The next morning I was getting the kids ready for school when there was a knock at the door. I answered it and could not believe my eyes there stood my Dad and my Uncle George. They said they were at a loose end and thought it would be nice if they fetched us and gave my Mum a surprise visit to cheer her up , as she was still in hospital. My Dad said the sooner we could leave the better due to visiting times . He said pack a few clothes for us all and stay for a couple of days, as I was on holiday.
The kids were thrilled to bits and so was I. One minute they were going to school the next we were off to Yorkshire for a mini holiday.
I was so looking forward to seeing my Mum , I knew she would love the surprise of seeing her grandchildren. I couldn’t wait.
It took us only about 2 hours and we were at the hospital. I tidied the kids up and up to the ward we went. My Dad first of all asked Lesley, Sheila and Steve to walk in and we peered through the door. The look of surprise on my Mums face was priceless. You could see she was puzzled, then my Dad and I walked in and soon we were all in tears. She said she was so happy and berated my Dad for not telling her we were coming but like he said it wouldn’t have been such a lovely surprise, she soon forgave him. We weren’t able to stay very long as visiting time was over. I said I would come that evening to see her.
When we got home to my Mum and Dads house my Dad said to go in the front room with him as he wanted to talk to me without the kids. I was worried what he was about to say but nothing prepared me for what he told me. He said he didn’t quite know now how to tell me what he had to say. I said please just tell me. He said your Mum has cancer and it is inoperable. Evidently they had opened her up for the hysterectomy and found the ovarian cancer but could do nothing it had reached her other organs. I was dumbstruck I couldn’t say a word and just clung to my Dad. We both cried our eyes out. We were such a close family,I had no idea how my Dad would cope. He said he had decided not to tell my Mum as he didn’t think she could handle it and I agreed with him. My Mum thought she had had the hysterectomy and that she had to have radiotherapy to make sure everything was ok.
I said I would do whatever I could to help, it was so awkward being so far away. I said I would tell the kids later as I didn’t want to put them under pressure of keeping it from my Mum. I was still in shock, I just couldn’t get my head around it and my poor dad had kept this to himself for nearly a week. Like he said it wasn’t something he felt he could tell me over the phone, we needed to be face to face. I said I would visit Dennis in prison he was in Wormwood Scrubs, Shepherds Bush.and tell him. The prison was just around the corner from June’s, Mike’s sister so I could take the kids and leave them at June’s.
I went to visit my Mum that evening, my Dad had a night off, he looked after the kids. It was hard trying to be normal and joke around when I wanted to give her a big hug and say I would make everything ok.
She said it was matter of course now to give Radiotherapy after an Hysterectomy and she was starting the treatment on the following Monday. They had told her to expect to feel nauseous for a couple of days. She seemed quite chirpy, then she said as soon as she was out of hospital she couldn’t wait to do her own shopping and housework and go visiting. It tore me apart as I knew nothing would have changed. She could only expect to get worse. She may get a little respite if they could get it in remission but they didn’t expect much as it had really got a hold.
It had been the most difficult day in my life so far. Not being able to tell the truth was awful.
I had made an appointment to see my Mums consultant for the next day as I wanted to ask him to put everything through me concerning my Mum. My Dad being told so callously that my Mum had cancer and it was too far gone to be cured, just about finished my Dad off . I explained my Dad had previously had an operation to remove a brain tumour and although it was about 24 yrs ago he was still suffering and any upset or stress brought on epileptic fits ,this had happened in the hospital toilets when he had been told about my Mums health. The consultant apologised but in his defence he said he had no idea there was a problem. He also agreed that all progress reports and any problems would go through me. He did point out that I lived 130 miles away. I said that was true but I could be there in max 3hours.Also I could telephone and so could the hospital, then if I thought my Dad could take it I would tell him. He agreed and apologised again.
When I got home I told my Dad what I had done and he said he was relieved as he couldn’t face it coming from them, he would find it better coming from me. I made us all a lovely meal but it was strange without my Mum there. The kids had loved being with there grandad, he was such a funny man, a real joker. The next horrible thing was going to be me going to the prison and telling Dennis, he wouldn’t take it well. I thought I might ask the prison if I could speak to Dennis in private as it really would be awful telling him in a crowded room. I didn’t hold out much hope as they are not known for having any compassion
We were going home the following day as I had to go to work and the kids to school. We were going to visit my Mum on the way. My cousin Tony was driving us home and my Dad was coming to. The hospital had said it was ok to see my Mum for a few minutes as it wasn’t visiting time but because we lived so far away allowances were made. My Mum was so pleased to see us . She hugged the kids and said she would soon be able to come and visit us. I really hoped she would be able to.
When we got home to our house my Dad got upset and said he didn’t know how he would cope with everything. I understood but there was nothing I could do. I did say that if I could get some time off work I would stay with him and help with the visiting etc…Linda would stay with the children.
I was back at work and things were back to normal. I rang my Dad most nights to see how things were and he rang me most days. My Mum was having a real difficult time with the radiotherapy, sickness and diarrhoea. My Dad said she looked awful and when he went to visit he had to sit behind lead screens because of the rays .
A couple of days later my cousin Tony rang to ask if I would like him to pick me up Friday night and bring me back Sunday afternoon, I said that would be great and I would try to find somewhere for the kids to stay and ring him back. Linda came to the rescue and I rang Tony and arranged times. My Auntie Betty, Uncle George and Tony had been amazing both to me and my Dad. They were taking him to the hospital and making him meals, they were great.