Wednesday, 28 May 2014

I'm Emptying my Head.

I have been blogging for nearly three years. I sometimes have so much to say that I can write a few posts in one sitting. There are times I struggle with what to write but usually an idea comes quite easily. I have not blogged for two months now and as I sit down today I am trying to come up with witty or interesting subjects to write about but my brain won't let me.
My head is filled with one thing and until I empty it of this one thing I fear Iwill  never write anything you will want to read,so here goes.

On 6th May my younger brother passed away having being diagnosed with pancreatic cancer just a few weeks before. He was 53 yrs old, far too young to leave us.
He was just like you and me, he had plans. He had planned to take early retirement next October, have a holiday of a lifetime and then set up a small business working from home. He had a lovely girlfriend and seemed to at last find the happiness he craved, he had hoped to marry her.

I wasn't close to my brother although there were only two of us and this somehow makes it worse. There are so many regrets but we were like chalk and cheese. He said tomatoe I said tomata. We never agreed on much. He loved cats, I love dogs. He never had any children while my life revolves around mine. We were different but we were still family.
The only complaint I heard him make in hospital was when he said,"This is rubbish isn't it?" That will go down in history as the one thing we ever agreed on, this death sentence he was handed was certainly rubbish.
When we received a phone call to say he didn't have long, a phone call we didn't expect to receive for weeks or months we drove to the hospice but he had slipped away holding his girlfriend's hand minutes before we arrived.

A few days ago I read a newspaper article about life after death with lots of reports from people seeing loved ones shortly after they passed away. It said this usually came within 24 hrs of the person passing and in the form of a dream. My brother passed late at night and the following afternoon I lay down for a sleep. I had a dream which was much more vivid than a normal dream. My brother was sitting at the bottom of my bed looking well and much younger than he was. He was smartly dressed in a pink checked shirt and smart trousers. He spoke to me and said,"My only worry is that I'm leaving you with things to deal with" I shouted at him not to scare me, I could feel the bed moving as he disappeared. I woke up fighting for my breath and sobbing, the phone rang and it was his girlfriend.
All very strange. I so wish I hadn't told him to go away but I was scared. I should have remembered my mum telling me not to be afraid of the dead it's the living we should be afraid of.
It has been two weeks since the funeral and we said our goodbyes. A fellow blogger Amanda who recently lost her father and has written in her blog about her loss here Amanda asks the question,"Where has he gone" and finds herself looking at photos to remind herself what he looked like.
I always seem to be wondering if there's an afterlife and I've written about it here and part 2 here 
so I won't go into any more detail as to what I think.

I want to finish with a warning. If your GP has been treating you for constipation for months and nothing is improving, if your stomach pains are so bad you can't attend work, if you are a ghastly yellow colour (jaundice) and your GP says it's just your colouring, please please demand to be referred for further tests. Please do not think your GP knows everything because in my brother's case his miss diagnoses meant that it was too late for chemotherapy or radiotherapy, the only weapons we have against cancer. If just one person gets themselves checked out then I will be happy.

I know that time heals but at the moment, like Amanda my head is only filled with one thing, maybe now that I have emptied it I will start to heal. Thank you for listening.

A painting I now have. Painted by my brother


  1. Oh Anne, I am so, so sorry for your loss. 53 is just way too young and pancreatic cancer is extremely cruel. The only person I've ever heard of living past initial diagnosis was Patrick Swayze, and I think he lasted a year or so. Most succumb so quickly.

    I am convinced my dad would have had a fighting chance with his lung cancer if his GP hadn't dismissed his cough as 'post nasal drip'. He first went to the doctor in October. By the time he was diagnosed with stage 4 cancer in late February, he was given just a few months. He died that June.

  2. I can say with true conviction that I know how you feel Anne. I still cry nearly every day - I never thought I'd feel like this. I knew I'd be upset, but not like this. I hope writing it down has helped you, and how thoughtful of you to think of others and warn us of these symptoms. I'm afraid I'm from that era that if the doctor said to me that he would have to take my arm off, I would say "Thank you", with complete trust. My children, however question everything, which I sometimes find quite rude, but perhaps they are right. I sincerely hope you feel better soon xx

  3. Amanda I still think about my mum everyday after ten years. I always question doctors if I don't agree with them. My brother had Cystic Fibrosis too but it was very mild. It was actually their clinic who took him seriously. He had visited the GP that day and then phoned the cf clinic,they took one look at his yellow colour and admitted him. He could have collapsed and died in his flat if it hadn't been for them.

  4. Thank you JoJo. It seems pancreatic cancer has only a 3% survival rate. I have heard of so many people who have something wrong with them and doctors keep on treating without results insteading of investigating further. A friends elderly father had a cold sore on his lip which just would not go away despite being treated with antibiotics. His daughter asked for a referral for him for hospital and it was cancer,he recovered after treatment.

  5. These are terrible days for you - and for everyone who knew and still loves him. I use the present tense deliberately - love doesn't disappear when someone dies - it just changes shape, slowly.

    I hope you have people around you to comfort you through the worst of this. The sun will shine again, but it will be watery for a while.

  6. Anne, I'm so sorry to hear of your loss - I hope writing it all down has been cathartic for you, at least a little bit.

    I love his painting btw - such beautiful colours.

  7. So sorry to hear about the loss of your brother. Sending you and your family good thoughts.

  8. I am so sorry to hear about your brother. Sorry for your loss. Take good care of yourself.

  9. Thanks Anabel,yes I think it has. He painted lots my grandchildren have some of his animal paintings.

  10. Thanks for your lovely words Jo. Yes love doesn't just go away,you're right.


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