SevenOfNine 5 years ago
How do we go on without our Son, overwhelmed by grief.
He was 35, single (no partner to monitor more closely what was happening), no children & lived locally in his own home. He was 'diagnosed' with Irritable Bowel Syndrome for many, many months though did not share much information with us, though he's always had a bit of a 'stress' tummy.
Went to hospital A&E after a bad weekend of pain, diahorrea & sickness on 7 Dec, diagnosed 8 Dec with bowel cancer, spread to liver & lympth glands involved, prognosis "not good". Underwent a colostomy on 16 Dec, diagnosed "terminal" and discharged Christmas Eve.
Primary tumour in bowel they think all removed, but it had spread to liver in such a bad way, fast & fierce there was nothing that could be done to save him. They gave us a timescale of 6 weeks - though my son did not ask & was not present when they told me. All he had asked so far was the "terminal" question so he did not know time was so short.
Though from being told 6 weeks he actually died 2 1/2 weeks later. Peacefully in our home on 31 Jan. Less than 2 months from diagnosis.
He was so courageous, never sorry for himself & taking 1 day at a time. Though intelligent (8 GCSE's, 3 A levels, BA & MA & working at the Open University as a Curriculum Manager), I'm sure he must have known how fast he was deteriorating but preferred to battle to 'get better'.
He was clearly devastated during 2nd Oncologist meeting when he realised they were offering no treatment, he was so badly jaundiced nothing was possible (& already weakening rapidly). The Oncologist had checked all options I'd suggested with another hospital but our poor son's cancer was already far too far advanced. Palliative care was all that was left.
How to I continue to live with this pain. Lost & empty inside. I keep hearing his sad voice when he battled each setback with the words "can't I just have one break". Or when he asked Oncologist for second opinion, not realising this had pretty much already been done, I'd researched inside out through Beating Bowel Cancer - a brilliant website/forum/helpline & asked the right questions during the first oncologist appointment.
I promised to research a private second opinion though, quicker & I knew it would not be different but wanted to keep his hope alive so he wouldn't simply 'give up'. He realised within a day or so that there was probably no point, he was too weak for treatment, couldn't travel even if there were any he could have & deep down I think he realised there was nothing that could be done. So told me to leave it..............
.............he died the following morning.
Don't get me wrong, we had such a close, loving few weeks from diagnosis until we lost him. Said everything there was to say & shared many, many tender moments & I know I should be grateful for that. Affection & emotions we'd probably never have shared otherwise.
Why can't I take comfort from that. I feel smashed to pieces, all the 'what if's' & ours, his & his GP's failings going round & round in my head. Constantly torturing myself with the sound of how sad his voice was on occasion. I dread going to bed at night, dread waking in the morning & dread all the hours in between.
I can't share this with another human being, my husband of 40 years (his Dad), is dealing with this differently & seems happy that we shared such a precious 7 weeks with our son, but I cannot get myself to that place in my heart or head.
Sorry for great wall of text.