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Still wiggling
Location: Belfast
Member Since: 22nd Oct 2002
Total posts: 5967
Posted:Hello everyone...

Oks, well, I've had some bad news and thought I would post on here for advice on alternative therapies.

I've had a look through the existing threads (nice search system Malcolm!!) but didn't find what I was looking for, so I hope this is ok.

So then...

Just over a month ago my mother turned yellow.
It was two days before my parents were due to go on holiday, and instead she ended up in hospital.

They discovered it was a blockage near her bile duct, and after sticking a camera down her throat, found out she had a tumour on her pancreas.

She was eventually sent home for a few weeks to recuperate, then brought back in for an operation last Friday.

We discovered then that the tumour on her pancreas is too big - 6 cms - to operate on, and parts of it have spread to nearby glands.

The prognosis isn't good. They've told her between 6 months and a year, but any reseach I've done shows people with pancreatic cancer lasting between 4 - 6 months.

Our family is coping well, considering, so far.

(Personally, I feel like I'm constantly going to cry.
I try not to think about her leaving us as much as possible. My mother is the strongest person in the world... She is kind and lovely and despite having pissed me off often, has done a splendid job and has had a splendid life (she's travelled all over the place - took a boat to Australia from Ireland 40 years ago to work as a nanny on a cattle ranch!! She came home, by boat, via NZ, Fiji and the Panama Canal - in a time when tourism wasn't Lonely Planet travel-by-numbers).

At the minute, I'm coping. I'm finding myself running about my parent's house 'doing stuff' for them while also trying to keep a performance business afloat. That's been a barrel of laughs in itself... anyone setting up a business in the arts - prepare yourself now for the bitchiness, competition, jealousy and lack of support.

My deepest apologies to m'lovely friends on here if I haven't responded to your PMs or calls recently - thanks BamBam and Fluff x).

Jesus... that was a bitter and twisted rant... humblest apologies for that... redface

Anyways... I have posted this for a reason rolleyes smile

The doctors are still deciding whether mum should have chemo.
None of us are very happy with that idea... don't want her last few months to be spent throwing up.

She's got a very strong Christian faith, which keeps her bouncing through each day (lol, and she keeps emotionally blackmailing me to convert!!! Lol... I've told her it won't happen, but thanks anyway smile )

But I want info on alternative therapies... things that might reduce it, or just prolong her life for a bit. Does anyone here have any advice on where I could look?

I know not to accept intershnet advice as gospel, but it's good to get a guideline - or a point in the right direction.

Electro-magnetic therapy? Acupuncture? Organic foods and no tap water?!!

Does anyone here have any helpful hints?

Thanks so much for your time... and go home tonight and give your parents a hug... they could be gone much sooner than you think.

Love and hugs to you alll
Clare xx

Getting to the other side smile


Carpal \'Tunnel
Location: "In your ear"
Member Since: 9th Jun 2003
Total posts: 6207
Posted:honey - nothing can express the feelings i have for you right now

the dark may never have seen closer or stronger than it does now for you. but you are strong, and while youdont feel it, you are.

there will be things you will regret, there always is, but at least you wrote your letter, and you know you have said thinsg to her you where afraid to say.

i am sorry for your loss honey, but really she is not gone, not forever, she lives on is you, and if you choose to have children, she will live in them

she helped to make you teh woman you are, be proud of your mother.

She is proud of you.

i wont call you, mainly as there iwll be lot of people you need to ring, and lot of other trying to ring you, i dont want to add to the pressure of all that.

but i am sending you feelings and energy, please dont think i am not thinking about you, and your family.

grieve how you want. you have earnt that.

you have been a star in teh dark for your family, and now you have to focus your light on yourself to rebuild what you think you have lost.

i will always be around if you need me.

dont be afraid to cry, or to be upset

but please dont focus on the bad, try to wash it away with thoughts of the good times, and happy feelings.

the process may take some time, but it will change


Step (el-nombrie)


remembers when it was all fields round here
Location: in the works... somewhere...
Member Since: 27th Feb 2003
Total posts: 2790

As others have said above...

