Half term to Advent

The last six weeks have been interesting to say the least. The week before half term, Mr FF’s mum was admitted to hospital, she’d been having severe dizziness and nausea for a week or so, the GP thought it was labyrinthitis, but she’d got so weak she needed to be admitted. Once there they did all sorts of routine checkups and scans, some of them because she was a heavy smoker and had been for 50 odd years.

The first weekend of half term I was in college, and Mr FF took himself and the children to my parents so he could go & visit his mum over the weekend. There were mutterings of things needing investigating on the scans, and when I got back from college on Sunday I drove straight up to London that night. On Monday 27th October we spent the day at the hospital with her, when we were told she had lung cancer and a secondary brain tumour – and it was this tumour that was causing her symptoms as it pressed on and affected certain parts of her brain.

Horrible, all utterly horrible, she was incredibly brave, at least on the outside, she kept saying she was more worried about her children, and ours, our 4 are her only grandchildren.

The next couple of weeks were a blur of hospital visits, with Mr FF running (well driving) up & down the M3 even more than usual) She came out of hospital and went to her first oncologist appointment where she made the very brave decision to go for immediate neurosurgery to remove or at least reduce the tumour in her brain, that was the most urgent thing. She had that operation on 13th November, by all accounts it was successful, they thought they’d got it all, and it would give them time to try and reduce the lung cancer through chemo. No one would give us a time scale, but no one was prepared to give false hope either, it seemed it would be a matter of lengthening the days, rather than anything else.

Over that weekend MIL first perked up, and then began to flag, she was very weak after the operation, she was very down, Maybe she’d hoped that she would not have come through it, and been reunited with FIL and in the heavenly mansions she talked so often about ( John 14). Who knows… On the Thursday Mr FF was visiting again, having had a meeting in London that morning. He arrived to find her being transferred to Intensive care with pneumonia, where she needed to be put on a ventilator, and she sadly died early the following morning.

I got the girls to school and the boys to a friend’s ( their choices) and went up to join MrFF in London where he was staying at my parents’ My dad was driving in the other direction to hold the fort at our place, relieving my friend of the boys and on hand in case the girls needed collecting from school at any point.

We spent the day making & taking phone calls, seeing the priest and the funeral directors… all a bit of a blur, we’d been preparing ourselves for maybe a few months, a few days was a bit of a shock, it’s only 6 months since FIL died too.


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