Friday, 5 September 2008

Susan

This is a sad post, best to warn you now in case you're not up for it.

The Beautiful Mother has a best friend called Susan, she's the friend you have to call Auntie even though she's not. My Mum and Susan have been friends for years and she's been there all the way through my teens (and tantrums) and now into my middle age (slightly less tantrums). My parents and Susan and John spent masses of time together especially now since myself and my sister and Susan and John's 2 sons have grown up. My Mum sees her every day.

Susan is very bright, articulate, stylish and on the money, she is a serial entrepeneur and a real force to be reckoned with. She's great fun and has always been a fantastic friend and support to my family, she's always been there. My sister is very close to her and when my sister was getting engaged Susan gave her her own engagement ring as she has no daughter, she's that kind.

Susan's mum Margaret developed Polycystic Kidney Disease and went on dialysis when I was in High School. My Mum and Susan set up a branch of the British Kidney Patients Association as there was no local one and raised shed loads of money. Margaret had 2 transplants which both sadly failed and she died after a long struggle with the disease whilst only in her 60's.

Susan and her brothers were both tested as PKD is an inherited disease, both brothers were clear but Susan tested positive, in 2003 her kidneys began to fail and Susan went on dialysis. The last 5 years have been so incredibly tough for her family, Susan chose not to go on the transplant list because of what her own mother went through, so every night she would hook up her bags and dialyse through the night, living with a chronic disease takes a big toll on everyone but they were managing.

Over the last year, Susan has become increasingly unwell, she is unrecognizable from the woman she really is and has been unable to move around without a zimmer frame and when she goes out she needs one of them old lady scooter things, my mum is a dab hand and dismantling and re assembling them. Her quality of life has taken a complete nose dive. Her husband has had to give up their very successful business and now works part time locally and my mum goes in when he is at work.

Susan has spent the last 3 weeks in hospital, last week her heart stopped but she was resuscitated. She is so incredibly tired and yesterday when my mum went to see her, she told her of her decision to stop dialysis, she will only live for a week or two maximum without it.

She feels she doesn't want to just exist and that she has no quality of life, she will leave behind a husband, 2 sons one of whom's partner is expecting their first baby and my mum. I wonder how they feel. Numb, probably.

She's only 52.

14 comments:

Berthddu Suit said...

You were right Auntiegwen, that is so sad, I have tears in my eyes.

lisaq said...

I imagine numb is right on the money. Thoughts & prayers are with you all...

A Confused Take That Fan said...

Oh Auntie Gwen, how sad but how strong of her to decided enough is enough. I feel humbled...

Shirley said...

Hugs to you, love.

Cece said...

*gulping back tears* So so sad. I'm sorry. {{hugs}}

scrappysue said...

that's so sad. my thoughts are with you all

Mom/Mum said...

Oh Auntie Gwen, I am so sorry to read this. So sad. My thoughts are with you all.
I think you write so movingly and well about your life I've got an award for you over at my place. Come get it...

Laura said...

I don't know what to say! She sounds like a very brave woman, who knows exacly what she is doing. It's still very hard though.

TOM FOOLERY said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Katie said...

I'm so sorry. What a difficult decision for someone to have to make.

TOM FOOLERY said...

So sorry to hear about this Sweetie, my thoughts are with you and your friend TFx

Craze said...

That is so terribly sad and unfair. I'm so sorry for you and your family. HUGS

auntiegwen said...

Thank you all so very much for your kind words of support, it's very much appreciated.

Thank you to mom/mum for the award, I'm just so bad at putting them on due to my technological incompetence but I really do appreciate them xx

Val said...

Fark... what a courageous woman - and bravery amongst you all. Tragic stuff but hang in with her and shower her with love; sending some from me too- your mum will need loads too;
Thanks for your visit to mine - that black box thing.....phew