No-one can tell you how to grieve, but also don't forget you can tell us what you need from us to help you through that.

Something which occured to me the other day was that she held on until the longer end of her prognosis and although I never knew her, I'm so proud of you for the way you held on with her for over the past year.

Now, do what you have to do, whatever feels right for yourself and your dad.

Like I said earlier, even if it's just a voice on the other end of the line you need, please don't hesitate... hug

"I thought you are man, but
you are nice woman.




1 + 1 = 3
Location: Bristol UK
Member Since: 31st Aug 2004
Total posts: 3540

I'm not going to try and console you and tell you everything is ok, because nothing I say has the power to make anything alright again, nor the power to change things.

I will however, say that I'm thinking of you and your family at this very unfortunate time.

Sending you loads of Hugs, and the offer of a crying shoulder anytime. Look after yourself.


Empty your mind. Be formless, Shapeless, like Water.
Put Water into a cup, it becomes the cup, put water into a bottle, it becomes the bottle, put water into a teapot, it becomes the teapot.
Water can flow, or it can Crash.
Be Water My Friend.


Momma Bear
Location: Telford, Shrops
Member Since: 10th Apr 2005
Total posts: 4525
Posted:When i received your text, my heart plummeted. I am here for you.

All my love. x

Hoppers are angels who lift us to our feet when our wings have trouble remembering how to fly.


Mistress of Pink...Multicoloured
Location: Over There
Member Since: 6th Apr 2002
Total posts: 6140
Posted:hug2 You know you have a whole load of friends who would drop everything and do whatever you want, whenever you want for you honey.

hug *many many hugs and much sympathy* hug

Never pick up a duck in a dungeon...


had her carpal tunnel surgery already thanks v much
Location: Edinburgh
Member Since: 27th Jan 2005
Total posts: 4145
Posted:I can't add to what's been said. One thought only (and excuse me if this sounds patronising or tactless, I'm finding it hard to express, but it's really not meant in any negative way).

It feels now that her decline was awfully quick - you all would've wanted to spend more time with her. But you said she was feeling worse, suffering more, getting confused. I'm so sad to hear that she's gone, but I'm also happy, for her, that as Spanner said she lasted longer than expected, and was relatively well for most of it. She didn't have to spend weeks or months completely without control over her mind and body and in unbearable pain, and that is at least some blessing.

All my good wishes for you and your family hug hug hug

"vices are like genitals - most are ugly to behold, and yet we find that our own are dear to us."
(G.W. Dahlquist)

Owner of Dragosani's left half


Member Since: 20th Sep 2003
Total posts: 6650

Non-Https Image Link

the best smiles are the ones you lead to wink


Liquid Cow
Location: High Wycombe, England
Member Since: 3rd Sep 2001
Total posts: 2629

But there's no sense crying over every mistake. You just keep on trying till you run out of cake.


hehe, 'Member' huhuh
Location: Behind you. With Jam
Member Since: 13th Jul 2005
Total posts: 6120
Posted:So... frown frown frown

No words can bring any comfort or bring her back.

I'm glad that her suffering has ended after so long and that you no longer have to 'stay strong' for her.

All I will say is that if at any time you feel guilty about moving on with your life when you feel you should still be mourning, don't. It's early days yet, but carrying on with life isn't disrespectful to her, you'd be honouring her if you did. She raised you to live your life the way that makes you happy. On the other side, don't feel like you need to be cheery when with friends and say you're okay when you're not. Just allow yourself to feel what you feel.

If I wasn't such a f*ckwit and lost my phone with your numbr, I'd text you but I'm sure you don't need another one doing your head in with the bleeping. But do know that I and everyone else are here if you need to talk, cry, rant, laugh, toke, strip, get away. Don't hesitate...


