On the other side…

My Mum

Today my family met with my mother’s consultant at the hospital to hear the results of her scans and what treatment he was proposing. I had steeled myself for the possibility of a brain tumour, but I wasn’t prepared for it to be untreatable and her prognosis to be terminal. When I heard the words “nothing we can do” and “palliative care” I just wasn’t prepared. The shock of those words was so much more than my own cancer diagnosis. It is true what they say, it is far, far worse to be the person on the other side.

I read and listen to stories of cancer diagnoses, terminal illness, palliative care all the time, but now that is has hit my family like a juggernaut, I am completely blindsided. I would do anything to take this away from my mother – even to the point of taking her place and I really mean that. To think of a world without her in it, is to think of a world with no light, no joy, no mother’s love anymore. Over and over in my head today the words of the last verse of W.H. Auden’s poem, “Stop all the clocks” have been repeating themselves

The stars are not wanted now: put out every one;
Pack up the moon and dismantle the sun;
Pour away the ocean and sweep up the wood.
For nothing now can ever come to any good.