lizziec: (Horrible Histories Dick Turpin (noose))
Had a random moment the other day when I was googling mum's name and came across this news story published a year and a half after she died, using a photo she took and put on flickr under creative commons as the story picture.

Bus Posse
This one.


I think that's unbelievably cool. It made me both smile, and be a little bit sad.

Thanks to those who helped me find the pic on flickr after I got sad enough that I could no longer look.

This entry was originally posted at http://lizziec.dreamwidth.org/433857.html. There are currently comment count unavailable comments on the original entry.
lizziec: (Horrible Histories Dick Turpin (noose))
Had a random moment the other day when I was googling mum's name and came across this news story published a year and a half after she died, using a photo she took and put on flickr under creative commons as the story picture.

Bus Posse
This one.


I think that's unbelievably cool. It made me both smile, and be a little bit sad.

Thanks to those who helped me find the pic on flickr after I got sad enough that I could no longer look.
lizziec: (BSG - Starbuck frustrated (mini))
Today I have anger. I am pissed and I would very much like to yell at someone and can't.

I've been suspecting for a little while that some of our post has been going astray. I've been trying to organise a headstone for mum's grave and twice now the paperwork has gone missing in the post (incidentally the woman at the Masons sounded rather incredulous that this had happened which is one of the reasons I'm so wound up. As if I'd make it up and ask her to send out the same stuff three times. This time I've asked her to send it recorded delivery and add the charge to the amount for the headstone).

Now some of the paperwork we need to buy the house has gone missing in the post meaning that the whole process of that has been delayed and I am really fucking angry.

So I called up Royal Mail because I want to talk to someone, an actual person about this problem and my concerns about the lost post and I get a bloody phone tree that doesn't put me through to a person but to a recording that redirects me to their website and tells me to fill in a form. I'll fill it in, but I have the feeling that it will eventually come back with "not our problem".

In the meantime it's entirely possible that our post will go missing again. And who knows what already has?

This entry was originally posted at http://lizziec.dreamwidth.org/425586.html. There are currently comments on the original entry.
lizziec: (Rocks fall)
Today I have anger. I am pissed and I would very much like to yell at someone and can't.

I've been suspecting for a little while that some of our post has been going astray. I've been trying to organise a headstone for mum's grave and twice now the paperwork has gone missing in the post (incidentally the woman at the Masons sounded rather incredulous that this had happened which is one of the reasons I'm so wound up. As if I'd make it up and ask her to send out the same stuff three times. This time I've asked her to send it recorded delivery and add the charge to the amount for the headstone).

Now some of the paperwork we need to buy the house has gone missing in the post meaning that the whole process of that has been delayed and I am really fucking angry.

So I called up Royal Mail because I want to talk to someone, an actual person about this problem and my concerns about the lost post and I get a bloody phone tree that doesn't put me through to a person but to a recording that redirects me to their website and tells me to fill in a form. I'll fill it in, but I have the feeling that it will eventually come back with "not our problem".

In the meantime it's entirely possible that our post will go missing again. And who knows what already has?
lizziec: (me - mummy and little lizzie)
This is my big sister. Catherine Patricia Frances Overal.

Cut because the picture is of an extremely sick preemie on life support )

She was born at 25 weeks gestation - 15 weeks (nearly four months) premature in February 1982. She weighed 1lb 9.5oz and lived for less than a day, so I never knew her. Even today babies born that early have huge challenges and many still die. In 1982, despite all the care the hospital could give her, the chances were worse and she sadly died.

Because my parents weren't very well off they could never afford to get a grave marker for my big sister, and so for 29 years now it's remained unmarked. There's no visible sign that she even existed to most of the world.

Tomorrow me and my auntie are going to order the amendments to my dad's headstone to have my mum's details added and we've managed to get together the money to have my sister's grave finally marked. I called the cemetery today to double check which plot Catherine was buried in so I could give the details to the monumental mason (which btw, is an awesome job title).

It's just as well I did, because it turns out that my mum and dad (both deceased) hold the rights to my sister's grave, so we wouldn't have been able to arrange a headstone because we (surviving family) have no rights over it. It's quite frustrating.

Luckily, as Phil and I have long since sorted out probate over mum's estate transferring it should be fairly straight forward, but it's one more thing I have to do tomorrow when I'm visiting Sutton (60+ miles away). I really could have done without it.

Luckily, by the end of tomorrow a headstone for Catherine should be on order, as should the alterations to daddy's headstone.

The inscription we're going with on Catherine's will be something like
Catherine Patricia Frances Overal
03.02.1982-04.02.1982

On mum's it'll be:
Christine Anne Overal
Born: 02.04.1951
Died: 11.05.2010
Well loved

Pics when it's done, which will be apparently four or five months from ordering.

This entry was originally posted at http://lizziec.dreamwidth.org/420309.html. There are currently comments on the original entry.
lizziec: (Mummy and little lizzie)
This is my big sister. Catherine Patricia Frances Overal.

Cut because the picture is of an extremely sick preemie on life support )

She was born at 25 weeks gestation - 15 weeks (nearly four months) premature in February 1982. She weighed 1lb 9.5oz and lived for less than a day, so I never knew her. Even today babies born that early have huge challenges and many still die. In 1982, despite all the care the hospital could give her, the chances were worse and she sadly died.

Because my parents weren't very well off they could never afford to get a grave marker for my big sister, and so for 29 years now it's remained unmarked. There's no visible sign that she even existed to most of the world.

Tomorrow me and my auntie are going to order the amendments to my dad's headstone to have my mum's details added and we've managed to get together the money to have my sister's grave finally marked. I called the cemetery today to double check which plot Catherine was buried in so I could give the details to the monumental mason (which btw, is an awesome job title).

It's just as well I did, because it turns out that my mum and dad (both deceased) hold the rights to my sister's grave, so we wouldn't have been able to arrange a headstone because we (surviving family) have no rights over it. It's quite frustrating.

Luckily, as Phil and I have long since sorted out probate over mum's estate transferring it should be fairly straight forward, but it's one more thing I have to do tomorrow when I'm visiting Sutton (60+ miles away). I really could have done without it.

Luckily, by the end of tomorrow a headstone for Catherine should be on order, as should the alterations to daddy's headstone.

The inscription we're going with on Catherine's will be something like
Catherine Patricia Frances Overal
03.02.1982-04.02.1982

On mum's it'll be:
Christine Anne Overal
Born: 02.04.1951
Died: 11.05.2010
Well loved

Pics when it's done, which will be apparently four or five months from ordering.

One year

11 May 2011 09:00 am
lizziec: (me - mummy and little lizzie)
It's one year today since [livejournal.com profile] no1typo died. Ben and I are spending the day out so don't worry too much about me, I won't be moping too much. The tribute that Phil and I wrote for mum's funeral says really all I want to today about her, so I've posted it again below.

--

Tribute to mum )



This entry was originally posted at http://lizziec.dreamwidth.org/418232.html. There are currently comments on the original entry.

One year

11 May 2011 09:00 am
lizziec: (Mummy and little lizzie)
It's one year today since [livejournal.com profile] no1typo died. Ben and I are spending the day out so don't worry too much about me, I won't be moping too much. The tribute that Phil and I wrote for mum's funeral says really all I want to today about her, so I've posted it again below.

--

Tribute to mum )

lizziec: (Stargate SG1 Jack O'Neill (two l's ;)))
What follows is something of a random whinge, so please just treat it as that and nothing more. Hey look, I post for the first time in months and then do two posts in an evening. Fluke? Too much stuff in my head? I dunno really. We'll see what this develops in to.

It's been just over a year since [livejournal.com profile] no1typo got ill, and very nearly a year since she died and I still feel like I'm picking up the pieces of my life. There are times when I almost feel caught up, like I'm back in the groove again, but they're pretty rare. Most of the time I still feel like I'm playing some sort of catch up game.

I understood this 10ish months ago. I'd taken two or three months out of my life before she died to help look after her and be with her as she got worse. After that there was all the busy-ness random admin and worrying that came with her being dead. But it's nearly been a year. I don't get why it is I still feel like this. Surely I should have picked up all the threads of my life by now? I keep wondering if it can possibly be normal. Well, for values of normal anyway.

Gaaaaah.

This entry was originally posted at http://lizziec.dreamwidth.org/416333.html. There are currently comment count unavailable comments on the original entry.
lizziec: (O'Neill)
What follows is something of a random whinge, so please just treat it as that and nothing more. Hey look, I post for the first time in months and then do two posts in an evening. Fluke? Too much stuff in my head? I dunno really. We'll see what this develops in to.

It's been just over a year since [livejournal.com profile] no1typo got ill, and very nearly a year since she died and I still feel like I'm picking up the pieces of my life. There are times when I almost feel caught up, like I'm back in the groove again, but they're pretty rare. Most of the time I still feel like I'm playing some sort of catch up game.

I understood this 10ish months ago. I'd taken two or three months out of my life before she died to help look after her and be with her as she got worse. After that there was all the busy-ness random admin and worrying that came with her being dead. But it's nearly been a year. I don't get why it is I still feel like this. Surely I should have picked up all the threads of my life by now? I keep wondering if it can possibly be normal. Well, for values of normal anyway.

Gaaaaah.
lizziec: (toys - max at work)
Just to let you all know, that the funeral directors sent Phil a total of how much money was donated in mum's name to Macmillan nurses. The final total was £385. There was also £70 given to Phil and I in cash that we will be forwarding to Macmillan in mum's name shortly. That means that £455 of good for Macmillan Nurses, and the people who use them, has come from this, and that is something that offers some comfort for me. Thank you to everyone who donated.

ION I saw Toy Story 3 over the weekend and it was awesome and lovely and beautiful and I would see it again even if I did spend a good deal of time in tears. Go see it!
lizziec: (toys - max at work)
Just to let you all know, that the funeral directors sent Phil a total of how much money was donated in mum's name to Macmillan nurses. The final total was £385. There was also £70 given to Phil and I in cash that we will be forwarding to Macmillan in mum's name shortly. That means that £455 of good for Macmillan Nurses, and the people who use them, has come from this, and that is something that offers some comfort for me. Thank you to everyone who donated.

ION I saw Toy Story 3 over the weekend and it was awesome and lovely and beautiful and I would see it again even if I did spend a good deal of time in tears. Go see it!
lizziec: (granny's garden bee)
In trying to wind up mum's estate we have been stymied at many turns by a complete lack of paperwork. Apparently mum didn't like to keep paperwork of any type. I won't go in to too much detail here, because it makes me grumpy and you don't need to know about it.

