My mum is 79 and had her first heart op when she was 21, she was given a terminal diagnosis at that time and despite that and numerous other deadlines and additional health issues and tragedies she has always pulled through. We’ve always joked that she is the proverbial squeaking gate, a little battered and wonky but continues to function. My Dad who is 81 has just had surgery to remove duodenal cancer, a 12 month delay for his operation due to scheduling issues with the 2 surgeons we were assured had caused no issues, the cancer had been 100% removed and he would make a full recovery.
A few weeks ago my Mum found a lump on her breast, immediate scans and tests followed and she was diagnosed with breast cancer, we were told that it hadn’t spread and she would be given medication to perhaps shrink it as surgery due to her other health issues would be a last resort. We were left hopeful that the cancer wouldn’t cause any additional health issues in the short term and it would be closely monitored. At the same time her voice went hoarse and she had a camera down her throat to look at her larynx, which they found is damaged due to long term drug use for her heart. So, safe in the knowledge that my parents were fit and as well as could be expected myself and my partner went on holiday (the first for years and booked 12 months ago) As per usual I telephoned and spoke to my parents every couple of days whilst we were away.
I arrived home yesterday morning and my world feels like it has been ripped apart, my Mum tells me that while the camera was down her throat the Doctor saw a mass that is lung cancer and that it is terminal, although I watched her have the procedure the Doctor said nothing to either of us at the time and while I have been on holiday she has had a biopsy and diagnosis and we are only awaiting the Doctors best guess on how long she has left, 3 months has been mentioned but more test results are due. The hospital also contacted my Dad and stated that they are very sorry about the delay for his op, but now they need to perform additional surgery in the form of a pancreaticduodenectomy because of the type of cancer he has/had.
I can’t stop crying.
I have always been the strong one in our family, the practical one who sorts and fixes things. I feel beyond useless, and so guilty for going on holiday, leaving my parents and sister to deal with all this. They wanted me to have a lovely holiday and so they decided not to tell me until I returned home.
My partner is trying to be supportive but he said ‘don’t cry, they’ve not gone yet’ I feel so alone and isolated, I need to pull myself together so I can be here for both my parents, I am being selfish, I know. I need to be the strong one but I can’t stop crying, please tell me this will stop so I can function and be the supportive, caring, strong daughter I need to be.
My parents are my world and have always been there for me, I need to be there for them.