On the 8th December this year, I rushed my mum to hospital with suspected gallbladder problems (we have a family history of it, so assumed we would be out within a few days). As the days turned to weeks we quickly discovered they would not let her come home and something else was going on. Information was hard to obtain (mostly lost in translation). She was turning yellow, had already lost 19kg and was going downhill fast.
Countless tests, scans, doctors, specialists and assumptions.. it wasn’t until one month later, on the 4th January (one day before my birthday) we were told to get everything in order… my mother was diagnosed with stage 4 Pancreatic Cancer that had metastasised to her lungs, liver and bones (pretty much the most aggressive and incurable of cancers you can get and is typically only detected when it gets to these advanced stages).
We didn’t see that coming! (I think we are still in shock/denial!)
The Dr’s explained that "my mums cancer is very aggressive, terminal and nothing can be done". Surgery is impossible and there are no treatments available. Chemo is the only option and will likely make matters worse and so... on the 4th January, my mum was discharged from hospital and sent home to "live out her final days”.
Typically with Pancreatic Cancer you get 1-3months.. in SOME rare cases (with chemo) up to a year... but there is no way of knowing 'when' exactly. It has been a seriously rough and scary ride so far (even more so now as we approach the end of month 3!)!
To make matters even more challenging, my mum is 71, retired, left the UK years ago and recently bought her little dream retirement house in Spain. I only planned to visit for a few months to help her set things up, but as I saw her health decline, I gave up work, changed my plans and stayed with her here in Spain. Perhaps it was all ‘meant to be’, because with her recent diagnosis I was able to become her 24-7 carer (which is something new, daunting and I feel totally unequipped for). Our Spanish is basic, the systems are COMPLETELY different (and complicated), there are no ‘Macmillan nurses’ or anything similar and asides from my mums cats, we are out here alone. Which makes this situation even more of a challenge and really scary!
But, when you are told you (or your loved one) are going to die, something happens inside of you, you find determination to find a way, ANY way and not give up!! My mum wants to live, I want her to live.. and so I set out to find an 'alternative solution'.
AN ALTERNATIVE SOLUTION:
I am firm believer in holistic/alternative medicine in combination with diet and lifestyle changes. I also believe in the power of the mind, prayer and I absolutely believe in miracles.
Through those beliefs, I discovered a wonderful holistic Dr in Germany. He has great success rates working with Cancer patients (even those with stage 3 and 4). As my mother couldn't travel, he flew to us this month and brought all we needed to begin my mothers recommended treatment. Over the last few weeks I have been watching her gradually improve with this treatment. She went from bright yellow, unable to eat unable to walk to now… a normal colour, eating well, gaining a little weight and walking a little again. We even managed some trips out in the car!
It's wonderful! We have HOPE!... BUT it's not over yet!..
The treatment must continue for several months more, and likely with maintenance for the rest of her life. Until the follow up scans at the hospital (end of March) we won't know how successful the holistic treatment has been on a 'physical level' either..
WHAT WE NEED!:
We need financial support. We used most of my mothers savings towards the first part of her treatment but we still need to fund the rest.
What we need to pay for:
- the wages of a local nurse
- the first, second and follow up treatments
- flight for occasional Dr visits (from Germany to Spain)
- any equipment that cannot be provided by our local Cancer charity (eg. fitting stair rails and disability aids).
- money to pay for additional home support so I can get some rest from time to time (eg a cleaner, a sitter)
It is my HOPE that we can raise enough money to pay for all of the costs associated to my mothers treatment… it will seriously ease the pressures as I cannot support her financially now I’m unable to work. I also don’t want us to ‘give up’ just because we can’t afford the treatment. Despite the challenges we have had in life, I cannot and do not want to imagine my life without my mum. I lost my dad to Cancer 15 years ago, my sister to MS 5 years ago and too many other family members left this world with cancer.
I also hope that by spreading awareness of alternative treatments like this, it will soon become easier to access, easier to afford and give more people HOPE that there IS another solution. ESPECIALLY if my mums treatment works or at very least, it gives her a good quality life with the time she has..
WHEN WE NEED THE SUPPORT:
Well... now! We have already paid for some of the treatment, but we now need to pay for the next stages. I also want to get disability modifications installed in the house (like banisters/railings for her to hold). So, doing THIS on Gofundme is my only hope to cover it all. I hope to raise the funds as we go as i understand we can't magic it all in advance! But to raise the target by May/June would be wonderful! And really EVERY little bit helps, so whatever you can afford we would be so grateful!
The uncertainty of the journey ahead terrifies us both. Not knowing what will happen next and how to get back on our feet after! But I trust that somehow, something will turn up. I believe gofundme is a good first step to making a difference financially and will ease the stress/pressure so I can focus more time on helping my mum without being SO stressed about money. So if you are able to help us raise the funds we need.. from the bottom of my heart, thank you for your support.
Please share this with your family and friends. Thank you to everyone who has reached out and for your thoughts, messages and prayers so far.
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