Cancer woman kept me awake!

Last night, I was so tired that I fell asleep on the sofa before I got my teeth brushed. I woke up at 22:00 and had to start on my teeth and this subtitled program was on TV so I kept that channel on. I take a LONG time brushing my teeth so I always watch a subtitled program while doing so, since it is too boring otherwise. (Electrical tooth brush prevents me from hearing anything.)

The program had started probably half an hour earlier or so. It was called “My Final Year” but I couldn’t find out where it was from. I came in where this woman sat and talked with a funeral director about how her friend had kept her dead mother at home for a week, so everyone could come and go, say goodbye to her and look at her. She wanted that, she said and what turned out to be her children, sat and wiped their eyes around the table. I finally understood that she was planning her own funeral. At the dinner table one day, this man said that she had to look at her computer because there was a poem for her to hand-write for the funeral program and a photo for it as well. The photo looked like the Normandy coast or cliffs on the British coast. But the language sounded Dutch, possibly Flemish! So my guess is as good as yours. Her name was Neel, her husband Mark, and one daughter was Judith. One day, she sat and had champagne with her girlfriends and she told them she had contacted the doctor about Euthanasia and that she had to write a letter about it. I finally understood that she was dying of cancer and that she no longer was getting treatment, but just pain relief. A June sign came up and we were all able to see her go to her youngest daughter’s graduation from probably something like Swedish Gymnasium. She had three children and they all seemed to live at home. It was difficult to guess ages but they looked about 19, 21 and possible 23? She said that she was so surprised that she was still there and that medical science had told her she wouldn’t be. But she still enjoyed life. Then came July. She sat and told her friends that she no longer could eat. That the food came up in original shape and when they asked what food she got in to herself, she said the sugar in her coffee. Then one saw her husband going to a cancer center and the oldest daughter saying to her mother that the dad had got so skinny and that day he had found out that he had cancer in the pancreas but all over the body really. Now the children faced loosing both parents because nothing could be done for him at all. He said nothing on the film at all. He just accepted everything as was. The wife said “I have to stay on now for the children”. But in August she could not get down the stairs anymore. They had to move her bed downstairs and she was so frightfully skinny. Towards the end of August she said “I don’t want anymore now!”. So the doctor was called in. In September, everybody came to say goodby for a couple of days. Wednesday 3rd, the hospice nurse came with all things. It was so bizarre. The mother looked through a magazine after the needle was put in her arm. Her oldest daughter and her smoked a last cigarette together. She had smoked badly all day. Her husband sat and said nothing. And then all of the family sat by her bed, her oldest behind her in bed holding her, and the doctor and nurse had her hug everyone goodbye, her husband still aloof far away on the sofa, and then the doctor shot in the poison. She just said “it tastes bad” and then her head fell to the side but the doctor kept on pumping the poison in. It was the most shocking thing I have ever seen on TV. In a way it was beautiful. She had all her family around her. They were ready for her going. They understood that she could not go on anymore. And they accepted it. It must have been so hard to decide the time and the day though! To say NOW it’s enough. It made me think of this TV show I watch now and then called “Holby City”. They have shown this doctor’s wife going to Switzerland for assisted suicide and how she first went off with just a friend. But the friend didn’t think it was right so she phoned the husband to hurry there. He was present at the death. But their children were not and could not forgive either parent. And the son has gone on drugs. Yes, it’s just TV, BUT I think that it said something important. That if someone is dying slowly, it’s better to talk about things openly. Prepare everyone. And make sure that everyone knows and understands what the sick person is going through so that they can accept the death that is going to come and perhaps make them able to feel relief for the sick person, when the person finally can go. In the after text, I discovered that this woman was born in 1958. So she wasn’t more than a little over 50 when dying. And while she died 3 September, her husband soon followed on the 1 December that year.

