I was asked recently to write an article on grief for Lifestyle magazine.
I lost my wonderful husband Paul to stage 4 bowel cancer in March 2022. He is my soulmate, my best friend and the world was definitely a better place with him in it.
Grief especially complicated grief is hard and you can experience a wave of emotions on a daily basis.By writing this article I wanted to raise awareness around bereavement and for you all to know that it’s ok for you not to be ok.
It’s ok for you to express your emotions. You’ll have bad days, slightly better days, then before you know it you’re back on that emotional rollercoaster again. It’s all absolutely normal.
The article is online here. Page 14, via the Cyprus edition.
Well as you may or may not know , my hubby Paul has been struggling with Cancer for a few years as well as having three Pulmonary Embolisms and a Chronic Pain condition called CRPS.
It started off with bowel cancer in which he had an operation to remove the cancer , they decided no chemo needed and we thought that’s it all done and dusted and back to normal life. But then he started to feel unwell a number of months later , was tested and it turns out he had developed Multiple Myeloma cancer. Fast forward six months hes had a Stem cell transplant and seemed okay for a bit. Then a secondary cancer in the lung in 2020 decided to come and visit so he had another operation but at Blackpool Victoria this time.
Well its happened again he has got another secondary cancer from the bowel in his lung. It all started before Christmas he was very very tired falling asleep at the drop of a hat. We spoke to the doctors they put it down to his CRPS complex regional pain syndrome and just generally recovering from the cancers that he had.
It was only when his Bowel consultant decided to sign him off as she was happy with him that she decided as part of the sign off to do one last blood test. The results came back quickly to show he had raised CEA cancer markers.
So a CT scan later and it showed a lot of fluid around his lungs. So in he goes to have the pleural effusion drained from his lung at Blackburn Hospital and the results came back, saying the fluid was malignant.
We met with the consultant who seemed to quite like our lighthearted chillness we’re happy people and like to be positive , however this time its worse again. He has secondary cancer in his lung again called metastic adeno carinoma. The consultant said the cancer is not curable and any chemo will be palliative/disease control based. So he will have 6 sessions of Chemo and they will then review to see if its working.
I am totally floored I know I have to be strong for Paul but how do I do this when my heart is breaking and I feel somebody has just pulled my guts out and pulled them over my head.? Please tell me how, this can be happening again!, if they had done chemo the first time around would he still have these problems and why on earth is everything he gets not cureable?
Paul started chemo at the new unit in Burnley on Friday after having a pic line inserted on the Thursday and of course having a covid test prior to all of this. He went in for his chemo at 9am and I picked him up at 1pm, I waited for him sat in the car doing emails, walked the pup and just generally sat worrying.
Now he’s home, what has surprised me is how totally wiped out Paul ( hubby) is, he was exhausted because of the pleural effusion but this tiredness is on a new level. He’s been sick, constipated and totally off his food which is so unlike Paul. He’s been in bed since Friday not having the strength to go down stairs and just looks really ill , which to be honest is a first as during his other cancers he really didn’t look that bad.
Paul said this is his new friend PITA ( you can work out the meaning yourselves) , Its a chemo pump.. The pump slowly pushes the chemo drug through his blood stream via the pic line and slowly inflates the ballon – clever hey. So welcome PITA to the Britton household.
On a happier note hes upbeat, still exhausted and in pain but look at my lovely chap he still has a fighting sparkle in his eyes.