And we carry on.....

Hello all and here’s to another year of life and all it brings with it. All aboard the rollercoaster again!

Some of you may have read my lengthy “diary” of events last year. From my cancer diagnosis and treatment through the various ailments and terminal illnesses that have befallen the Poppy families.

Well my husband’s sister who lives abroad had a lung cancer diagnosis December 2017. Inoperable, but some type of immunotherapy commenced and life carried on. This Christmas she spent in hospital with another diagnosis. Admitted with suspected colitis, a colonoscopy suggested colon cancer. Severe bleeding and iv morphine keeps her in hospital awaiting biopsy results tomorrow. This and further scans will determine what surgery might be required.

His other sister, same age as me, lives in the uk. She was in the last stages of dementia. She lived in specialist accommodation for people with Downs syndrome. We were told she passed away January 2nd. Neither he nor his other sister will be able to attend the funeral. I know this is tearing him apart. Feeling he is letting her down at the end. Nothing I can say will make him feel differently.

Sorry for the gloomy post people, but as I shared it all with you last year I wanted to let you know this update. I don’t have a big family or circle of friends so its good to talk to my virtual one. Thanks for listening.

Aw Poppy. That’s not good. For you or Mr Poppy.

Cancer is a rotten beast. It invades your system and does untold damage. And dementia is cruel as well. Sometimes you feel that death is a release, but not to be able to say goodbye or even go to the funeral must be tearing him apart.

Mr P has had a dreadful year. Being the husband / partner / brother / friend of someone with cancer must be utterly heartbreaking. And he’s been the husband and brother of two women with cancer. From what you’ve told us, Mr Poppy has been strong and capable, supporting you through your cancer plus MS. He doesn’t deserve more unhappiness.

More and more, we are feeling like a family. We might be distant geographically, and only ‘virtual’ friends, but there is a sense of trust and honour among us.

I’m glad you’ve shared this gloomy news with us. Not happy that your family is suffering, but genuinely appreciate the trust you’ve placed in those of us who share this forum.

Sue x

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Hi Poppy, That is a awful lot to cope with in one year. It’s impossible for me to know how you’re feeling but I’d like you to know that I’ve read your post carefully and I will always been listening to anything you say. Best wishes, Anthony

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sorry for the bad news poppy. i don’t want to say much due to being really tired. however i am sending a warm cloud to hold you safe and warm. xxx

do we, the folk with m.s., have more than our ‘fair’?? share of crap visited upon us? I struggle with my m.s. - have a daughter with m.s. (she recently had cancer)- another member of the family, he’s related by marriage, has been dx’d with m.s. And I still struggle as a result of my abusive childhood -

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so sorry to hear must be heart wrenching for your husband not to be able to go to the funeral.


J x

Thanks everyone for the kind words. Mr Poppy spoke to the Care home yesterday. Cremation will take place the end of the month. Sadly prolonging the grieving process i think. As I heard him explain our circumstances and that of his other sister, I found myself overcome with guilt, anger and sadness knowing how my disability and total reliance on him restricted him at this crucial time. All the reasoning in the world can’t take that away. Sending beautiful flowers at a funeral is never enough, is it? I’m sure a more natural, raw ceremony is a better way. A funeral pyre? Sending a raft alight out to sea? Is there a better way do you think?

my husband has made elaborate albeit impractical plans for a viking funeral.

the house his parents used to have has a “ruck” (mini slag heap - used to be the site of a pit)

he wants a viking raft to be slid down it an all the guests to fire flaming arrows at it.

should burn well considering how much alcohol he imbibes.

his funeral song is “wish you were here”.

still it is a heartbreaking situation for you and mr poppy.

sorry if my first paragraph came across as flippant.

wishing you happier times ahead.

Not flippant Carole. I have a dark sense of humour. I was a Mortician in my working life. It always amazed me during an autopsy of an alcoholic or seasoned drinker, they would smell of a Christmas pudding! Alcohol infused.

gallows humour keeps me going especially with this bloody government!

glad that i didn’t offend you.

did any of the christmas pudding smell-alikes have a sixpenny piece inside - now that would be something!

that film was on again last week.

“what we did on our holiday”

billy connolly takes his grandchildren to the beach because his parents are on the brink of divorce and the atmosphere is toxic.

he falls asleep and hears on of the kids say that he’s dead.

he’d been telling them about viking funerals, saying that would be a fantastic send off.

he does have a heart attack and die.

the kids give him a viking funeral.

gets very serious when the kids go home and the police and social workers get involved.

very funny film.

The month of January hasn’t even come to an end and my poor lovely husband hasn’t even had time to spend some time grieving for his very special sister. Her funeral will be on Tuesday in London. His other sister, abroad, has remained in hospital since just after Christmas. Her condition deteriorated all the while in hospital since just after Christmas. Biopsy results showed colon cancer was rampant. Without surgery she was told she would have 2/3 weeks of life left. Everyone was told that because she was so weak, there was a good possibility she wouldn’t survive the surgery. She took the chance. She came through. Her intestines were removed along with a large part of the large bowel. She will be receiving her nutrition intravenously from now on. Today we are told further results show it is widespread. Secondaries from the lung cancer. No more to be done now. Trying to build up her strength to send her home. Palliative care then until the end. However long that might be. So, what’s to be said or done? He is in bed right now and I sit here feeling utterly useless. I got on well with his sister and she and I had a few good weeks together at her home. He now has no one left and to have his two sisters snatched away, at the same time, as such is just cruel. These really are dark days.

I went through the same thing with my dad last year, he was very unsteady on his feet and he went to AE, he was admitted the same day . The next day they did a ct scan and found a tumour in his brain the cerebellum . That was why he was unsteady, the next day they found another tumour in his brain but that wasn’t all they gave him a MRI and found cancer in both lungs.

We wanted him home for Christmas which we did even doing palliative care for him before the carers came in after Christmas.

The carers we had were great , we had him from 22nd December to 11th of January.

Be with your husbands sister as much as you can, cherish the moments you have with her.

I was there when my dad passed along with my mum and nephew (he came all the way from Canada to be with him) it’s hard I know but I am not saying it will get better because it doesn’t, you get used to it… my dad was a larger than life character and he left a big hole. So I will good luck and all the best


Aw Poppy

Life is hard. Life with MS is extra hard. And in so many ways, harder on those we love. Because we can’t be the independent ‘rock’ they need at their time of sadness and grief. They still need to be our physical support. And we can’t do much to help them.

I will no doubt have this on my gravestone. MS is crap. MS is crap for the people with it and for those who love them, and are loved by them.

I’m so sorry for your loss. And for your husband. To lose his sisters is so hard. To do so while you’re unable to do anything practical to help yourself, let alone him is extra specially hard.

You are in my thoughts.

Sue x

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a brilliant film indeed Carole

Just had the awaited phone call. Second sister now at peace also. She never returned home. One on January 2nd, the other February 2nd. Please let the rest of the year be uneventful.

thinking of you & your family


Thanks Mick. I’m glad at least, the waiting for the dreaded phone call is over. I can’t imagine how it must feel to lose 2 sisters in that short space of time and not having been able to say goodbye. Life certainly is precious.

Aw Poppy, how dreadful for you and Mr Poppy. The poor man. Look after him as much as you can. He’s precious and must be hurting so much.

Thinking of you both.

Love Sue xx

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I wish there was something I could say - but words fail me.

With my very best wishes,


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