For one of the things I need to prove I am mum's daughter, which apparently involves sending in my birth certificate, and this is where a huge problem I've been meaning to correct for a while comes in. At some point in my growing up my long form birth certificate vanished. No idea where it went. I don't remember ever having it. When I applied for student finance in 2002 I had to physically take my short form certificate in to the council so they could photocopy it.

The reason I had to take my short form birth certificate in person? Ah yes, that would be because my parents in their infinite wisdom, stuck my short form certificate in to my baby book. With glue.

Generally I've managed to avoid it being a problem for some years. I have other forms of ID. However, this set of paperwork that needs it has forced me to order one on a rush from the General Register Office, who I have to say are fantastic. I paid a premium for a next day service and they delivered. You can order certificates online, and if you can wait 16 days the price is a fairly reasonable £9.25 (to put in context, to get a death certificate copy from the registry office after registration is completed is £7 - if you get copies at the time of registration it's quite a lot less).

The GRO helpfully search one year either side of the year you name, just in case you're wrong about the exact year - which is what they had to do when I asked for a copy of daddy's death certificate (mum didn't keep that) because I had no idea when the death was actually registered (he died on Christmas day, so the registry office wouldn't have been open much between christmas day 1991 and january 1992).

I paid more than the £9.25 for my birth certificate because I needed it as a rush job, and they've delivered. Really the price serves me right for not just ordering one when I've thought about it countless other times over the years. But it's now here and I can finish that lot of paperwork and yay! And hopefully I'll never have to go through the embarrassment of sending my baby book anywhere to prove who I am in the future.

lizziec: (granny's garden bee)
In trying to wind up mum's estate we have been stymied at many turns by a complete lack of paperwork. Apparently mum didn't like to keep paperwork of any type. I won't go in to too much detail here, because it makes me grumpy and you don't need to know about it.

For one of the things I need to prove I am mum's daughter, which apparently involves sending in my birth certificate, and this is where a huge problem I've been meaning to correct for a while comes in. At some point in my growing up my long form birth certificate vanished. No idea where it went. I don't remember ever having it. When I applied for student finance in 2002 I had to physically take my short form certificate in to the council so they could photocopy it.

The reason I had to take my short form birth certificate in person? Ah yes, that would be because my parents in their infinite wisdom, stuck my short form certificate in to my baby book. With glue.

Generally I've managed to avoid it being a problem for some years. I have other forms of ID. However, this set of paperwork that needs it has forced me to order one on a rush from the General Register Office, who I have to say are fantastic. I paid a premium for a next day service and they delivered. You can order certificates online, and if you can wait 16 days the price is a fairly reasonable £9.25 (to put in context, to get a death certificate copy from the registry office after registration is completed is £7 - if you get copies at the time of registration it's quite a lot less).

The GRO helpfully search one year either side of the year you name, just in case you're wrong about the exact year - which is what they had to do when I asked for a copy of daddy's death certificate (mum didn't keep that) because I had no idea when the death was actually registered (he died on Christmas day, so the registry office wouldn't have been open much between christmas day 1991 and january 1992).

I paid more than the £9.25 for my birth certificate because I needed it as a rush job, and they've delivered. Really the price serves me right for not just ordering one when I've thought about it countless other times over the years. But it's now here and I can finish that lot of paperwork and yay! And hopefully I'll never have to go through the embarrassment of sending my baby book anywhere to prove who I am in the future.

Grief

10 July 2010 03:07 pm
lizziec: (Stargate SG1 Jack O'Neill (two l's ;)))
Grief is a funny thing. I thought I knew what it had to offer, having been through it once when my dad died, but either I have forgotten or I experienced it in a different way, being, as I was, a child. I think it's probably a combination of the two. It's 19 years this Christmas since daddy died, so it's been a long time, and I'm (obviously) older now, though apparently not so old that being completely parentless doesn't feel extremely premature. I feel much too young for all this.

A lot of the time I feel like I'm doing ok. I'm even managing to enjoy stuff, and I'm not in a depressed puddle on the floor, a situation which I hope continues because it's only this year I've really felt on top of my depression and I don't need to go back to the beginning. Or even to the middle.

Then something will slap me around the face and I will cry and howl like my heart is breaking. It's not triggered by those still several times a day "oh I'll just call mum and say..." thoughts, which always complete before I remember that I can't and won't ever again. They're becoming like a routine part of my day, but still give me a little jolt everytime.

It isn't even triggered by sorting out her affairs (by the way, the Letters of Administration arrived yesterday, so I'm starting to see a light at the end of the tunnel on that one). It's usually triggered by something that completely blindsides me, like her teapot, or a song that makes me think of her.

It's annoying because I'll be bobbing along ok and then whatever that trigger happens to be will hit me and I'll be a wreck for the rest of the day.

On a not entirely unrelated note, I went to see my GP this week to get some more pills, and finished the appointment wondering if I was really doing as well as I thought I was. She said I looked weary and asked what had been happening since I last saw her in the middle of March. So I told her. Really, everything has happened since then - mum's diagnosis, her illness, her death, her funeral, her house sorting. I told her what had happened. Then she asked for more details so I told her. Then she asked about the end and I recounted the last week and then the last 24 hours of mum's life, and I cried. I was booked in for a 10 minute appointment, and she was running half an hour late when she got to me, but she still spent 20 mins with me, and then booked me in for a one off appointment with my old psychiatric nurse, Nikki.

I saw her at 3:30 on Thursday and was good for absolutely nothing the rest of the day. She spent an hour with me, during which I cried pretty much constantly. I had Edexcel work to do that evening and ended up abandoning it. I was as low as I've been in a while, which I think is just related to the hour I'd spent crying. She arranged to see me again in a couple of weeks to make sure I'm still "ok".

Honestly, until I saw my GP and psychiatric nurse, I didn't realise I still had so many emotions left to with this, or so many tears to cry, and I'm not sure where it all came from. I don't think they're all back in the bottle though. And I'm wondering if I'm really doing ok, or whether I'm just glossing over it all, which then leads to me crying for an hour at someone.

Stupid grief and its non-standard, non-linear path.

Grief

10 July 2010 03:07 pm
lizziec: (Stargate SG1 Jack O'Neill (two l's ;)))
Grief is a funny thing. I thought I knew what it had to offer, having been through it once when my dad died, but either I have forgotten or I experienced it in a different way, being, as I was, a child. I think it's probably a combination of the two. It's 19 years this Christmas since daddy died, so it's been a long time, and I'm (obviously) older now, though apparently not so old that being completely parentless doesn't feel extremely premature. I feel much too young for all this.

A lot of the time I feel like I'm doing ok. I'm even managing to enjoy stuff, and I'm not in a depressed puddle on the floor, a situation which I hope continues because it's only this year I've really felt on top of my depression and I don't need to go back to the beginning. Or even to the middle.

Then something will slap me around the face and I will cry and howl like my heart is breaking. It's not triggered by those still several times a day "oh I'll just call mum and say..." thoughts, which always complete before I remember that I can't and won't ever again. They're becoming like a routine part of my day, but still give me a little jolt everytime.

It isn't even triggered by sorting out her affairs (by the way, the Letters of Administration arrived yesterday, so I'm starting to see a light at the end of the tunnel on that one). It's usually triggered by something that completely blindsides me, like her teapot, or a song that makes me think of her.

It's annoying because I'll be bobbing along ok and then whatever that trigger happens to be will hit me and I'll be a wreck for the rest of the day.

On a not entirely unrelated note, I went to see my GP this week to get some more pills, and finished the appointment wondering if I was really doing as well as I thought I was. She said I looked weary and asked what had been happening since I last saw her in the middle of March. So I told her. Really, everything has happened since then - mum's diagnosis, her illness, her death, her funeral, her house sorting. I told her what had happened. Then she asked for more details so I told her. Then she asked about the end and I recounted the last week and then the last 24 hours of mum's life, and I cried. I was booked in for a 10 minute appointment, and she was running half an hour late when she got to me, but she still spent 20 mins with me, and then booked me in for a one off appointment with my old psychiatric nurse, Nikki.

I saw her at 3:30 on Thursday and was good for absolutely nothing the rest of the day. She spent an hour with me, during which I cried pretty much constantly. I had Edexcel work to do that evening and ended up abandoning it. I was as low as I've been in a while, which I think is just related to the hour I'd spent crying. She arranged to see me again in a couple of weeks to make sure I'm still "ok".

Honestly, until I saw my GP and psychiatric nurse, I didn't realise I still had so many emotions left to with this, or so many tears to cry, and I'm not sure where it all came from. I don't think they're all back in the bottle though. And I'm wondering if I'm really doing ok, or whether I'm just glossing over it all, which then leads to me crying for an hour at someone.

Stupid grief and its non-standard, non-linear path.
lizziec: (me - mummy and little lizzie)
I put mum's facebook account into memorial mode a few weeks ago and then tried to ignore the problem of mum's online presence, but it's something that I've been thinking about increasingly over the last couple of days.

One of mum's friends thinks we should delete anything we can't lock down (ala her facebook account), but I'm not sure I can bring myself to do that. It feels a little bit like erasing her life. Which sounds ridiculous. But there's where my head and my heart been going on this question.

Any thoughts from you, my lovely friendslist? I'm not sure I can be objective on this.
lizziec: (me - mummy and little lizzie)
I put mum's facebook account into memorial mode a few weeks ago and then tried to ignore the problem of mum's online presence, but it's something that I've been thinking about increasingly over the last couple of days.

One of mum's friends thinks we should delete anything we can't lock down (ala her facebook account), but I'm not sure I can bring myself to do that. It feels a little bit like erasing her life. Which sounds ridiculous. But there's where my head and my heart been going on this question.

Any thoughts from you, my lovely friendslist? I'm not sure I can be objective on this.
lizziec: (me - mummy and little lizzie)
We had mum's funeral today, and we couldn't have had a nicer day for it, weather wise. It was the kind of day mum would have loved, and she would have been extremely gratified and touched that so many people came to show their love and care for her by coming to say goodbye to her.

