Losing a baby and mum with terminal illness

(7 Posts)
marietje Sat 24-Nov-12 13:03:42

Hello,
I posted here before when I just lost my baby boy Oskar on the 10th of September. It's been incredibly hard, but things have become even more difficult.

My mum was diagnosed with cancer a little over two years ago, although the doctors were initially not very optimistic about her chances, she had radiotherapy which worked well for her. After she complained of pain they found out that the cancer had spread locally and she started chemo during the summer. This made her very ill (she spent a lot of time in the hospital while I was in the final stages of my pregnancy) and we found out a few weeks ago that the treatment isn't working. She's getting a second opinion but we've already been told that this was the only treatment option left, so I'm not hopeful.

I was just wondering if there are others here who've experienced losing several people around the same time, even if it's not exactly the same as my case. I struggle with the realisation that things are only going to get worse from now on. I really want to support my mum, who has been incredibly supportive and positive, but I find it very hard to find the strength sometimes.
Thanks!

zeno Sat 24-Nov-12 13:14:57

I'm so sorry to hear about your baby and your mum.

We have had a series of close family bereavements, including our dd, that have been much too near together. It's very grim, and hard to find the strength to keep facing forwards and not curl up under a rock, but so far we're managing.

The best advice I have is to seek out a good bereavement counsellor. I have to pay, but it's worth trying your gp and cruse to see if they have a specialist available for free. I've also found specialist support helplines invaluable, such as Winston's Wish. Sometimes you just need to speak to someone who gets it without you having to try and explain how awful it feels.

Everlong Sat 24-Nov-12 17:17:56

I remember you posting about your little Oskar sad I'm so so sorry now to read about your lovely mum.

I haven't been in your shoes, losing two very dear people so close together, I can't imagine. I have lost a child who was 20 that was horrendous enough. All I can think is that you need the most support you can get. In all aspects. Someone to help you, now.

Have you had any counselling over losing Oskar? Do you feel like you might want it?

I hope you have lovely people around you now helping you to cope.

We are always here too thanks

marietje Sun 25-Nov-12 14:04:10

Thank you so much for your replies Zeno and Everlong, and I'm really sorry to hear about your losses.
I started baby loss counselling last week and mentioned how complicated my situation is, so I think that will help. I've also been on the Sands forum, which is very helpful for me. I spoke to my mum after posting this message (she lives in another country). She has been incredibly positive and supportive, and she really wants to make the most of her time. Speaking to her gave me a lot of strength to help us make the most of our time together - I think we've learned how precious time is and that we can't take things for granted. I know it's going to be a very hard time ahead of me and I'm going to try to cope as best as I can.

EverlongLovesHerChristmasRobin Sun 25-Nov-12 23:09:21

Marie it's good that you have arrranged some support for yourself, I really believe this is a good thing.
Your mum sounds lovely and so strong. I hope you have some lovely time with her.

Xx

elkiedee Mon 26-Nov-12 15:13:06

I'm sorry to hear about your loss and about your mum. I haven't lost a child but I'm also facing up to a huge impending loss.

My former boss was diagnosed with cancer about a year ago and died in July. My mum was diagnosed in February 2010 and has come through two rounds of treatment but now has a terminal diagnosis, which we learned at the end of August. My parents split up when I was born, and my stepdad (she remarried when I was nearly 7) left when my brother and sister were 12 and 15, so we all experienced her bringing us up on her own at different times, and although we still see our fathers (and I see my stepdad), it makes it all feel harder to bear.

One of my mum's best friends died in a house fire last year, and her younger sister has just learned that she has emphysema.

So this year has been pretty grim (I've also been made redundant) and it's going to be some time before it starts to get better.

I'm so sorry to hear about your loss, and also about your mum.

This year has been horrendous for us from start to finish. We lost my grandfather in January, my grandmother in March, a close family friend in April and my DH's godparents (who pretty much brought him up after his father died) in May and July. I gave birth at 32 weeks in October (placenta previa/ accreta which then abrupted for good measure and I needed 10 units of blood and had to have a hysterectomy), and although DD is basically fine now, we've had nearly 6 weeks of ups and downs with her in NICU/SCBU, although she has now been discharged. I'm waiting for referral for counselling for PTSD.

And now I'm sitting at my parents' house, where my father is terminally ill and has been in rapid decline for the past few weeks. He only really has a few hours left - the hospice nurses are currently setting up some more medication to make him more comfortable.

With my dad especially though, I find that it has been eased by the fact that he is comfortable, he is in no pain, he's at the house he's lived in for the last 30 years, and he is surrounded by family. The help and support we have received not just from healthcare professionals, but from friends and family, has been immense - I have discovered a few friends (including one couple who I mainly knew as parents of DS's best friend) who when they say "Is there anything I can do?" mean anything.

I've gone through a number of stages this year - early on (after my grandfather and grandmother died) I remember thinking very clearly that this year couldn't get any worse, and of course it did. I think now with my dad, one thing that has made it easier is that he was very clear what he wanted, before he got to a point where he was unable to communicate. It meant that decisions over whether he should be resuscitated or not, whether he should be cared for at home or in a hospice, even what kind of funeral he wanted, have all been made in the knowledge that it is what he wanted.

My heart goes out to you, and I hope you get the support and help you need.

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