to work. I came out of my bedroom and found mum in the cold and dark playing with her iphone. She was sitting there so quietly, she hadn't been able to sleep well in the bed, it was uncomfortable and I hadn't shown her how to turn on the heating and tv - I quickly showed her how but felt so bad seeing her sit in the dark and all alone. I headed back to work and to a million and one questions.
The next morning I woke up but mum was still in bed, she had her gyno-oncologist appointment that day and Kim and Beth were arriving to see her that day. I again headed off to work. I came home to the news that the specialist would be admitting mum to hospital the next day (also that Kim and Beth had managed to drink the specialist fees in coffee - he apparently had an awesome coffee machine in the waiting room - big mistake!)
So Wednesday 21 July my mummy was admitted to hospital - before she went into hospital Kim, Beth and dad took her down to the waters edge and park near my place (I remember her telling me she didn't realise how close we were to the water and she thought it was fantastic), she loved the water and sadly this was her last outing. After I finished work I went to the hospital and spent some time with mum, at 8pm visiting hours were over and I took dad back home.
The next couple of days were filled with tests for mum to try and determine were exactly the cancer was. The good thing was that she was finally put on a drip. My days were spent taking dad to the hospital in the morning, spending some time with mum, going to work and heading back to the hospital after work to spend more time with my mummy. I am so lucky I had this time with her, that I live where I live so I could have the ability to be with her and have a place for dad to stay.
On Friday Daniel and Adele and Amy turned up in Brisbane, after a long week (with Kirsty) of packing up mum and dad's house in Charters Towers. It was great to see them, Daniel and Adele also ended up staying at our place during this time. Amy stayed and took dad home from the hospital that night.
Saturday Amy took dad to the hospital and ended up going back to Ballina, we had to bring Miss Molly to the hospital so she could take her home. I remember calling Amy to make sure she was ready to head back home, she was so sad at the time. When we arrived at the hospital I ran in to make sure she was ok and met her half way - I tried to reassure her that it was all going to be ok - I later found out mum had spoken with Amy about how she thought this was the end.
Daniel, Adele and I went up to spend some time with mum and dad. After awhile mum started to get a bit funny - turns out she was worried that we were bored and she felt bad that we were hanging around. We ended up going to the South Bank markets and got lollies and some lunch. We returned to the hospital and spent some more time with her. It was all too much for her so we ended up going home.
My friends Danni and Sam came around that night to see how we were doing - it was great to see them. We cooked a bbq and potato bake - unfortunately the smell of the garlic in the potato bake was not good for mum when dad and I turned up to see her the next day.
Mum again got overwhelmed by me hanging at the hospital with dad and I ended up leaving again - all I wanted was to spend time with her but she was so exhausted and sick. Every day I would turn up at the hospital just hoping that she would be feeling better, isn't that what they do at hospitals make you feel better but that never happened. She continued to be sick and tired and not be able to sleep. We tried to get her everything we could to make her more comfortable but nothing seemed to work - yet I was still in denial - she would still fight this and she would be ok - that's my mum, she's a fighter - had been her whole life!
Then it was work time again, heading back to work, I still believed everything would be ok - she was in hospital and they would fix her. The hospital stopped doing tests and started discussing possible treatments - whether they could treat her or not.
On Tuesday I went shopping for mum to get her some more tops for the pj's I'd got her over the weekend. I finished work and headed back to the hospital. I remember coming out of the lift and Daniel and Adele were in the waiting area, waiting for me. I didn't think anything of it at the time but they walked with me to mum's room - I went in there and started talking about my day and what I had got for mum. Then all of a sudden my world again came to a tumbling halt - mum and dad told me that the specialists believed that she may have only a couple of days left, maybe a couple of weeks. I was devastated, everyone one was in a disbelief. It was a very sad realisation, that we could be loosing her.
It was that night that dad had to make the phone calls to all my siblings to let them know and that it may be a good idea to make their ways to Brisbane. I remember just sitting with him while he made the calls. It was just so sad, it breaks my heart to recall those devastating moments.
Sunday, July 17, 2011
For so long, it felt like it was so far away, now it is just over one month to go until our little girl will be with us.
It is a crazy time, filled with mixed emotions - excitement and happiness, fear and dread for the impending labour, its like a roller-coaster. I still feel like there is so much to do and that I will never be prepared for this little person to be so reliant on me and Shane. This is NOT helped by the fact I keep having these dreams that I keep forgetting I have a baby, yikes, could be awkward!
Although I had the best dream the other night - my birth plan went to plan - I woke up one day and couldn't remember being in labour but the baby had arrived - yes, my TOTALLY realistic birth plan is that the baby just appears - I miss labour all together!
Thought I would also take this opportunity to share a couple of updated pregnancy shots - some taken by my awesome sister while down in Ballina - yes she is amazing! And then there is just the most recent one taken on my iphone, after a looooonnnng week of work! Yes I still have 5 weeks of work to go - working right up till the end, all going well, so I can make the most of my leave with the baby!