The funeral directors, a local firm called W A Truelove and Son were amazing, and made the day go very smoothly. We arrived everywhere exactly on time, never too early or too late. Mum was carried into church by a mixture of family and friends (Ben, foo, my uncle Allan, Duncan [mum's partner], Mark F and Giles), which was lovely. I held it together more or less until we got into the church and found just how many people there were (the church really was packed with mum's friends from all sorts of places, even my Auntie Joan, who we've not spoken to for years, and my cousin Mandy [ditto] came) and ended up crying through most all of the introduction and the first hymn.

Service sheet is here by the way.

After the hymn, I read the tribute which Phil and I had written together, and managed to keep it together enough to read it, though my voice kept breaking whenever I looked up and saw how many people were there for mum, so I tried to keep my eyes on the paper.

The tribute )

My uncle David (mum's brother) read the bible reading, and then Ben read the poem, which is Long Distance II by Tony Harrison, which I have posted here before, but I'll post it again for completeness.

Long Distance II by Tony Harrison )

The vicar (a lovely man, Mick Hough, who was miles better than the vicar we had at the same church for our wedding [his sermon involved homosexuals and protestants in ancient corinth]), used the poem as a way to launch into his address, which was beautiful, and talked about the finality of death for those left behind, but the hope for the next life and resurrection.

The service at the cemetery was very short and nice (and very well attended again), but seeing mum lowered into the ground was very hard, and so was putting a handful of earth in actually. After that we mingled for a bit (during which the mormon in attendance asked if we minded if he consecrated the grave "for your dad's sake" - we said he could, because honestly it doesn't matter to me either way, but I'm kind of pissed he invoked daddy*) before making our way back to the house to collect the car so we could meet everyone else at the pub near the church, where everyone mingled some more and talked about mum, which was nice in a different kind of way to the rest of the day. Once again, everyone was utterly amazing.

The pictures of the flowers are here (sorry, most of them are sideways as I uploaded them before I realised, then ran out of energy to fix them. Maybe I'll get around to it at a later date). There aren't many because we requested family flowers only, with donations to go to the Macmillan Nurses through the Undertaker who will collate them. The flowers we did get were stunningly beautiful though, and very mum I thought. The flowers from Phil and Ben and I are in the middle of this photo:



The ones to the left are from the Overal side of the family (dad's family), the ones to the right are from the Walker side (mum's side).

That's it, I think. Or at least it is for now. I'm pretty tired, but suffering from lack of arsedness to actually go to bed...

lizziec: (me - mummy and little lizzie)
We had mum's funeral today, and we couldn't have had a nicer day for it, weather wise. It was the kind of day mum would have loved, and she would have been extremely gratified and touched that so many people came to show their love and care for her by coming to say goodbye to her.

The funeral directors, a local firm called W A Truelove and Son were amazing, and made the day go very smoothly. We arrived everywhere exactly on time, never too early or too late. Mum was carried into church by a mixture of family and friends (Ben, foo, my uncle Allan, Duncan [mum's partner], Mark F and Giles), which was lovely. I held it together more or less until we got into the church and found just how many people there were (the church really was packed with mum's friends from all sorts of places, even my Auntie Joan, who we've not spoken to for years, and my cousin Mandy [ditto] came) and ended up crying through most all of the introduction and the first hymn.

Service sheet is here by the way.

After the hymn, I read the tribute which Phil and I had written together, and managed to keep it together enough to read it, though my voice kept breaking whenever I looked up and saw how many people were there for mum, so I tried to keep my eyes on the paper.

The tribute )

My uncle David (mum's brother) read the bible reading, and then Ben read the poem, which is Long Distance II by Tony Harrison, which I have posted here before, but I'll post it again for completeness.

Long Distance II by Tony Harrison )

The vicar (a lovely man, Mick Hough, who was miles better than the vicar we had at the same church for our wedding [his sermon involved homosexuals and protestants in ancient corinth]), used the poem as a way to launch into his address, which was beautiful, and talked about the finality of death for those left behind, but the hope for the next life and resurrection.

The service at the cemetery was very short and nice (and very well attended again), but seeing mum lowered into the ground was very hard, and so was putting a handful of earth in actually. After that we mingled for a bit (during which the mormon in attendance asked if we minded if he consecrated the grave "for your dad's sake" - we said he could, because honestly it doesn't matter to me either way, but I'm kind of pissed he invoked daddy*) before making our way back to the house to collect the car so we could meet everyone else at the pub near the church, where everyone mingled some more and talked about mum, which was nice in a different kind of way to the rest of the day. Once again, everyone was utterly amazing.

The pictures of the flowers are here (sorry, most of them are sideways as I uploaded them before I realised, then ran out of energy to fix them. Maybe I'll get around to it at a later date). There aren't many because we requested family flowers only, with donations to go to the Macmillan Nurses through the Undertaker who will collate them. The flowers we did get were stunningly beautiful though, and very mum I thought. The flowers from Phil and Ben and I are in the middle of this photo:



The ones to the left are from the Overal side of the family (dad's family), the ones to the right are from the Walker side (mum's side).

That's it, I think. Or at least it is for now. I'm pretty tired, but suffering from lack of arsedness to actually go to bed...
lizziec: (me - mummy and little lizzie)
Mum died in hospital today, at just gone 10am. The hospital kept her as comfortable and free from pain as they could, and the staff were fantastic. In the end, she just stopped breathing. We saw her after and she looked very peaceful. Details of the funeral to follow at a later date for those who are interested.
lizziec: (me - mummy and little lizzie)
Mum died in hospital today, at just gone 10am. The hospital kept her as comfortable and free from pain as they could, and the staff were fantastic. In the end, she just stopped breathing. We saw her after and she looked very peaceful. Details of the funeral to follow at a later date for those who are interested.
lizziec: (toys - efelant and lion)
Mum definitely worse today. She's stopped eating and drinking, though they're nourishing and hydrating her through the NG tube. She was confused, and had spent part of the morning shouting at the nurses and trying to get out of bed - by the time visiting hours started they had someone sitting in the doorway making sure she didn't get out of bed. When she wasn't trying to get out of bed, or thinking she needed to go to the toilet when she didn't she was asleep and barely responsive when she was (where before when she was asleep she would respond). The one time she was got out of bed, she kept her eyes shut the entire time. Her breathing is noisy and towards the end of visiting hours she would stop for a few seconds at a time, though it improved a little towards the end of the evening. When we left, the ward had sorted out a person whose sole job for the night was to sit with mum, though I don't know whether it was because they were concerned about her breathing, or her attempts to get out of bed, or both.

After today my gut feeling is the same, if not more reinforced. We're not looking at very long at all I think. A couple of weeks at most. Though, she wasn't expected to make it past last weekend, so I may be proven wrong. Time will tell I think.

ETA: 12/07/11 No longer filtered
lizziec: (toys - efelant and lion)
Mum definitely worse today. She's stopped eating and drinking, though they're nourishing and hydrating her through the NG tube. She was confused, and had spent part of the morning shouting at the nurses and trying to get out of bed - by the time visiting hours started they had someone sitting in the doorway making sure she didn't get out of bed. When she wasn't trying to get out of bed, or thinking she needed to go to the toilet when she didn't she was asleep and barely responsive when she was (where before when she was asleep she would respond). The one time she was got out of bed, she kept her eyes shut the entire time. Her breathing is noisy and towards the end of visiting hours she would stop for a few seconds at a time, though it improved a little towards the end of the evening. When we left, the ward had sorted out a person whose sole job for the night was to sit with mum, though I don't know whether it was because they were concerned about her breathing, or her attempts to get out of bed, or both.

After today my gut feeling is the same, if not more reinforced. We're not looking at very long at all I think. A couple of weeks at most. Though, she wasn't expected to make it past last weekend, so I may be proven wrong. Time will tell I think.

ETA: 12/07/11 No longer filtered
lizziec: (animals - badgers)
Had a lovely surprise the other night (Thursday) - foo and rah brought Ben up to me, which was amazing. They also brought benji to see me and we all ended up going for dinner after visiting hours, which helped recharge my spoons a little. Ben's heading back to Canterbury, and work today, but it's been amazing to have him around in the meantime. I don't know how I'll ever thank everyone for how amazing they're being.

Mum's still hanging on, but definitely getting a little bit worse every day. The doctors have put a nasogastric tube in to feed mum that way as she can't swallow any more. Any food she tries to eat gets spat back out again, and liquids just dribble out when she next opens her mouth. It's pretty grim to be honest. The downside to the feeding tube is that mum's finding it difficult to breathe with it in. The tumour is blocking off her left nostril, so she can't breathe through it and she can't have the tube up there, so they had to put it up her right nostril, which blocks that off as far as breathing goes. She's now breathing through her mouth only, which is somewhat complicated by the fact that she's now not producing enough saliva making her mouth incredibly dry. She's been prescribed some artifical saliva which has solved the problem somewhat, but it's another indicator of how much worse she's getting.

On the upside, she's off the insulin sliding scale now, and back on metformin, though a liquid version that's put in via her NG tube as she can't swallow. She's still on an IV for fluids though, due to the fact any drink she has comes straight out.

What's most distressing is how confused she was last night. I was hoping it was just because she'd been pulled around a lot yesterday - the NG tube going in, down to XRay to check it was sited correctly, (incidentally, I went there with her and was allowed to stay while they did the XRay and, despite everything, it was pretty cool), back to her room and then getting shuffled around in bed, having the feed connecting and having some trouble breathing, or at least thinking she did.

According to the nurse though, mum was confused again this morning. Last night she kept trying to get up to go to the toilet for a wee even though we kept reassuring her that she had a catheter in. She also kept tugging on the ng tube and towards the end was getting even more confused. She was worrying about the electricity board (why?), saying "he has two assistants" (no idea who has two assistants), and telling me how scared she was.

Being me, and incredibly pessimistic I was expecting the call last night because of that and slept pretty badly.

Mum is still here though, but according to the nurse still trying to get out of bed to go to the toilet. I'm hoping today's visit isn't like yesterdays because I'm not sure I could stand it. It was really really bad. I could handle her dying far better if it didn't feel like she was losing her marbles too. And I don't think it's just the drugs (the nurses pretty much said that if it was the drugs the confusion would have come up before, as she's been on the same combo of drugs for over a week now). Honestly I don't think she's got much longer. I may be being really pessimistic. I'm sure I am. But things just feel really bleak right now.

ETA: 12/07/11 No longer filtered
lizziec: (animals - badgers)
Had a lovely surprise the other night (Thursday) - foo and rah brought Ben up to me, which was amazing. They also brought benji to see me and we all ended up going for dinner after visiting hours, which helped recharge my spoons a little. Ben's heading back to Canterbury, and work today, but it's been amazing to have him around in the meantime. I don't know how I'll ever thank everyone for how amazing they're being.

