Louise shares the grief she experienced on discovering that her Mum's ovarian cancer was terminal, and reflects on the importance of making every day count
“I remember feeling my stomach drop out from inside me. It was complete devastation. But on the outside I stayed strong for Mum’s sake.
Unfortunately she was diagnosed with stage four ovarian cancer so we knew it was terminal right from the very start.
As a family we decided that we would make the most of what we had.
We took the children to Cornwall. We made sure that we did things that we had always put off before.
My three boys got to spend lots of precious time with their Nana, especially my youngest, as when Mum was well she looked after him a lot.
Mum had always wanted to go to the beach on New Year’s Day so we went. It was glorious. We sat on the beach and played football. Then it snowed, huge snowflakes covered the mountains.
It was the most fantastic sight and to share it with Mum made it even more amazing.
I look back on that time and I smile because we did something that mum had always wanted to do. I’ll treasure those times forever.
My biggest rock was my husband. I knew I had a safe place to go to where I could let my feelings out and cry and then I could stay strong for mum.
"I’d say stay positive with the person who needs your support but find your own emotional release and outlet to support you"Louise Macken
I lost a lot of sleep but I would talk out anything going through my head either with my husband or a family member.
Never bottle it up.
Take strength from other family members and feel free to lean on them. If not someone close then there are support networks like Marie Curie and Macmillan.
As the family member, not the person with cancer, you feel that you have to cope all the time. But if you did – you’d snap.
I’d say stay positive with the person who needs your support but find your own emotional release and outlet to support you.”