"I used to want to change the world, now I just wanna leave the room with a little dignity..." - Lotus Weinstock


Location: Oxfordshire
Member Since: 31st May 2006
Total posts: 1237
Posted:hug ubbcrying

Take your time, find your space.
But don't miss out on being with those you love, and who love you, never hide from them thinking they wont want to deal with you when you're upset hug

Blinded by Hyperlights, please donate generously grin


old hand
Location: Bristol
Member Since: 27th Sep 2005
Total posts: 784
Posted:I'm so so sorry to hear that Clare ubbcrying

I haven't posted in here before because I haven't had anything useful to say, but I now feel that I need to thank you, for taking the time to start this thread.

Terminal illness is not a subject that people like to talk about, and so (for me at least) I think there is a great deal of ignorance surrounding it, and fear of the unknown. I thank you for having the courage to talk openly about your experiences, and your mum's journey over the past year or so. For me this thread has been incredibly informative, and it is uplifting to know that there are so many genuinely caring and supportive people in this community.

You and your family are in my thoughts. hug


Devoted although mostly absent owner of the 1, the original... Asena


Sitting down facing forward . . .
Location: Christchurch
Member Since: 16th Oct 2006
Total posts: 2387
Posted:hug hug hug
When the cellphone goes in the wee small hours you know it's unlikely to be good news.

As I said in the reply, at least she is at peace now. Take some comfort from that.
If you need anything just holler.

Love, light and strength.

* puts on "Funeral for a Friend" *

Written by: Doc Lightning talking about Marmite in Kichi's Intro thread

I have several large jars of the stuff. I actually like it... a little. And don't tell anyone I admitted to it.


Location: Canada
Member Since: 12th May 2004
Total posts: 1872
Posted:frown hug



Member Since: 7th May 2006
Total posts: 567
Posted:I send as much hugs as I can, Clare. hughughug

I know times are hard.. But you've got to look up. If you ever need any help, or need to talk to anyone, you can PM me, and I'll reply as quick as I possibly can.

And just like misscorinthian said, I also must thank you for having the courage and bravery to talk about this. I thank you, and I wish you, and your family the best.


"I don't know what you are talking about"

"Cardinal!!! Poke her... with the SOFT CUSIONS!!!!"

"Its not working my lord!"

"Have you got all of the stuffing on one end?!"


Carpal \'Tunnel
Location: Perth
Member Since: 31st Mar 2003
Total posts: 5814
Posted:The post we have all been dreading. Hugs to you and yours.

Is it the Truth?
Is it Fair to all concerned?
Will it build Goodwill and Better Friendships?
Will it be Beneficial to all concerned?

Im in a lonely battle with the world with a fish to match the chip on my shoulder. Gnu in Binnu in a cnu

The Tea Fairy
The Tea Fairy

old hand
Location: Behind you...
Member Since: 2nd Jul 2004
Total posts: 853
Posted:hug ditto to the above. I'm so sorry. Time will heal, and things will become calm again in due course. My thoughts are with you Clare.

Idolized by Aurinoko

Take me disappearing through the smoke rings of my mind....

Bob Dylan


Flying Water Muppet
Location: Edin-borrow.
Member Since: 20th May 2003
Total posts: 5276

I'm deeply sorry I can't be there for you.

I'm sure you're mother is resting peacefully, knowing she has a fine strong daughter. You showed your strength through to the end.

hugs hugs hugs.

"the now legendary" - Kaskade
"the still legendary" - Kaskade

I spunked in my friend's aquarium and the fish ate it. I love all fish. Especially the pink ones. They are my bitches. - Anon.


Carpal \'Tunnel
Location: Bristol, UK
Member Since: 19th Dec 2001
Total posts: 3009
Posted:I don't know what to say but needed to say something to let you know I'm one of those many, wonderful people with you whenever, wherever you need us.

Amongst all this advice I'll add mine: remember the smiles smile



Location: la-la land
Member Since: 15th Feb 2002
Total posts: 2419
Posted:My thoughts are with you at this sad time Clare.. Take solice from the words written by people on here that obviously care for you and your family very much..