Mum's still hanging on, but definitely getting a little bit worse every day. The doctors have put a nasogastric tube in to feed mum that way as she can't swallow any more. Any food she tries to eat gets spat back out again, and liquids just dribble out when she next opens her mouth. It's pretty grim to be honest. The downside to the feeding tube is that mum's finding it difficult to breathe with it in. The tumour is blocking off her left nostril, so she can't breathe through it and she can't have the tube up there, so they had to put it up her right nostril, which blocks that off as far as breathing goes. She's now breathing through her mouth only, which is somewhat complicated by the fact that she's now not producing enough saliva making her mouth incredibly dry. She's been prescribed some artifical saliva which has solved the problem somewhat, but it's another indicator of how much worse she's getting.

On the upside, she's off the insulin sliding scale now, and back on metformin, though a liquid version that's put in via her NG tube as she can't swallow. She's still on an IV for fluids though, due to the fact any drink she has comes straight out.

What's most distressing is how confused she was last night. I was hoping it was just because she'd been pulled around a lot yesterday - the NG tube going in, down to XRay to check it was sited correctly, (incidentally, I went there with her and was allowed to stay while they did the XRay and, despite everything, it was pretty cool), back to her room and then getting shuffled around in bed, having the feed connecting and having some trouble breathing, or at least thinking she did.

According to the nurse though, mum was confused again this morning. Last night she kept trying to get up to go to the toilet for a wee even though we kept reassuring her that she had a catheter in. She also kept tugging on the ng tube and towards the end was getting even more confused. She was worrying about the electricity board (why?), saying "he has two assistants" (no idea who has two assistants), and telling me how scared she was.

Being me, and incredibly pessimistic I was expecting the call last night because of that and slept pretty badly.

Mum is still here though, but according to the nurse still trying to get out of bed to go to the toilet. I'm hoping today's visit isn't like yesterdays because I'm not sure I could stand it. It was really really bad. I could handle her dying far better if it didn't feel like she was losing her marbles too. And I don't think it's just the drugs (the nurses pretty much said that if it was the drugs the confusion would have come up before, as she's been on the same combo of drugs for over a week now). Honestly I don't think she's got much longer. I may be being really pessimistic. I'm sure I am. But things just feel really bleak right now.

ETA: 12/07/11 No longer filtered

Mum update

5 May 2010 11:45 pm
lizziec: (owl)
Mum's still with us, and a bit better than she was, though in critical condition. If you want to send cards or anything you can either send them to the house (contact me for an address) or to the hospital:

mum's name
Florence Nightingale Ward
St James' Wing
St George's Hospital
Blackshaw Road
Tooting
London
SW17 0QT

The hospital request that if you do send something there you put a return address on it, in case they can't get it to the patient.

Mum update

5 May 2010 11:45 pm
lizziec: (owl)
Mum's still with us, and a bit better than she was, though in critical condition. If you want to send cards or anything you can either send them to the house (contact me for an address) or to the hospital:

mum's name
Florence Nightingale Ward
St James' Wing
St George's Hospital
Blackshaw Road
Tooting
London
SW17 0QT

The hospital request that if you do send something there you put a return address on it, in case they can't get it to the patient.
lizziec: (MASH - Hawkeye Trapper bromance)
Well the good news, that I truly did not expect to be writing over the weekend, is that mum is still with us, and in some ways far stronger that we would or could have dared to imagine. For example, she managed a shower yesterday. She is, however, still on what Fiona, the brilliant Macmillan nurse calls a knife edge. She's still not really stable.

We know a little more about what is going on now. Mum has an infection which is making it hard to control her blood sugar, and has been on IV antibiotics for it since she was admitted on Thursday. The antibiotics haven't knocked it out so they started her on a second antibiotic today. They don't know where the infection is though, so obviously that makes it hard to treat. There is a possibility, though I don't know how actually likely it is, that the infection is being caused by the tumour itself (that part of the tissue of the tumour has died and become necrotic - that is, it's rotting away in her head). As of now it is just a theory though.

I think I mentioned the arrhythmia before. It's Arterial Fibrilation, and it is at least under control at the moment.

In her current condition they would not be able to start radiotherapy, and until she is more stable they're certainly not talking about transferring her from St Georges to anywhere, even the Royal Marsden, and are even further away from discussing her discharge.

Mum is a little more awake at the moment than she was over the weekend, which, given how sick she was on Friday will probably not surprise anyone. She also gets tired very easily - just sitting up for 10 mins means she has to sleep for the next hour. The fact that she is more with it and even able to sit up is the silver lining. Here is the cloud.

The tumour symptoms have and are continuing to get much worse. There's a constant nasal discharge, and the numbness and weakness in her face is getting worse. She can barely bite or chew (which is the reason why the doctors are probably going to put in a feeding [NG] tube tomorrow), and when she drinks, most of the liquid comes out again, though because of the numbness she isn't aware of it. The deafness in her left ear is worse, and her right eye is bulging out more. We've been told that the biggest danger of mum dying imminently comes from the fact that the tumour is wrapped her carotid artery. Apparently this could weaken the wall of the artery and lead to a massive bleed, the only upside to which is that it kills pretty painlessly and immediately.

Because mum is so unstable still, Fiona, the brilliant Macmillan nurse, is sorting out a low cost solicitor that they apparently use all the time at the hospital, to come out and help mum sort a will and a power of attorney, so no matter what happens and when, we're covered.

Mum is having good days and bad days, mood wise. Today has been pretty bad. She's been moved to a side room on the same ward and is convinced that she's dying and noone has told her. Which isn't true, as i) she isn't dying in the sense she means it - she's still critical but she was much more obviously about to die on Friday, or Saturday or Sunday, and ii) we have told her everything we know, and whether or not she remembers it, the doctors have too. The reason they've moved her is to make it easier for her to sleep and easier for us to be with her. She's also talking about having the cats put down because "let's face it, I'm not going home again." When I said that whether or not that was true we liked and would care for the cats she looked at me like I was lying, pulled a face and ignored me for a bit.

Like I said, she was having a bad day.

On top of all of this, I'm becoming increasingly aware that I am running out of mental health spoons. Thanks to Ben being so supportive I went into mum's illness with quite a stockpile built up, but I'm becoming aware that I'm nearly out. I'm getting tired out more easily, and getting irritable and bad tempered for no reason, and overreacting to small irritating situations.

This is not good, but I don't really know how to remedy it. Going home to Canterbury would probably help, but if time is very short, I don't want to spend anywhere else - I'm spending visiting hours (all of them) at the hospital, and should she die, I don't want to be in Kent. Being in Coulsdon is already quite far enough from the hospital.

When at mum's (as opposed to the Hospital), other stuff has to be done - Phil and I divide this between ourselves, and ignored this stuff for several days when the danger was most - but it takes time and spoons to do. However, if we were to ignore this stuff we'd end up with no clean clothes, cutlery/crockery or floor/workspace. On top of everything, I'm not sleeping very deeply because part of me is expecting the phone call.

I'm starting to feel the depression again, and the anxiety (though not badly yet, just I'm aware of them). And that's stressing me out even more. I don't want to backslide, but I don't know how to not.

ETA: 12/07/11 No longer filtered
lizziec: (MASH - Hawkeye Trapper bromance)
Well the good news, that I truly did not expect to be writing over the weekend, is that mum is still with us, and in some ways far stronger that we would or could have dared to imagine. For example, she managed a shower yesterday. She is, however, still on what Fiona, the brilliant Macmillan nurse calls a knife edge. She's still not really stable.

We know a little more about what is going on now. Mum has an infection which is making it hard to control her blood sugar, and has been on IV antibiotics for it since she was admitted on Thursday. The antibiotics haven't knocked it out so they started her on a second antibiotic today. They don't know where the infection is though, so obviously that makes it hard to treat. There is a possibility, though I don't know how actually likely it is, that the infection is being caused by the tumour itself (that part of the tissue of the tumour has died and become necrotic - that is, it's rotting away in her head). As of now it is just a theory though.

I think I mentioned the arrhythmia before. It's Arterial Fibrilation, and it is at least under control at the moment.

In her current condition they would not be able to start radiotherapy, and until she is more stable they're certainly not talking about transferring her from St Georges to anywhere, even the Royal Marsden, and are even further away from discussing her discharge.

Mum is a little more awake at the moment than she was over the weekend, which, given how sick she was on Friday will probably not surprise anyone. She also gets tired very easily - just sitting up for 10 mins means she has to sleep for the next hour. The fact that she is more with it and even able to sit up is the silver lining. Here is the cloud.

The tumour symptoms have and are continuing to get much worse. There's a constant nasal discharge, and the numbness and weakness in her face is getting worse. She can barely bite or chew (which is the reason why the doctors are probably going to put in a feeding [NG] tube tomorrow), and when she drinks, most of the liquid comes out again, though because of the numbness she isn't aware of it. The deafness in her left ear is worse, and her right eye is bulging out more. We've been told that the biggest danger of mum dying imminently comes from the fact that the tumour is wrapped her carotid artery. Apparently this could weaken the wall of the artery and lead to a massive bleed, the only upside to which is that it kills pretty painlessly and immediately.

Because mum is so unstable still, Fiona, the brilliant Macmillan nurse, is sorting out a low cost solicitor that they apparently use all the time at the hospital, to come out and help mum sort a will and a power of attorney, so no matter what happens and when, we're covered.

Mum is having good days and bad days, mood wise. Today has been pretty bad. She's been moved to a side room on the same ward and is convinced that she's dying and noone has told her. Which isn't true, as i) she isn't dying in the sense she means it - she's still critical but she was much more obviously about to die on Friday, or Saturday or Sunday, and ii) we have told her everything we know, and whether or not she remembers it, the doctors have too. The reason they've moved her is to make it easier for her to sleep and easier for us to be with her. She's also talking about having the cats put down because "let's face it, I'm not going home again." When I said that whether or not that was true we liked and would care for the cats she looked at me like I was lying, pulled a face and ignored me for a bit.

Like I said, she was having a bad day.

On top of all of this, I'm becoming increasingly aware that I am running out of mental health spoons. Thanks to Ben being so supportive I went into mum's illness with quite a stockpile built up, but I'm becoming aware that I'm nearly out. I'm getting tired out more easily, and getting irritable and bad tempered for no reason, and overreacting to small irritating situations.

