Saturday, 2 April 2011

Mother's Day

Tomorrow is Mother's Day, and I know it can be a bit of an ordeal. Especially if your family doesn't do well in enclosed spaces. Together. I wish you all luck.

My mother is gone. She died nearly three years ago from Ovarian Cancer. I see my friends stressing about Mother's Day and I feel both relieved that I no longer have to worry about Mother's Day, and saddened that I won't be able to tell my own mother how very much I love her, miss her, and still need her every day.

Mother's Day is a good time to talk about Ovarian Cancer, because March was Ovarian Cancer Awareness Month, and mothers are the women we need to worry about in our lives.

Diagnosis can be difficult because symptoms are often similar to those caused by more common, less serious conditions. If you have any of the following symptoms, it is unlikely that they are caused by a serious problem, but it is important that you discuss them with your doctor and ask if they have considered ovarian cancer. In particular, you should ask your GP whether ovarian cancer should be considered if you experience any of these three symptoms on most days:
  • Persistent pelvic and stomach pain
  • Increased abdominal size / persistent bloating - not bloating that comes and goes
  • Difficulty eating and feeling full quickly
Occasionally other symptoms such as urinary symptoms, changes in bowel habit, extreme fatigue or back pain may also be experienced on their own or at the same time as those listed above.
(Taken from

My mum had a hysterectomy ten years before she was diagnosed, and the symptoms often present as Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS), so she wasn't correctly diagnosed for over five years. She could have been saved if we had known enough about the disease. We might have realised what the doctors didn't. The awful truth is that you simply can't rely on doctors to figure out what's wrong with you. GPs just don't know enough, and they rarely send you to specialists. The real world of medicine isn't like House.
It wasn't until mum could no longer eat or drink that the hospital took her seriously, and I had to be there with her, forcing them to put an IV in her arm so she wouldn't die of dehydration.

The way the NHS treated her was abysmal, they significantly shortened her life, by months if not years.

The stress was so much that it caused me to miscarry, losing both my mother and my baby within a year. I was only 23 when mum died. She was only 59, three months away from a free buss pass.

So, for mother's day, I have set up a tribute fund in her name, with the money going to Ovarian Cancer Action. If you would like to donate anything, this is the link:

Spare a thought for the motherless on Mother's Day.
Thank you.

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