A mother's passing

Monday 4 June, 2012 by Kaitlin

I'm 21 and am a newly graduated nurse. As I write this I am sitting in a Hobart hospital with my mother who is sadly losing a battle to cervical cancer. She's now palliative and has recently become unresponsive. We are sadly waiting for her to pass.

She is sadly leaving behind 5 children, aged 24, 21 (myself), 18, 17, and my little brother who is 5. The 18-year-old will be celebrating her 19th birthday on Sunday. Mum was diagnosed late last year, and after spending Christmas and my 21st birthday on the oncology ward, she was declared palliative and all treatment was stopped. Mum was then discharged home with pain relief and has struggled to cope at home in that time.

It is now the last day of May and I don't think my mother will get to see the first day of winter, tomorrow.

My mother is an amazingly determined woman, and was so passionate about not leaving her children behind. Three weeks ago she flew from Tasmania over to Victoria, where I live, to see me graduate from university. She said she would do it if it was the last thing she did. I now have some amazing photos that I will cherish forever.

If you ask the nurses here they will say just how determined she is and how much she loves her children, and the thought of leaving them was worse than the cancer itself. My mum is now holding on, trying not to leave but unfortunately her time has come.

Every day we have been receiving parcels containing clothes for Cooper, my young brother. All the clothes are too big, so that Cooper can wear his Mummy's clothes for years to come...

I guess why I'm writing this is I would really like to help raise awareness against cervical cancer and the importance of regular pap smears. We have no money to donate, as mum drained the accounts buying presents and gifts for Cooper's birthdays in future years, so that he never forgets his mummy. We're also struggling trying to organise and pay for funeral arrangements, so that when Mum passes we can show her the love and respect that she deserves. But I'm hoping that our story will help to encourage women, and especially mothers, to be proactive about their health and get regular checks.

No-one wants to lose their mother, daughter, sister, or friend. Losing someone you love, especially your 48-year old mother is the hardest. I really, truly hope my story helps.

Updated: 04 Jun, 2012