This is not good, but I don't really know how to remedy it. Going home to Canterbury would probably help, but if time is very short, I don't want to spend anywhere else - I'm spending visiting hours (all of them) at the hospital, and should she die, I don't want to be in Kent. Being in Coulsdon is already quite far enough from the hospital.

When at mum's (as opposed to the Hospital), other stuff has to be done - Phil and I divide this between ourselves, and ignored this stuff for several days when the danger was most - but it takes time and spoons to do. However, if we were to ignore this stuff we'd end up with no clean clothes, cutlery/crockery or floor/workspace. On top of everything, I'm not sleeping very deeply because part of me is expecting the phone call.

I'm starting to feel the depression again, and the anxiety (though not badly yet, just I'm aware of them). And that's stressing me out even more. I don't want to backslide, but I don't know how to not.

ETA: 12/07/11 No longer filtered
lizziec: (animals - giraffe hug)
Most of you know mum has been diagnosed with a large cancerous tumour in her nasal cavity, stretching back a long way, wrapping itself around mum's carotid artery and causing a number of highly unpleasant symptoms, all of which led mum to be admitted to hospital yesterday, somewhat unexpectedly.

When we went to visit mum it was clear she was much worse than she was yesterday - hooked up to a heart monitor, nasal oxygen and several different lines and things going in to her - also looking weaker than yesterday and much sleepier.

Long story short, when the doctor saw me and Phil she said there was a good chance that mum won't live through the weekend, and in the end, after a good deal of discussion, we agreed to a DNR (Do Not Resuscitate) order.

While we discussed all of that, my bag was stolen from next to mum's bed, where I'd stupidly left it when the dr came to talk to us, which meant I spent an hour or so that I could have spent with mum searching for my bag, reporting the theft and cancelling my cards. That was an hour I couldn't spend with my critically ill mum, and if she dies tonight I really don't know how I could ever forgive the person who took it.

We've spoken to mum. She knows about and agrees with our decision. She wasn't upset or surprised, at least, not that we could see. We said all we wanted and needed to to her, and she said what she wanted and needed to, to us. From that point of view we are incredibly lucky, but it was one of the hardest things I've done in my life. She said she didn't want us to stay, and so we came home, but I can't sleep right now.
lizziec: (animals - giraffe hug)
Most of you know mum has been diagnosed with a large cancerous tumour in her nasal cavity, stretching back a long way, wrapping itself around mum's carotid artery and causing a number of highly unpleasant symptoms, all of which led mum to be admitted to hospital yesterday, somewhat unexpectedly.

When we went to visit mum it was clear she was much worse than she was yesterday - hooked up to a heart monitor, nasal oxygen and several different lines and things going in to her - also looking weaker than yesterday and much sleepier.

Long story short, when the doctor saw me and Phil she said there was a good chance that mum won't live through the weekend, and in the end, after a good deal of discussion, we agreed to a DNR (Do Not Resuscitate) order.

While we discussed all of that, my bag was stolen from next to mum's bed, where I'd stupidly left it when the dr came to talk to us, which meant I spent an hour or so that I could have spent with mum searching for my bag, reporting the theft and cancelling my cards. That was an hour I couldn't spend with my critically ill mum, and if she dies tonight I really don't know how I could ever forgive the person who took it.

We've spoken to mum. She knows about and agrees with our decision. She wasn't upset or surprised, at least, not that we could see. We said all we wanted and needed to to her, and she said what she wanted and needed to, to us. From that point of view we are incredibly lucky, but it was one of the hardest things I've done in my life. She said she didn't want us to stay, and so we came home, but I can't sleep right now.
lizziec: (me - mummy and little lizzie)
Ben and I spent some time today sorting out some flowers and a balloon for mum's cubicle at the hospital, to make it a little more bright, having first checked that the ward allows flowers. We ended up getting a beautiful box of flowers from Mad Lillies in Banstead, which is where we got our wedding flowers from. That done, and with Phil back from work, we all headed up to Tooting to visit mum, getting to the hospital at about 5:15pm.

It was immediately clear that mum was worse than yesterday. They had her hooked up to a heart monitor, nasal oxygen on her and several different lines and things going in to her. She looked much weaker than yesterday, much sleepier, and she was having more nasty puss-y discharge from her nose than yesterday. Ben said hi and then went down to the cafe for a coffee - St Georges helpfully has an M&S food hall and cafe, which is a real bonus and all round fabulous idea - and Phil and I dumped our bags at the end of the bed, and then went through mum's post with her and read to her from BBC History magazine, which was all I had on me.

After a bit, one of the doctors came over and wanted to speak with me and Phil, so we dropped everything and went with her to a private room. A nurse got me a hot drink and really I should have known. That is never ever a good sign.

What the doctor had to say was incredibly hard for Phil and I to hear. What she wanted to do was tell us where we were up to today, and discuss with us a Do Not Resuscitate order.

She explained to us that while mum's blood sugar was much better (down to 11), she was much much worse than she had been 24 hours earlier. Mum's heart is getting very weak and mum herself is very tired. And she didn't mean that in a "she'll sleep and wake up refreshed" way, but in a "probably wanting to die" sort of way. And mum herself said later that she was very tired. Mum's resting heart rate is between 130 and 170bpm and the doctor thought it quite likely that at some point over the weekend it would stop. She also said that mum was in a lot of pain, and had been put on a morphine infusion earlier in the day to deal with the pain (previously she was on 30mg Codeine).

The hardest bit to hear was that she didn't think that mum's quality of life would get any better, even if the tumour does shrink a little bit (and the likelihood is that even if they can pull her through this, she will probably not be fit enough for radiotherapy), and she will continue to be in a lot of pain. She said that the consultants - Mr Mady, Mr Williamson and another (Mr Lee?) had met, and felt that the best and kindest thing would be not to resuscitate mum if her heart did stop. Phil and I were left to talk, and we called mum's brother and my aunt (dad's sister) and we all agreed that a DNR was the kindest thing that we could do. We (me and Phil) felt, and still feel, that to bring her back for more pain and suffering and poor quality of life is really just selfishness on our part. So we told the staff that we didn't want them to try and bring her back if her heart or breathing stop.

About 45 mins after the doctor had taken Phil and I aside, and when I finally could think about anything again, I found that my bag, that I'd stupidly dropped at the end of mum's bed earlier had gone missing. Phil's was still there. We searched the ward for it, and couldn't find it. The nursing staff were horrified and reported it to security, and I spent the next hour searching for my bag, reporting the theft and cancelling my cards. In the morning I need to call the DVLA.

There was nothing especially of value in there - just my notebooks (which I'm sad, especially as there were some untyped up stories) to lose) and my backpack (which I'm very sad to lose, especially given it had lots of keyrings I'd collected and things on it which made it an individual thing), and my purse, which had next to no actual money in it, just awkward things like cards and my driving licence in it. But the hour I spent having to report the loss and cancel the cards was an hour I couldn't spend with my critically ill mum, and if she dies tonight I really don't know how I could ever forgive the person who took it.

Mum's partner dropped by during the evening and we told him too. He was very emotional and gave back his key as he left. It was all pretty awful.

We ended up staying past the end of visiting hours, and the staff were very accommodating and left us be. We ended up telling mum and though she hadn't been spoken to explicitly (that she can remember, she's spent most of today pretty much asleep) she didn't seem at all surprised, or even terribly upset. We said that the DNR is ultimately her decision, as despite the sleepiness, her mind is still sharp. She said she agreed with our decision.

We told her how much we love her, and how proud we are of her, and how brilliant she's been and kissed her a lot. She said how much she loves us. We asked if she wanted us to stay and she said no.

So we came home. Via my aunties, who made us drinks and listened to us go through it logically. Ben drove home, which is good because I'm not sure I was capable.

Writing it all out now, it probably sounds a good deal more calm than it was. It involved much more intermittent crying from everyone (except mum) than I state here. Now I'm rather calmer. Still fairly near tears but oddly numb.

Today was awful. Really awful. Really really awful. And there's only a slim chance it will get better soon. Thank you to everyone who has sent thoughts and prayers. They're helping keep me afloat right now. More of the same please.

ETA: 12/07/11 No longer filtered
lizziec: (me - mummy and little lizzie)
Ben and I spent some time today sorting out some flowers and a balloon for mum's cubicle at the hospital, to make it a little more bright, having first checked that the ward allows flowers. We ended up getting a beautiful box of flowers from Mad Lillies in Banstead, which is where we got our wedding flowers from. That done, and with Phil back from work, we all headed up to Tooting to visit mum, getting to the hospital at about 5:15pm.

It was immediately clear that mum was worse than yesterday. They had her hooked up to a heart monitor, nasal oxygen on her and several different lines and things going in to her. She looked much weaker than yesterday, much sleepier, and she was having more nasty puss-y discharge from her nose than yesterday. Ben said hi and then went down to the cafe for a coffee - St Georges helpfully has an M&S food hall and cafe, which is a real bonus and all round fabulous idea - and Phil and I dumped our bags at the end of the bed, and then went through mum's post with her and read to her from BBC History magazine, which was all I had on me.

After a bit, one of the doctors came over and wanted to speak with me and Phil, so we dropped everything and went with her to a private room. A nurse got me a hot drink and really I should have known. That is never ever a good sign.

What the doctor had to say was incredibly hard for Phil and I to hear. What she wanted to do was tell us where we were up to today, and discuss with us a Do Not Resuscitate order.

She explained to us that while mum's blood sugar was much better (down to 11), she was much much worse than she had been 24 hours earlier. Mum's heart is getting very weak and mum herself is very tired. And she didn't mean that in a "she'll sleep and wake up refreshed" way, but in a "probably wanting to die" sort of way. And mum herself said later that she was very tired. Mum's resting heart rate is between 130 and 170bpm and the doctor thought it quite likely that at some point over the weekend it would stop. She also said that mum was in a lot of pain, and had been put on a morphine infusion earlier in the day to deal with the pain (previously she was on 30mg Codeine).

The hardest bit to hear was that she didn't think that mum's quality of life would get any better, even if the tumour does shrink a little bit (and the likelihood is that even if they can pull her through this, she will probably not be fit enough for radiotherapy), and she will continue to be in a lot of pain. She said that the consultants - Mr Mady, Mr Williamson and another (Mr Lee?) had met, and felt that the best and kindest thing would be not to resuscitate mum if her heart did stop. Phil and I were left to talk, and we called mum's brother and my aunt (dad's sister) and we all agreed that a DNR was the kindest thing that we could do. We (me and Phil) felt, and still feel, that to bring her back for more pain and suffering and poor quality of life is really just selfishness on our part. So we told the staff that we didn't want them to try and bring her back if her heart or breathing stop.

