Thank you to everyone for all the messages on other blogs. I couldn't believe all the blogging friends who had written special posts for us even though we'd never met and thank you especially to Pat who we had met.
I've usually shared what has happened with Mantle Cell Non Hodgkin Lymphoma, one of the nastiest of cancers, so I hope you don't mind me sharing this final bit.
It's helped to write it all down,getting it all straight in my head.
Over the Spring Bank Holiday Col didn't seem to be as well as he had been on Thursday and Friday and I called the hospital special haematology number and they said best call the out-of-hours doctor who came out but his temperature etc were all OK. They prescribed a more powerful oral pain killer to try to help.
On Tuesday night it was obvious he was getting confused and I rang for an ambulance straight away. They zoomed him to A&E and I followed along a few minutes later after sorting out what I needed.
I arrived not long after the Ambulance and sat with him in A & E through the night as they pumped in antibiotics and saline. They were able to move him to the cancer ward about 6 o'clock in the morning and he seemed more with it but couldn't remember anything about the ambulance and A&E.
Mid morning Wednesday I went home for a while for a change of clothes and to feed the cat and spoke to him later on the phone where he said he was very tired. I felt too tired to drive having had no sleep but wanted to go back and see him so got my Brother in Law to take me up in the evening. Col didn't seem too bad, just very tired so I went home again.
On Thursday morning I got a phone call saying things were not looking good and I probably ought to come up straight away. When I got there they had moved him into a side room, our lovely hospital chaplain friend, who had got to know us well over the years had been sitting with him through the morning until I got there and soon the doctor who had been treating him at Ipswich through the last 2 years came and said there was nothing else they could do. What was so lovely was the doctor wasn't even on call but came specially to see us, he reassured me that bringing Col into hospital a couple of days earlier wouldn't have made any difference.
The Graft Versus Host disease had quickly taken hold of his whole body and his lungs were affected. He had no immune system left to fight it. I called the children with the news, our son and youngest daughter in Suffolk got there very soon . Our eldest was able to drive up from Surrey arriving early evening. It was obvious that he was very, very ill. At first he knew I was there but later he didn't .
His sister and brother in law and brother also came in to see him.
Youngest daughter went home to look after Florence as her OH was working away and couldn't get home and eldest daughter and son stayed on recliner chairs in the family room and I had a folding bed beside Colin and stayed awake almost all night with him. He was on Oxygen and a painkiller pump to make things easier.
The nurses were so lovely and kind and on Friday morning told me it would probably be that day. Youngest daughter came back and our children and I sat with him through the morning and my sister and brother in law called in to see him. Midday I sent the children down to the canteen to get something to eat and a while later his breathing became more shallow so I buzzed the nurse and he came and sat with us and said this was it. I texted the children to come back to the ward and they arrived just as he very peacefully stopped breathing. So we were all together and stayed with him for a long time.
So proud of our children for being there with me and for each other. Eldest daughter was able to stay with me at the cottage on Friday and Saturday night and then went back to Surrey, Grandson Jacob has Chicken Pox, poor little fella and I wanted her to get back to him as they were missing each other.
At the moment it doesn't seem quite real as I've been on my own so many times when Colin had been in hospital for weeks on end. I'm guessing it will hit me later. The funeral won't be for a few weeks because of another Bank holiday and various people being away. There are plenty of things to organise which will keep me very busy, as well as the garden which had been neglected for a week.
Thank you again to everyone for all your kind thoughts, it's wonderful to know how many people are thinking and caring.
Back with proper blogging soon..........it will be a little bit of normality.