This was not a good program to watch at all, before going to bed. By now I was wide awake! I could not forget what I had just watched. My mind was racing and I just could not settle. I lay wide awake for at least two hours. Neel looked like a concentration camp survivor on the day she died. She walked like one as well. How can nature be so cruel? To live without food for over two months! Slowly basicallly starving to death. And for both parents to go the same year, of cancer! Talk about bad luck. Neel could not show any emotion when her husband got his diagnosis. She suffered too bad herself but she was shocked at him starting out having cancer all over his body while her decent had been gradual. It really is one of the most cruel diseases!!! So silent till it is too late. Made me think about these two little boys at “Sparky’s” pre-school. They were 2- and 4 when they lost their mother to stomach cancer. I doubt she was a year over 30! It’s a couple of years ago now but the youngest has no memory of his mum and only speaks of how he lives in two houses since his dad is in love! Another woman gets to see P.’s boys grow up while her last months probably were like Neel’s. Not being able to eat either. And now they have a step-mother that is cold and very unpleasant. And step-sisters. Cinderella came to mind when they attended the summer party last May. The mother that is. The girls didn’t bother to come with her. Why did they have to loose their mummy? Their dad has always been very rude, but their mum was a very, very sweet person. Pretty and nice towards everyone. Now he has found his match though, it seems. He always hated “Kitty” and told his children that he hates me and T. because of “Kitty”. His children gladly told me of the swear words he used in connection with us. Haven’t seen his youngest at pre-school this term so they most have moved. No, cruel disease and it harvests it’s victims in the most cruel way, taking young and old without discrimination. Young mothers should be allowed to raise their children! It really messes the children up loosing their mothers! This boy that lost his mother to breast cancer when he was four, has according to witnesses really flipped out. Speaks like a girl, uses make up, and dresses, well let’s say, I think he is moving towards homosexuality. That is what it sounds like. I think he liked the step-mother that appeared on the scene s right after his mother’s death, but it all happened too soon I think and well… I guess the less said the better! What is it with men and not being able to cope for a minute on their own??? Where are the “Alfons Åberg dads”?

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2 responses to “Cancer woman kept me awake!

  1. Assisted suicide is allowed in Switzerland. There the sick person will go to a flat where the personnel will hand them a drink mixed with all sorts of poisons. The patient has to lift the mug himself/herself. If that is not possible, the patient gets a straw so they can drink it. The personnel will not take an active part.
    But this program was NOT from Switzerland! The woman was laying in bed and the palliative care nurse put a needle in place. Then the doctor came and HE sat and shot the poison in to her arm. As I said, it was shocking to watch! From the language they spoke, I deducted that it must have been Holland or Belgium. And since it was filmed, it must have been legal. She did tell her friends in June, that she had to write a legal letter where she stated that this was her wish and that she was of sound mind.
    I’ll tell you one creepy thing about the Swiss way: I have watched two documentaries, no more, but the two that made the most impact were these. One was a Swedish one where the man that wanted to die, was totally paralyzed after an accident. He just did not want to live anymore and be dependent on people. Can’t remember if his wife had left him. They were very young and I do know that he wanted her to have a life. So they traveled to Switzerland like so many others do.
    It was the second one, that was more shocking than you can ever imagine. And it showed how it is NOT right to play God. In that documentary, we followed couples that came to Switzerland. The spouse was dying, terminally ill, and wanted the process to be shortened. The ghastly thing was that the spouse also wanted to die! The spouse had decided to take her/his life at the same time! At the same place, with the help of the same personnel and the same drugs. They all explained that they did not want to live without the spouse. That life was loosing it’s meaning. Some of them even had children that needed them, or grown children and grandchildren. I CAN understand if someone does not feel strong enough to loose their mind or live a long time with agonizing pain. BUT for a healthy individual to want to end their life because of grief? A grief they haven’t felt yet and don’t know whether they can handle or not? It made me angry. At least one has to try to cope! And many of them still had things to live for! Children, grandchildren, friends. How do we know what we are supposed to accomplish on this Earth? How do we know what HE intends for us? If a person is healthy, they obviously have time left on this Earth, lessons to learn, they might find happiness in other things and with other people, but most of all, they might be destined to touch someone else’s life, have an impact on someone else. I am glad to say, that the doctors in Switzerland did not let all these healthy spouses take the cocktail with their terminally ill partners! The doctors did have sense when the spouses did not. But to offer that option is ghastly in the first place.

  2. This is a sad, depressing and shocking story. Where on earth would a doctor ”kill” a patient? Isnt that illegal? Only God can decide when our life on earth is over. I