About 45 mins after the doctor had taken Phil and I aside, and when I finally could think about anything again, I found that my bag, that I'd stupidly dropped at the end of mum's bed earlier had gone missing. Phil's was still there. We searched the ward for it, and couldn't find it. The nursing staff were horrified and reported it to security, and I spent the next hour searching for my bag, reporting the theft and cancelling my cards. In the morning I need to call the DVLA.

There was nothing especially of value in there - just my notebooks (which I'm sad, especially as there were some untyped up stories) to lose) and my backpack (which I'm very sad to lose, especially given it had lots of keyrings I'd collected and things on it which made it an individual thing), and my purse, which had next to no actual money in it, just awkward things like cards and my driving licence in it. But the hour I spent having to report the loss and cancel the cards was an hour I couldn't spend with my critically ill mum, and if she dies tonight I really don't know how I could ever forgive the person who took it.

Mum's partner dropped by during the evening and we told him too. He was very emotional and gave back his key as he left. It was all pretty awful.

We ended up staying past the end of visiting hours, and the staff were very accommodating and left us be. We ended up telling mum and though she hadn't been spoken to explicitly (that she can remember, she's spent most of today pretty much asleep) she didn't seem at all surprised, or even terribly upset. We said that the DNR is ultimately her decision, as despite the sleepiness, her mind is still sharp. She said she agreed with our decision.

We told her how much we love her, and how proud we are of her, and how brilliant she's been and kissed her a lot. She said how much she loves us. We asked if she wanted us to stay and she said no.

So we came home. Via my aunties, who made us drinks and listened to us go through it logically. Ben drove home, which is good because I'm not sure I was capable.

Writing it all out now, it probably sounds a good deal more calm than it was. It involved much more intermittent crying from everyone (except mum) than I state here. Now I'm rather calmer. Still fairly near tears but oddly numb.

Today was awful. Really awful. Really really awful. And there's only a slim chance it will get better soon. Thank you to everyone who has sent thoughts and prayers. They're helping keep me afloat right now. More of the same please.

ETA: 12/07/11 No longer filtered
lizziec: (Default)
As the title says, today has been a very long and fairly shitty day. Came up to take mum to the St Georges ENT clinic today, but it was obvious fairly early on that mum was having one of her bad days. On the way to St Georges mum was sick. Luckily in to a bowl, but it took me 10 mins (blocking a bus stop, where I'd hurriedly pulled over in a bit of a panic, with my car) to actually empty the bowl down a drain. All the while I was apologising for being rubbish. Then, because I was still retching, I made mum rinse it out with some bottled water, making me even more rubbish, and probably a terrible person who is going straight to hell.

Mum ended this weak as a kitten, probably not helped by the fact her blood sugar was up at 26 (7 is normal) and needed a wheelchair from the entrance of the hospital to the clinic. Because of the sickness, mum missed her appointment slot of 11:15 (though we did call to notify them - and when we got there at 11:20 it took half an hour of queueing to book mum in because of problems caused by a new computer system) and we ended up not being seen until about 12:45.

When we got in, mum was promptly sick again in front of the doctor - not lovely Mr Williamson, which was a shame because I didn't like the doctor we did see (Mr Mady, and a visiting consultant from the Royal Marsden who I liked more) - who appeared to be frozen in horror for a good thirty seconds after the vomiting started. When the vomiting was over, and mum a bit more settled, though feeling seriously shitty, Mr Mady said "well, it's definitely cancer..."

Honestly, the way he said it, if I wasn't already so tired I'd have laughed. Mum sounded pissed and said what we were all thinking "We already knew that". The way the man announced it, he said it like it was new news. In fact, the only thing we've known for weeks is that it is cancer of some type or other. Then he told us that it didn't much matter what type now, and they were going to offer radiotherapy, starting in a couple of weeks at the Marsden in Sutton. Apparently the timescale for starting radiotherapy is pretty fast as far as starting radiotherapy is concerned. I don't know how true that is though. Then mum was sick again and they said she looked dreadful, I told them about her high blood sugar and they said they wanted to admit her. In fact, Mr Mady said it three or four times and we agreed each time, which irritated me (the repeated statement) - in fact he did that several times with different things and that really annoyed me, which I think is why I don't really like him. He appeared to treat us like we were stupid, which is a huge bug bear for me. The really awful news though, given by the nicer doctor - from the Royal Marsden - is that if the tumour doesn't respond to the radiotherapy, we're looking at a life span of "months rather than years".

I knew in my gut that months was probably what we were looking at if the tumour couldn't be shrunk, but to have it confirmed was a really nasty moment and made a fairly shitty day a really mostly shitty day.

Then we had to wait around for a bed to be found for mum, for nearly four hours in fact, which was punctuated frequently by mum telling us how much she wanted to lie down. They did some admitting stuff at the clinic and tested her blood sugar again. This time it was a 33.

Mum was admitted to a ward where they catheterised her and started on a sliding scale of IV insulin to get her blood sugar back under control, put on saline to rehydrate her and they may at some point start her on some more steroids. All of this is with a view to getting her fit to start radiotherapy. At the moment they're looking at three or four days in St Georges, possibly transferring her to the Royal Marsden at Sutton as an inpatient after a few days. It really depends on how she responds to treatment and where they decide to go from there.

While they got her settled, the wonderful Fiona, mum's Macmillan Nurse brought me a cup of hot chocolate and some biscuits that were the first food and drink to pass my lips all day, which given it was 4pm was not a good thing. Then she told me to make sure I took proper care of myself.

So right now I'm shattered, physically and mentally. I spent a good deal of the time waiting at the clinic and then waiting for a bed standing, and then once mum was settled I came back to mum's to get Phil and her stuff (which Phil sorted out for me), back to St Georges to drop stuff off and see her before visiting hours ended, then back to mum's again. In between times, I made calls to various people to tell them what was going on so it could be passed down the phone tree. On the upside, I got back to mum's to find ben, who came up on the spur of the moment, on the back of today's developments, having been given a lift by a work colleague who goes on my list of people who I will never be able to thank adequately.

Been a long and shitty day therefore. I think tomorrow will be pretty long too. And this post has taken me forever because I'm using ben's eeepc and samsung nc10 (ben made me swap because I was getting wound up at the tiny keyboard on the eee) because the hinge on my thinkpad is broken... but more on that another time. This post is quite long enough already.

ETA: 12/07/11 No longer filtered
lizziec: (Default)
As the title says, today has been a very long and fairly shitty day. Came up to take mum to the St Georges ENT clinic today, but it was obvious fairly early on that mum was having one of her bad days. On the way to St Georges mum was sick. Luckily in to a bowl, but it took me 10 mins (blocking a bus stop, where I'd hurriedly pulled over in a bit of a panic, with my car) to actually empty the bowl down a drain. All the while I was apologising for being rubbish. Then, because I was still retching, I made mum rinse it out with some bottled water, making me even more rubbish, and probably a terrible person who is going straight to hell.

Mum ended this weak as a kitten, probably not helped by the fact her blood sugar was up at 26 (7 is normal) and needed a wheelchair from the entrance of the hospital to the clinic. Because of the sickness, mum missed her appointment slot of 11:15 (though we did call to notify them - and when we got there at 11:20 it took half an hour of queueing to book mum in because of problems caused by a new computer system) and we ended up not being seen until about 12:45.

When we got in, mum was promptly sick again in front of the doctor - not lovely Mr Williamson, which was a shame because I didn't like the doctor we did see (Mr Mady, and a visiting consultant from the Royal Marsden who I liked more) - who appeared to be frozen in horror for a good thirty seconds after the vomiting started. When the vomiting was over, and mum a bit more settled, though feeling seriously shitty, Mr Mady said "well, it's definitely cancer..."

Honestly, the way he said it, if I wasn't already so tired I'd have laughed. Mum sounded pissed and said what we were all thinking "We already knew that". The way the man announced it, he said it like it was new news. In fact, the only thing we've known for weeks is that it is cancer of some type or other. Then he told us that it didn't much matter what type now, and they were going to offer radiotherapy, starting in a couple of weeks at the Marsden in Sutton. Apparently the timescale for starting radiotherapy is pretty fast as far as starting radiotherapy is concerned. I don't know how true that is though. Then mum was sick again and they said she looked dreadful, I told them about her high blood sugar and they said they wanted to admit her. In fact, Mr Mady said it three or four times and we agreed each time, which irritated me (the repeated statement) - in fact he did that several times with different things and that really annoyed me, which I think is why I don't really like him. He appeared to treat us like we were stupid, which is a huge bug bear for me. The really awful news though, given by the nicer doctor - from the Royal Marsden - is that if the tumour doesn't respond to the radiotherapy, we're looking at a life span of "months rather than years".

I knew in my gut that months was probably what we were looking at if the tumour couldn't be shrunk, but to have it confirmed was a really nasty moment and made a fairly shitty day a really mostly shitty day.

Then we had to wait around for a bed to be found for mum, for nearly four hours in fact, which was punctuated frequently by mum telling us how much she wanted to lie down. They did some admitting stuff at the clinic and tested her blood sugar again. This time it was a 33.

Mum was admitted to a ward where they catheterised her and started on a sliding scale of IV insulin to get her blood sugar back under control, put on saline to rehydrate her and they may at some point start her on some more steroids. All of this is with a view to getting her fit to start radiotherapy. At the moment they're looking at three or four days in St Georges, possibly transferring her to the Royal Marsden at Sutton as an inpatient after a few days. It really depends on how she responds to treatment and where they decide to go from there.

While they got her settled, the wonderful Fiona, mum's Macmillan Nurse brought me a cup of hot chocolate and some biscuits that were the first food and drink to pass my lips all day, which given it was 4pm was not a good thing. Then she told me to make sure I took proper care of myself.

So right now I'm shattered, physically and mentally. I spent a good deal of the time waiting at the clinic and then waiting for a bed standing, and then once mum was settled I came back to mum's to get Phil and her stuff (which Phil sorted out for me), back to St Georges to drop stuff off and see her before visiting hours ended, then back to mum's again. In between times, I made calls to various people to tell them what was going on so it could be passed down the phone tree. On the upside, I got back to mum's to find ben, who came up on the spur of the moment, on the back of today's developments, having been given a lift by a work colleague who goes on my list of people who I will never be able to thank adequately.