May your mother continue to shine on forever in you..


/edit for spelling.

EDITED_BY: _Stix_ (1183637593)

I honour you as an aspect of myself..

You are never to old to storm a bouncey castle..


Location: Jrvenp, Finland
Member Since: 12th Aug 2003
Total posts: 446
Posted:Stay strong. Our thoughts are with you.


Point your toes.


The Ministry of Manipulation
Location: Bristol
Member Since: 8th Nov 2001
Total posts: 2523
Posted:Call me when you want. hug Drew
EDITED_BY: Glss (1183640737)

Location: lost
Member Since: 29th Jul 2005
Total posts: 1247
Posted:god, this week has been awful... so much loss and grief to bear.

I am glad she is off to a place where she is not suffering, and all the beautiful work you did and shared around her illness and death is such a gorgeous gift.

You can rest soon sweetheart, and things will slowly fall into place.

Huge hugs to you and your family, and if there is anything at all I can do from afar, just let me know


"God *was* my co-pilot, but then we crashed, and I had to eat him..."


resident fridge magnet
Location: Utrecht, The Netherlands
Member Since: 3rd Oct 2002
Total posts: 835
Posted:Tom & I are thinking of you, sweetness
all our love & hugs hug hug hug

everyone's unique except me

faith enfire
faith enfire

wandering thru the woods of WI
Location: Wisconsin
Member Since: 27th Jan 2006
Total posts: 3556
Posted:hugI hate this cause it always sounds trite. I hope you know that any and all are here for you. Find your space. Come visit us when your ready. hug

Nay, whatever comes one hour was sunlit and the most high gods may not make boast of any better thing than to have watched that hour as it passed


Carpal \'Tunnel
Location: Berlin
Member Since: 25th Sep 2002
Total posts: 2617
Posted:I'm sorry to hear about this Clare this news Clare frown

ubblove and hug

I live in a world of infinite possibilities.


lurking like a ninja with no camouflage..
Location: over yonder
Member Since: 22nd Jul 2005
Total posts: 926
Posted:hug frown my thoughts are with you and your family, its so so hard but you know shes not in pain anymore.. celebrate the life she had, and know shes still there in you and with you. lots of hugs and ubblove to you hun

on spam robots - "Burn the robot! Melt him down, and then we can make lots and lots of money from his shiiiny juices!"

Owned by Brenn smile


Still wiggling
Location: Belfast
Member Since: 22nd Oct 2002
Total posts: 5967
Posted:Wow... you leave a thread for a few days and come back to 40-odd posts (meh... I still have a bad sense of humour!)

Strugz and Helen... thanks for letting people know... it was good to have one less thing to do smile

(Strugz... tis always better late than never, you know)

Yes... Mum passed away, very peacefully, yesterday afternoon at 1.45pm.

It was a very beautiful passing... (highlighted moreso by the terrible news about Magie)...

I'm going to say thanks to you guys first (because I want to write to you all, but, understandably, am in a rush to get back home to Dad)... then post a very long post about it, and my thoughts.

First of all... thank you so much to this wonderful community, and lovely souls for the love, warmth and support you have shown to me and my family over the last 14 months.

I have no doubt whatsoever that all the good energy sent our way (from yourselves, and from the church and her friends) played a huge part in making sure she passed peacefully.... it was what she deserved.

Everyone who supported me has my eternal gratitude, respect and thanks... and I hope to be there for you guys when you need it in the future.

There are some people I want to thank for keeping me sane (in no particular order!!):

Lisa (bams)... Lady... we weren't close before, but I suspect we are now wink You have been amazing... sharing your soul, and helping me through the worst times with great words, advice and comfort... thank you so much and I'll be seeing you soon hug

Drew... you called me throughout, just randomly checking how I was and keeping normality ticking over... thank you for that balance. Love ya hug

Strugz... Lol. You tried, and I appreciate it. I know it can be hard for you to find the words, but you did try and thank you for that. Love ya mister... Much more though, thank you for taking the massive amount of abuse and negativity you ended up with when things were really low. Sorry it happened at all, but smile nice one... Go toast indeed.