Sunday, July 10, 2011
So twelve months today I received that phone call that changed my life forever, in the worst possible way, when I spoke with mum and found out she had cancer. The last thing I ever thought when I received that call that we would only have 19 more days with our mummy ever, it was the beginning of the end. I still recall vividly how the world felt like it had been pulled out beneath me when I heard that word "cancer" and then followed by "mastercised".
I was completely devastated and my world was turned upside down....how can it already be 12 months since this has all happened?
So I've taken this opportunity to write down more of what happened during those last 19 days with the most amazing lady in the world. We had managed to discuss after we arrived the fact that dad and mum were going to pack up and move back to Ballina, they would get treatment for mum in Brisbane, which would require them moving in with Shane and I during this time. The plan was set and whatever it took, we would get mum some treatment!
The Monday was mum and dad's 35th wedding anniversary. At this time, I believe they had only told us kids about the cancer. I remember reading on Facebook dad's beautiful message to mum particularly where he wrote something along the lines of 'happy 35th wedding anniversary, looking forward to another 35 wonderful years together'. It made me sad at the time course of the circumstances but was so beautiful to read. I only wish they had had more time together.
That morning dad headed off to work, to tell his work colleagues about mums cancer and to basically quit the most amazing job he had in a long time. He loved this job, the people and the place. Amy and I decided to meet him down at the library and take them morning tea before the library opened.
When we arrived dad took us on a tour of the most amazing refurbished old pub building and introduced us to his staff. He informed us that he had spoken with his staff and that he would be home shortly, as they were letting him go home for the day!
That afternoon mum and dad took us up to the lookout at Charters Towers so we could feed the rock wallabies. It was one of the things mum used to love doing at Charters. At Ballina she loved watching the water and whales, in Charters it was going up to the lookout and feeding the rock wallabies.
Despite how sick she was, she wanted to take us up to the lookout. We were lucky enough to take some amazing photos, this is the last photos I have with my mummy and she looks so happy even though she was so sick. I will treasure these photos forever, just happy and enjoying life.
The Tuesday I remember taking mum to Sullivan Nicholaides to get blood tests done, while mum was in the room I broke down again. I managed to pull myself together just in time for mum to come out of the room. We headed back home.
On Wednesday we took mum up to the hospital for some more tests. She requested that they give her some more saline but they did not. It was very difficult for her to keep anything down food or water. At this stage she was getting sicker each day, I kept thinking that tomorrow she will have a "good" day, that never happened. By Wednesday afternoon mum basically demanded fluids.
Dad and Amy took her up to the hospital, at this stage dad phoned her doctor in Ballina to let him know what was happening and the state mum was in. He told dad to get her to the nearest regional hospital so they could get her stabilised with fluids etc.
They drove to the Charters Towers hospital and pretty much demanded something be done. I remember dad telling us that the doctor said "if you had private health insurance we could do something faster". I can only imagine dad's look of horror as he would have turned to them and said "we have health insurance, no one has asked us if we have it, do something".
They then drove all the way to Townsville, mum was seen by a gyno-oncologist. They got a referral to see a specialist down in Brisbane. Mum was given fluids and they set off back to Charters Towers. They arrived home and we started planning. An appointment was made for mum to see the gyn-oncologist on the following Tuesday.
Thursday and Friday flew by. Friday night we had this buffet Chinese dinner which was delicious.
During Thursday and Friday it was decided that mum and dad would fly down on the Sunday, I managed to get a flight back on the Saturday (so I could make space for my new roomies) and Kirsty and Amy would stay in Charters Towers to pack up the house. Daniel and Adele also made their way up to Charters Towers to help pack up the house.
The Saturday came and Amy and Kirsty drove me to Townsville. In our usual style we managed to fit in some shopping before I had a go at Amy - it had been a stressful week and I was so freaked out about getting to my flight on time, we did not know where the airport was - I arrived at the airport with 30 minutes before my flight departed - soz Amy!
I arrived home safely to my amazing husband and started reorganising the house so mum and dad would feel more comfortable and have their own space.
During this week my sisters and I managed to shop at every single store in Charters Towers, not that there are many stores there but we bought everything we could for our mum! We enjoyed taking home presents for her, she was way too sick to actually go with us and I think slightly enjoyed the small amount of time we gave her alone - we can be a little overwhelming at times!
On Sunday afternoon I went to the airport and picked up mum and dad. I met them at the gates, mum was in a wheel chair looking very fragile. However, she still managed to have a bit of a joke, while mum and dad were at the Townsville airport they had seen the whole of the Cowboys football team, we joked that it would have been the perfect opportunity for her to get all of their signatures, a sick lady in a wheel chair, how could they have refused!?!?!
During this time, mum managed to keep up her sense of humour, she was an amazing lady who we all love and adore.
So today is the start of a lot of reminiscing and remember the many "twelve months today" that will occur over the next 19 days. As I write this I remember this time twelve months ago I had quickly packed a bag of clothes and my wonderful husband was driving me up to my sister's house in Mundubbera. I can only thank God that we made the decision to head up to Charters Towers and be with my mummy and daddy during this time, I have these memories and a few photos that I will treasure forever. The time I spent with them during these last days will never be forgotten!