Been a long and shitty day therefore. I think tomorrow will be pretty long too. And this post has taken me forever because I'm using ben's eeepc and samsung nc10 (ben made me swap because I was getting wound up at the tiny keyboard on the eee) because the hinge on my thinkpad is broken... but more on that another time. This post is quite long enough already.

ETA: 12/07/11 No longer filtered
lizziec: (apod - milky-way eating)
I dreamed about funerals last night and burying mum. FML.

ETA: 12/07/11 No longer filtered
lizziec: (apod - milky-way eating)
I dreamed about funerals last night and burying mum. FML.

ETA: 12/07/11 No longer filtered
lizziec: (Rocks fall)
We went to St Georges ENT clinic again today, in the absence of any news in the meantime, and the news we got from Mr Williamson today is not good. Looking at it objectively, I suppose it's not the worst news we could have had - mum won't die tomorrow - but it pretty much extinguishes all hope, and from that point of view it doesn't get much worse.

The pathologists at St Georges were unable to make a diagnosis of mum's tumour from the samples taken at biopsy and so they've sent it to a Professor Fisher at the Royal Marsden (think he's the guy at the bottom here, which makes him sound like he's pretty much a world expert) who is pretty much the last chance for identifying the tumour, and it's a pretty slim chance. It's likely that we will never find out what the tumour is.

If they can't identify the tumour then they won't be able to offer Chemotherapy, as different tumours react in different ways to different drugs, and as I mentioned before, surgery is out because the tumour is wrapped around mum's Carotid artery. Mr Williamson pretty much said today that there is a very good chance that the cancer/tumour is terminal, and that the most that they will be able to do for mum is palliative radiotherapy.

Failing any news before next Thursday we'll be seeing him again for a confirmation that there's not much they can do. After that (or before, depending on when they know for sure) they'll refer mum to the Royal Marsden at Sutton for the radiotherapy.

In the meantime, mum's been given five days worth of steroids in the hope that they can quell some of the worst symptoms by reducing the swelling and inflammation that's being caused by the tumour. The downside to this is that the steriods will mess with mum's diabetes management and in the worst case scenareo she will end up in hospital for constant monitoring and possibly be on an insulin drip. The steriods are at a low dose to try and ward off problems, but that means there's less chance of them having an effect. The Macmillan nurse (Fiona) at St Georges is contacting the diabetic nurse at mum's GP to arrange for close-ish monitoring, though I don't know how we'll manage over the weekend. Hopefully some more answers on that tomorrow.

I don't know yet if I'm going home this weekend. I don't want to be in Canterbury if mum does end up in hospital because of the steriod/diabetes mix. Mostly right now I'm trying to deal with the fact that the diagnosis is almost certainly terminal. I feel like I did back at the cancer diagnosis. I'm swinging wildly between numb-Lizzie, planning-Lizzie and sobbing-her-heart-out-Lizzie. Ben's taken tomorrow off work and will be arriving tonight, which will be good as I feel like I need someone not so emotionally involved to lean on. Phil just came home and we hugged like we haven't hugged in ages.

Feel awful.

ETA: 12/07/11 No longer filtered
lizziec: (Rocks fall)
We went to St Georges ENT clinic again today, in the absence of any news in the meantime, and the news we got from Mr Williamson today is not good. Looking at it objectively, I suppose it's not the worst news we could have had - mum won't die tomorrow - but it pretty much extinguishes all hope, and from that point of view it doesn't get much worse.

The pathologists at St Georges were unable to make a diagnosis of mum's tumour from the samples taken at biopsy and so they've sent it to a Professor Fisher at the Royal Marsden (think he's the guy at the bottom here, which makes him sound like he's pretty much a world expert) who is pretty much the last chance for identifying the tumour, and it's a pretty slim chance. It's likely that we will never find out what the tumour is.

If they can't identify the tumour then they won't be able to offer Chemotherapy, as different tumours react in different ways to different drugs, and as I mentioned before, surgery is out because the tumour is wrapped around mum's Carotid artery. Mr Williamson pretty much said today that there is a very good chance that the cancer/tumour is terminal, and that the most that they will be able to do for mum is palliative radiotherapy.

Failing any news before next Thursday we'll be seeing him again for a confirmation that there's not much they can do. After that (or before, depending on when they know for sure) they'll refer mum to the Royal Marsden at Sutton for the radiotherapy.

In the meantime, mum's been given five days worth of steroids in the hope that they can quell some of the worst symptoms by reducing the swelling and inflammation that's being caused by the tumour. The downside to this is that the steriods will mess with mum's diabetes management and in the worst case scenareo she will end up in hospital for constant monitoring and possibly be on an insulin drip. The steriods are at a low dose to try and ward off problems, but that means there's less chance of them having an effect. The Macmillan nurse (Fiona) at St Georges is contacting the diabetic nurse at mum's GP to arrange for close-ish monitoring, though I don't know how we'll manage over the weekend. Hopefully some more answers on that tomorrow.

I don't know yet if I'm going home this weekend. I don't want to be in Canterbury if mum does end up in hospital because of the steriod/diabetes mix. Mostly right now I'm trying to deal with the fact that the diagnosis is almost certainly terminal. I feel like I did back at the cancer diagnosis. I'm swinging wildly between numb-Lizzie, planning-Lizzie and sobbing-her-heart-out-Lizzie. Ben's taken tomorrow off work and will be arriving tonight, which will be good as I feel like I need someone not so emotionally involved to lean on. Phil just came home and we hugged like we haven't hugged in ages.

Feel awful.

ETA: 12/07/11 No longer filtered
lizziec: (turtle hugs)
I'm having something of a rest day today, as my Sundays in Canterbury have all been to some extent since this has all kicked off. We try to get everything errandy or houseworky done on Saturday so I can chill on Sunday, which is much needed.

Having said that, I woke up this morning crying after a dream in which my brother died of Cancer (why it was Phil and not mum I don't know), which wasn't the best start to a morning ever - waking up crying really sucks :/. Thankfully the rest of the day has improved on that and I'm feeling rather more rested than I did. Roast dinner tonight. MMmmm :)

After talking briefly to mum, and in a little more detail to Phil, (and going from advice from lots of people) I've decided to stay in Canterbury for a few days. Well, sort of, anyway.

The hospital will be calling tomorrow, hopefully with some idea of what the tumour is. If it's one that needs urgent treatment then I'll head up straight away (I'm "only" an hour away, and I'm packing first thing, just in case) and take her to the hospital. She'll probably need an hour to sort herself out properly anyway. If they say that it's not Urgent (for certain values of urgent anyway) I'll stay until Wednesday, heading up for the consult on Thursday at St Georges when we'll find out for sure.

ETA: 12/07/11 No longer filtered

With the worst case scenareo meaning driving up tomorrow morning, I'll at least get an extra night in my own bed with my own things, and that can't be bad. That's what I keep telling myself anyway, to help deal with the irrational guilt I feel at not heading back now, or first thing tomorrow for certain.
lizziec: (turtle hugs)
I'm having something of a rest day today, as my Sundays in Canterbury have all been to some extent since this has all kicked off. We try to get everything errandy or houseworky done on Saturday so I can chill on Sunday, which is much needed.

Having said that, I woke up this morning crying after a dream in which my brother died of Cancer (why it was Phil and not mum I don't know), which wasn't the best start to a morning ever - waking up crying really sucks :/. Thankfully the rest of the day has improved on that and I'm feeling rather more rested than I did. Roast dinner tonight. MMmmm :)

After talking briefly to mum, and in a little more detail to Phil, (and going from advice from lots of people) I've decided to stay in Canterbury for a few days. Well, sort of, anyway.

The hospital will be calling tomorrow, hopefully with some idea of what the tumour is. If it's one that needs urgent treatment then I'll head up straight away (I'm "only" an hour away, and I'm packing first thing, just in case) and take her to the hospital. She'll probably need an hour to sort herself out properly anyway. If they say that it's not Urgent (for certain values of urgent anyway) I'll stay until Wednesday, heading up for the consult on Thursday at St Georges when we'll find out for sure.

With the worst case scenareo meaning driving up tomorrow morning, I'll at least get an extra night in my own bed with my own things, and that can't be bad. That's what I keep telling myself anyway, to help deal with the irrational guilt I feel at not heading back now, or first thing tomorrow for certain.

ETA: 12/07/11 No longer filtered
lizziec: (explosm sad)
No news :/ They'll call again on Monday. Bugger. I was hoping we'd have a definitive yea or nay and I could stay in Canterbury until Wednesday if they determined it not uber urgent :/

Heading back to Canterbury for the weekend soon. It'll be nice to be back :) Looking forward to seeing [livejournal.com profile] benc.

ETA: 12/07/11 No longer filtered
lizziec: (explosm sad)
No news :/ They'll call again on Monday. Bugger. I was hoping we'd have a definitive yea or nay and I could stay in Canterbury until Wednesday if they determined it not uber urgent :/

Heading back to Canterbury for the weekend soon. It'll be nice to be back :) Looking forward to seeing [livejournal.com profile] benc.

ETA: 12/07/11 No longer filtered
lizziec: (cartoon penguins stealing sanity)
First things first, Phil's first driving lesson sounds like it went ok. Most of what he describes pretty much sums up my first lesson, so I'm not overly worried. He's on mum's insurance now, so I'll be taking him out (in her car) for some practicing Real Soon Now.

Apologies if you have read this somewhere else. Mum copy pasted an email I sent out about this to her friends list on LJ and facebook, so I will be repeating a lot of it. It's rather long, please bare bear stay with me.

rambling )

We were seen quickly by a consultant Mr Williamson who was utterly lovely and spent a good half hour with us, telling us actually very little in terms of hard fact, but making us feel better anyway )

Each hospital has its downsides.

In which I wibble prematurely about the logistics of various hospitals )

So anyway, the registrar is chasing down mum's results and then we should have a plan. A follow up appointment has been booked for the same clinic next week, though tomorrow (Friday) will tell us whether or not we'll make it to that appointment. Basically, when they get the results tomorrow, if it turns out to be one of a list of uber bad (as opposed to just really bad) (he didn't tell us what was on that list) then we'll get a call in the morning telling us to get to a hospital (the Marsden or St Georges) ASAP to start treatment immediately... which is pretty damn scary to contemplate. If that happens then we won't need to make the appointment next Thursday.

