And they rang me and sort of said, “This is the situation, it has been diagnosed as cancer, as we had feared, metastases, we need to obviously let you know”. And I said, “Well what are you saying, do I, are you going to tell my mother?” They said, “Well it’s up to you.” But I felt that they were pushing the ball in my court, which I thought was quite unprofessional because I just thought it’s about my mother and it’s about you. I’m her daughter but it’s not for me to... how do I break the news to Mother? I can’t tell her these things, you know, I’m not professionally geared up.
So I literally had to sort of say to them, “What are asking me to do here? Are you at any stage going to call my mother in, I’m expecting you to break the news to her. All I can do is be there to support her and I don’t feel… I know nothing about the situation that I can even break the news to her before we come to see you”. They just said to me, “Well it’s up to you how you want to deal with it”. So anyway I said, “I think it’s for you to tell her because there’ll be questions that she may ask”.
So I took… we went to see the consultant with my mum. And they just, just sort of said to my mother, “We’ve had the results back from your cancer… I’m afraid, you know, you have cancer, and it will be passed on in the next two weeks… we’re passing it on to an oncologist and we’re going to ask you to just go… we need you to go and do a blood test now and we’ll get back to you”. And I was shocked at, you know, I thought they would have somebody there, you know, somebody, a Macmillan nurse or somebody there when they told her the news to sort of help to sort of counsel her at this stage. But my mother I think was just shocked because she just went and said, “Oh okay”. Obviously she, there’s a language barrier. She could speak English but I don’t she felt confident when it comes to an emotional matter.
And, you know, I didn’t really know what to say to her. What do you say? So I, I was really angry with the consultant at how they’d handled it, that it was done in a very sort of cool way. And I can understand from their perspective, on a professional level that’s the only way they could deal with it. But here you’re talking about, you know, a disease, that affects not just you on physical level, emotional level and all the sort of people around you, and it was a great unknown. At no point did they tell her that her cancer was terminal. At no point did they sort of say, “This is the situation”. She didn’t ask any questions because she didn’t know what to ask at that stage. And I think she was just absorbing the shock, the shock of it.