Helen... thank you for sharing your stories, thoughts and advice with me... It's so great to know you and I hope to see you soon... am sending love and warmth...

Mech... Midnight phonecalls, eh? The tears, the trauma, the smut smile Thanks for helping me through and for always being there x

Durbs... Actually, nah, you were just poo ( tongue hug) Love you though...

George and Dom... Thanks so much for making me smile, forcing me out of dark places, the flowers, the letter, the PMs, the support... George, it's been great to meet you (kindof)... and I hope I see you both in person soon.

Rob and Ros... Thank you for the support, the phonecalls and the love you have both shown me. You are gorgeous souls... and it's great to know you... take care x

Skully and Jon... Rarrr. Smut. Rarrr... Forever xx smile

Gnor and Tea Fairy... I had been dreading writing this post too!! But thanks so much for your lovely words over the last while...x

Spanner... One day we will get to sit down together and have a good conversation... and I'm looking forward to it... until then, thank you and much love xx

And to Jo, Andrea, Antti, Meg, DeepSoulSheep, neondave, Stout, 2bags, Birgit, FireTom, Bov, Yakumo, Miss Corinthian, Rave Represent, Martinfish, Stix, Neph, fif, fni, burningoftheclavey and everyone who has sent me love, advice, good wishes and comfort


PS: I know I have forgotten people (sorry, please don't be offended - I'm in a rush)... and there are many people I haven't mentioned... Like Lisa (faberge), Ronan, and many others who have been there too... but I'll be seeing you guys soon...


EDITED_BY: _Clare_ (1183658471)

Getting to the other side smile


Still wiggling
Location: Belfast
Member Since: 22nd Oct 2002
Total posts: 5967


So, I think I'll just let you all know what happened, as it did.

It's only the day after, and my mind isn't really present, so I can't tell you how I'm feeling - a bit lost and unsure of myself right now (also with many things to do)... but the healing will be an ongoing process, so I can write about that later.

After my last post, I went home that night to stay at my parents.

The next morning Dad woke me to say mum was being moved to the hospice at lunchtime, and could I go in the ambulance.

I got to the hospital at 11am, and Dad and my brother were going to follow us to the hospice later.

At 3.30pm Mum and I were still there, waiting for an ambulance. Mum was asleep lots... and was in a clear mind when not asleep. I just nursed her a bit, moved her legs when they were sore, gave her water... tried to make her comfortable.

During the day I got all her bags packed, and we were waiting to go (away from the disruptive ward and into a place where people were specialised in dealing with the effects of cancer). I also pestered the excellent nurses for ambulance times.

She was happy... and right until the end, never needed pain killers.

At about 4.30pm, a young junior doctor, who we never dealt with before, told us the ambulance service were too busy and couldn't make it. Also, the hospice stopped receiving admissions at 5pm. Then he told us mum had developed a blood condition (something to do with potassium) that meant her heart could flutter and stop at any time.

I got quite cross... well, if they weren't going to bring her to a hospice, at least they could find a side room for her!

Quite quickly after I was cross they found a side room in the same ward and we moved her in there.

Mum was very disappointed at not going to the hospice... and I do think it knocked her badly. However, we called her relatives and friends and she had about 6 visitors that night...

Dad, Colin and I stayed in the hospital all night on Tuesday. The nurses had gotten to know us all, and were very good... bringing chairs, blankets and pillows... tea and biscuits.

Mum slept lots, asked for her legs to be moved or was in a clear mind for most of the night. But she started to come out of her sleep muttering strange things... asking for people who weren't there, stories from her past... talking about embalming bodies!

It was clear her mind was a bit frantic, and she was thinking over her life... she was so beautiful, yet calm and dignified and I loved her so much.

The cutest thing she said was at 1am... she woke up and just said 'So am I going to stay at the otter's cottage?' I hope she had lovely dreams.

