In 2003 my beautiful mum was diagnosed with breast cancer, and in 2008 went into remission after a mastectomy.

Hannah Ellen's Story

In 2003 my beautiful mum was diagnosed with breast cancer, and in 2008 went into remission after a mastectomy, an LD flap reconstruction, 25 hits of radiotherapy and FEC chemotherapy.  November 2010 saw the return of her breast cancer, and her diagnosis became "incurable", with the cancer eventually spreading first to her chest wall, then her skin, her bones, her liver, her lungs, and in February 2013, her brain.

On 13th April, a day before my brother's 21st birthday, she was admitted to the Oncology Unit at the Churchill Hospital. She was put on high levels of morphine as she was so exhausted and needed to rest - not one of us had a clue that she would never come home. We just thought that in typical mum fashion, she'd recharge her batteries in hospital and come out fighting like she always did. She had been working up until the day of the seizure which uncovered the fact that her breast cancer had spread to her brain.

This time, while in hospital she decided that instead of coming home, she would like to go to Sobell House Hospice and have that as her base, so that she would no longer have to be doing late night, or last minute mercy dashes to the hospital when she went into crisis.  Unfortunately, I am unsure whether she was aware (although knowing mum, she probably was), but she was more poorly than any of us knew and on Saturday 20th April this year when we turned up to visit her, she was unable to speak, walk, or even really move. It was then that I asked her nurse if this was it, and I was then told that she was dying.

On that day, she got her wish and at 4pm was moved to Sobell House. She died 7 hours later at 11:15pm surrounded by Daniel and I (her children), my partner, my Auntie Anne, my Uncle Tony, my Uncle Doug, and my cousin Andrew. She waited until my Grandma had said her goodbyes and left, before she decided to let go. It was a relief, it was beautiful, and it was dignified.

The respect, and care she was shown by the staff there was second to none, they truly were wonderful. Not only the staff, but the environment eased the pain of the worst day of our lives. It made my mummy's death not only beautiful, but much easier.

Hannah Ellen's Story

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