The Worst News

Last night I had a big cry, the sort with hiccups and snot. Talk about things catching you unaware.

The hamster, Bella, is old and dying. Her back legs don't work so well and she is pretty much blind. She is over two and a half years old, which is pretty ancient in dwarf hamster years.

She was brought for the kids, but I am the one who cleans her out and feeds her. I am the one that picks her up and plays with her.

I have been debating whether to clean her out or not, will it disorientate her? (even though her cage stinks).

I sat with her last night as she wibbled and wobbled around her cage, falling over and getting up again, going on her wheel, and falling off her wheel.

After this I headed up to bed, still thinking about little brave Bella, and there it is, I am sobbing, but it's not for Bella.

I remembered the day I told my Mum she was definitely going to die.

My brave, amazing Mum.

We were at Telford hospital, where she had had a stomach bypass operation, as the cancer was in the way and she couldn't eat. She had been there about 2 months and we were finally going to see her consultant.

So there we were; my Dad, who is fairly deaf and had had a heart attack 6 months prior to this which had left him being intermittently confused; my Mum, who was equally deaf and recently partially sighted, a cancer nurse, the consultant and me.

The consultant showed us a picture on the screen (which my Mum couldn't see), which he explained was the cancer. He said it had encompassed her kidneys, 'oh yes, she was in kidney failure, and has been for sometime', he said, as if this was common knowledge. It wasn't, we had no idea.

All I could see was a massive black mass on the screen, he gave it a posh name, stomal something. I loudly repeated the words to my Mum and Dad.

I asked, what was the prognosis. The consultant said, weeks, maybe months.

Mum said 'What did he say?'
I shouted 'Weeks, maybe months, Mum'.
'How long?' said Dad
Again, still shouting 'Weeks Dad, maybe months, it's not treatable'.

I shouted this news.
The worst news.

And I think of my bright intelligent Mum, at hospital and then at home, unable to read, unable to see, deaf, in a muffled box alone with her thoughts.

And I sobbed.

After, Dad and I left Mum in hospital that day. I am driving Dad home, he says,

'Well, that's good news, isn't it'.

I don't know what he thought he had heard, but I had to shout the news to Dad again.

Mum died 4 months ago, and my day to day is normal, the same, but now when I wonder, what would Mum  think or do, like I do about so many things, I realise I will never know.

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