Long brain dump so far, sorry. There's still some to go.

Macmillan nurse and dietician )

Came back, and in between making a nusance of myself by making mum eat every two hours, I've made all the phonecalls to tell people how she is, written emails for other people, shopped and cooked. Now I'm very tired and grumpy, and still rather worried actually. Mum's feeling a bit better today in that she was convinced they'd tell her she would die tomorrow, which they didn't. Not in the physical sense though, as she's been hugely sick tonight (she thinks it's caused by the new painkillers, which were subbed for the co-codomol which was giving her nightmares). Hopefully we'll get the GP (who we're seeing tomorrow) to give us yet another prescription for painkillers and we can find something that works without making mum too sleepy or sick. And hopefully she got some nutrition out of the food I made her eat before she threw it all up again.

Up early for GP tomorrow, and then if there's no urgent "get here now" call by lunchtime I'll meander back to Canterbury for two days of R&R (and things that actually need to be done) before coming back here again.

Feeling pretty low and tired right now. Hopefully some sleep and time in Canterbury will help with that. And if we get the urgent call, then I'll be seeing ben regardless and that may help too.

ETA: I appear to be addicted to parentheses. Wonder if I should be concerned.

ETA2: Oops. Entry 1700 words. I've written actual academic essays shorter.

ETA3: Have a cold. Most unimpressed.

ETA: 12/07/11 No longer filtered
lizziec: (cartoon penguins stealing sanity)
First things first, Phil's first driving lesson sounds like it went ok. Most of what he describes pretty much sums up my first lesson, so I'm not overly worried. He's on mum's insurance now, so I'll be taking him out (in her car) for some practicing Real Soon Now.

Apologies if you have read this somewhere else. Mum copy pasted an email I sent out about this to her friends list on LJ and facebook, so I will be repeating a lot of it. It's rather long, please bare bear stay with me.

rambling )

We were seen quickly by a consultant Mr Williamson who was utterly lovely and spent a good half hour with us, telling us actually very little in terms of hard fact, but making us feel better anyway )

Each hospital has its downsides.

In which I wibble prematurely about the logistics of various hospitals )

So anyway, the registrar is chasing down mum's results and then we should have a plan. A follow up appointment has been booked for the same clinic next week, though tomorrow (Friday) will tell us whether or not we'll make it to that appointment. Basically, when they get the results tomorrow, if it turns out to be one of a list of uber bad (as opposed to just really bad) (he didn't tell us what was on that list) then we'll get a call in the morning telling us to get to a hospital (the Marsden or St Georges) ASAP to start treatment immediately... which is pretty damn scary to contemplate. If that happens then we won't need to make the appointment next Thursday.

Long brain dump so far, sorry. There's still some to go.

Macmillan nurse and dietician )

Came back, and in between making a nusance of myself by making mum eat every two hours, I've made all the phonecalls to tell people how she is, written emails for other people, shopped and cooked. Now I'm very tired and grumpy, and still rather worried actually. Mum's feeling a bit better today in that she was convinced they'd tell her she would die tomorrow, which they didn't. Not in the physical sense though, as she's been hugely sick tonight (she thinks it's caused by the new painkillers, which were subbed for the co-codomol which was giving her nightmares). Hopefully we'll get the GP (who we're seeing tomorrow) to give us yet another prescription for painkillers and we can find something that works without making mum too sleepy or sick. And hopefully she got some nutrition out of the food I made her eat before she threw it all up again.

Up early for GP tomorrow, and then if there's no urgent "get here now" call by lunchtime I'll meander back to Canterbury for two days of R&R (and things that actually need to be done) before coming back here again.

Feeling pretty low and tired right now. Hopefully some sleep and time in Canterbury will help with that. And if we get the urgent call, then I'll be seeing ben regardless and that may help too.

ETA: I appear to be addicted to parentheses. Wonder if I should be concerned.

ETA2: Oops. Entry 1700 words. I've written actual academic essays shorter.

ETA3: Have a cold. Most unimpressed.

ETA: 12/07/11 No longer filtered
lizziec: (animals - gerbil - stan eating)
I slept the clock around last night. I'd gone to bed at 1am on Sunday night and got up at 5:30 and was clearly shattered by the end of the day as I fell asleep at about 10pm and woke up at around 10am, feeling much better, though from there I've become progressively fed up, grumpy and down. I suppose it's just one of those days.

Mum was released from the Day Surgery Unit at around 2 or 3pm yesterday feeling "as if [she] could run a mile". I suppose that's uber hospital drugs for you. The doctor took several samples of the tumour and while he was there he cleared out a bunch of gunk (mostly pus as I understand it) from mum's sinuses, so she feels much less congested at least, though it hasn't helped with any of the major tumour symptoms (the numbness and muscle weakness in her face, eye, nose, mouth; difficulty eating; deafness in one ear; shaking [a newish symptom] etc), it has slowed the perma-nosebleed to almost nothing, which I think is a great relief to us. Mr Tesco delivered some supplies with the groceries (namely micropore and gauze) so if it starts again we can rig up our own nose sling in imitation of the one they rigged up for mum yesterday at the hospital.

Results of the biopsy are due Thursday and my aunt (who has worked at St Georges and still volunteers there) told me yesterday that she was arranging everything. She's scouted out the best dropping off place, is arranging for a wheelchair to meet us there in case mum's unsteady on her feet (she's needed a wheelchair the last two times we've been to hospital) and tracked down the medical receptionist/admin type person who deals with the specific clinic and they're making sure that everything that is needed is there as a favour to my aunt. I guess knowing someone really can make a difference, and let's be frank - having a medical receptionist/secretary/admin person on your side can make a real difference.

While mum was feeling good I managed to have a couple of conversations with her about stuff that needed to be done, people to see and phone calls to make. It was apparently the perfect time as she felt like listening and was also feeling pessmistic about her prognosis, which while not ideal, meant that she gave some of my ideas the thought they at least deserved.

Got a response from Careline (attached to Diabetes UK) today, who I contacted yesterday with a panicked enquiry about the stupid diabetic nurses' comments that all weight loss was good when it came to type 2. Careline basically agreed with Macmillan (and directed me to them) about how uncontrolled, cancer related weight loss is bad and mum should see about getting referred to a proper, specialist dietician as a priority. It's been added to a list of things to ask her GP about when she next sees him (along with asking for different/better anti-emetics as the ones she has don't seem to work well and make her very sleepy). Take that stupid diabetes nurse!

As I mentioned I seem to have spent a good deal of this afternoon getting wound up with various things and increasingly fed up. Not entirely sure why everything is getting to me today, but it's not helpful. At one point I had a long list of things I was annoyed and fed up about. Thankfully reeling the list off to [livejournal.com profile] benc over the phone and a lesser list to [livejournal.com profile] red_pill in person helped a little.

Pondering going home (Canterbury) on Thursday night, but it all depends on what happens on Thursday's ENT appointment. I'm finding it difficult to see past that at the moment, which I suppose (looking at it objectively) isn't helping my mood much.

Phil's first driving lesson tomorrow, which is rather scary. Coulsdon and Wallington, you have been warned. Stay off the roads :P

ETA: 12/07/11 No longer filtered
lizziec: (animals - gerbil - stan eating)
I slept the clock around last night. I'd gone to bed at 1am on Sunday night and got up at 5:30 and was clearly shattered by the end of the day as I fell asleep at about 10pm and woke up at around 10am, feeling much better, though from there I've become progressively fed up, grumpy and down. I suppose it's just one of those days.

Mum was released from the Day Surgery Unit at around 2 or 3pm yesterday feeling "as if [she] could run a mile". I suppose that's uber hospital drugs for you. The doctor took several samples of the tumour and while he was there he cleared out a bunch of gunk (mostly pus as I understand it) from mum's sinuses, so she feels much less congested at least, though it hasn't helped with any of the major tumour symptoms (the numbness and muscle weakness in her face, eye, nose, mouth; difficulty eating; deafness in one ear; shaking [a newish symptom] etc), it has slowed the perma-nosebleed to almost nothing, which I think is a great relief to us. Mr Tesco delivered some supplies with the groceries (namely micropore and gauze) so if it starts again we can rig up our own nose sling in imitation of the one they rigged up for mum yesterday at the hospital.

Results of the biopsy are due Thursday and my aunt (who has worked at St Georges and still volunteers there) told me yesterday that she was arranging everything. She's scouted out the best dropping off place, is arranging for a wheelchair to meet us there in case mum's unsteady on her feet (she's needed a wheelchair the last two times we've been to hospital) and tracked down the medical receptionist/admin type person who deals with the specific clinic and they're making sure that everything that is needed is there as a favour to my aunt. I guess knowing someone really can make a difference, and let's be frank - having a medical receptionist/secretary/admin person on your side can make a real difference.

While mum was feeling good I managed to have a couple of conversations with her about stuff that needed to be done, people to see and phone calls to make. It was apparently the perfect time as she felt like listening and was also feeling pessmistic about her prognosis, which while not ideal, meant that she gave some of my ideas the thought they at least deserved.

Got a response from Careline (attached to Diabetes UK) today, who I contacted yesterday with a panicked enquiry about the stupid diabetic nurses' comments that all weight loss was good when it came to type 2. Careline basically agreed with Macmillan (and directed me to them) about how uncontrolled, cancer related weight loss is bad and mum should see about getting referred to a proper, specialist dietician as a priority. It's been added to a list of things to ask her GP about when she next sees him (along with asking for different/better anti-emetics as the ones she has don't seem to work well and make her very sleepy). Take that stupid diabetes nurse!

As I mentioned I seem to have spent a good deal of this afternoon getting wound up with various things and increasingly fed up. Not entirely sure why everything is getting to me today, but it's not helpful. At one point I had a long list of things I was annoyed and fed up about. Thankfully reeling the list off to [livejournal.com profile] benc over the phone and a lesser list to [livejournal.com profile] red_pill in person helped a little.

Pondering going home (Canterbury) on Thursday night, but it all depends on what happens on Thursday's ENT appointment. I'm finding it difficult to see past that at the moment, which I suppose (looking at it objectively) isn't helping my mood much.

Phil's first driving lesson tomorrow, which is rather scary. Coulsdon and Wallington, you have been warned. Stay off the roads :P

ETA: 12/07/11 No longer filtered

September 2013

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