It’s a year ago today that I spoke to my grandma properly for the last time. I knew she wasn’t well and I almost didn’t ring her because I didn’t know what I was going to say to her.
I can remember the day quite clearly, I had been out for a walk with Imogen and she wasn’t feeling very well. When we got home she fell asleep on my knee on the sofa so I took a deep breath and picked up my phone.
I don’t remember a lot of what we talked about, but we talked for about half an hour and she was more interested in hearing about the girls than she was about talking about how she was.
That was a Thursday. She died 16 days later. After I spoke to her she my parents had to take her to hospital over the weekend. The following week we found out her cancer was terminal and that she didn’t have long left. She moved into a hospice the following Tuesday and I went to see her on the Friday having made the 300 mile trip up from Sussex to Yorkshire where my family lived. I spent most of Friday with her, but she wasn’t really her. She talked a little, but nothing substantial and my dad said he was shocked at how she had gone downhill since he saw her the previous day. But she commented on Imogen’s sparkly shoes and she liked Sophie’s drawing.
She died the next afternoon. Just four days after she moved to the hospice.
Cancer is a horrible disease, and the only blessing is that it took her quite quickly. We spent Christmas 2015 with her and her only complaint was about back pain. I knew she wasn’t well by February but did not expect our trip then to be the last time I saw her as her.
But. I was determined to take some positives out of her death, as much as possible. I can now run a 5k which was a mountain this time last year, and I will run the 10k Race for Life this June in her memory. And as a thank you for the fact that my mum was discharged last month five years after a hysterectomy as treatment for cancer.