To the heavens and beyond

When I was 19 years old, I was enrolled to study full time at university. Two weeks prior starting, my mother came home and said she needed to talk to my brother and I. My brother 25 and myself sat down and mum told us that she had been diagnosed with cancer. They did not know the starting point of it. From that day my whole life as I knew it changed. The person who I loved the most was about to go through the toughest challenge.

My mother and I were best friends and inseparable. She went to hospital for two weeks and they knew it had spread to the liver and lungs. (My mum was 47 years old when diagnosed, healthy, non-smoker).

They started her on chemotherapy, and she had to quit her job. I deferred university to become her carer. After the first round of chemotherapy the cancer didn’t shrink however it did not grow. They let mum have a break until it started to grow again. Then put her on another round of therapy.

She was a trooper. So strong and optimistic the whole time.  We still went for long walks when she could, and we would have fun. Right up until the last 6 months of her life. She slowly deteriorated into a woman who I did not recognize anymore. This 37kg lady who had no hair, couldn’t eat anything and was completely dependent on me.

Every day for 6 months I would shower her at 8:30am. Then dress her, moisturize her, cook and shop for her until the end. She passed away on the 17th of December 2018 and my birthday was the 13th. Because she got comatose, she waited until my 22 birthday to say “Happy birthday my pip”. Later that night she drifted into a coma that she then did not wake up from.

My mum was and will always be my best friend. She passed away at 49. It is not fair for anyone to go through what she went through.

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