At 8am my dad (who's 60)... got too tired and went home with Colin for a few hours sleep. He was exhausted. The ambulance was promised again in the morning, to take her to the hospice, and they were going to meet me there.

When the ambulance didn't arrive, the nurses started making angry phonecalls (they had gotten close to her, because she was so warm to everyone, and in the end, they cried over her death too).

In the meantime, I nursed mum... did everything I could to make her comfortable... and was just there (I had always feared having to do it on my own... and in the end, I was on my own, but it was ok).

I don't need to say what happened in those hours... but mum knew I was there, and as I watched her get worse, I knew she would never leave me.

Her breathing became more gasp-y, and her body became more uncomfortable... But she never needed pain relief and was as dignified as possible, throughout.

At 11am we finally organised a private ambulance to take her to the hospital at 1.30pm... Mum was waiting for it again, hanging in there.

At 11.45 she had a panic attack... her breathing was shallow and she started getting agitated. The wonderful ward sister calmed her down and helped her breath again.

She didn't like the oxygen mask on her face (made her feel clustrophobic), but she needed it to breath. She asked for Dad.

I called Dad and Colin, and told them to come in as soon as possible...

Mum's sister arrived to visit around 12, and shortly after, Dad and Colin arrived (I think at 12.30 or 1pm). We could see by then the end was close. The colour was draining from her and she was so weak.

Dad and Colin said their goodbyes. Both of them were very upset... but everyone did well.

The ambulance arrived to take her to the hospice at 1.30.

By that stage, I was dealing with most things... so I went outside and said 'you're a day too bloody late', then went back in.

I asked for a palliative care nurse to help us at the end, but none where available. I had to ask the ward sister about what to say at the last moments... but she didn't know either... it ended up coming back to advice given to me by my friend Johnny.

As we watched her get weaker, I told her we all loved her... the last thing she said was that she loved us very much. I said we'd miss her, but that she was free to go and to have a safe journey.

Then, as we watched, her breathing became slower and slower, until she didn't breath anymore frown

The window was open, so I held my family's hands in a circle, reminded her soul that we loved her, missed her, but that she should leave now and have a quick and safe journey.

Her energy stayed in the room for about two hours afterwards... and then she was gone.

I cry as I write this because I miss her so much already.

I can see her body lying in that bed... while she was there... and then after she was gone. It wasn't her anymore. Just a shell.

I had a couple of brief moments of wanting to start CPR, to bring her back for a little while... but of course, didn't.

My mother was a very strong and wonderful person who travelled the world in her early 20s (over 40 years ago), raised two children and was the perfect wife and mother.

She died on Independence day, and I think that was appropriate.

I don't have enough words to express how I feel about her right now... so maybe later (this post is long enough!).

Last night, we went home, ate food, had relatives look after us, and slept.

I phoned a couple of very close people, and didn't answer many phonecalls or texts.

Today, I heard about Magie, and went to the funeral home to finalise arrangements with dad and Colin. Now I'm going back to my parents to be with Dad.

My mum's funeral is on Tuesday (July 10th).

It's at 12noon in Hamilton Road Presbyterian Church, Bangor, with tea and buns afterwards.

She will be cremated at Roselawn Crematorium, Belfast at 3pm...

All are welcome, and invited.

There is so much more I can say, but this is enough for now... it's the basic details.

My dad is doing ok. My brother is doing ok too (he's been great, making all the phonecalls and dealing with visitors... I had no energy left to do that).

I can feel my mother with me at times... at times not. But I know that when this all settles down, she will be there for me.

With love


Getting to the other side smile


The Ministry of Manipulation
Location: Bristol
Member Since: 8th Nov 2001
Total posts: 2523
Posted:reading that and crying,
for the second time today.


Location: la-la land
Member Since: 15th Feb 2002
Total posts: 2419
Posted:me too.. thank you so much for sharing that.

you are amazing Clare..

I honour you as an aspect of myself..

You are never to old to storm a bouncey castle..

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