Always on my mind

30 Apr 2014

I’m not used to people telling me things I didn’t know about my Mother. In the weeks leading up to her death from lung cancer, we talked a lot. She told me many personal things, and we shared the most intimate personal care as she was unable to ‘do’ for herself. She remembered things from her childhood, and from my childhood. She told me her fears. She and Dad were both afraid; of Mom dying, of Dad being left alone, of all the sorrow. We didn’t talk about the future, so I don’t really know what she would make of how things are at the moment. I don’t want to go into too much detail, but family matters are strained, with hurt feelings all round. I guess this is still part of the grieving process for our family.

We  recently celebrated an important birthday. If Mom had been alive, it would have been a big party, perhaps more than one party, and a wonderful holiday with all the family, much like we did in the year when they both turned sixty.
In the end, it was a small Sunday lunch, with friends old and new, which really made Dad’s day and made him smile for the first time in three years. Some special touches marked the day for me. A kind comment, a happy tear, a shared memory.


I am a scientist and a blogger. I have a PhD in the genetics of cardiovascular risk. My Mom died of cancer last year. We learnt a lot and met some amazing people. I want to share with others how to live positively with cancer, and make choices in end-of-life care. My top tip: Ask the difficult questions.

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