Well, as you will have seen from my Twitter/Brightkite updates in the left panel, Billy and Raji’s mum, Rani has passed away after losing her battle with cancer.

This was the latest crisis that had hit us – well, her sudden worsening, and I simply haven’t had a chance to write properly about it before now.

Since Christmas she had been having more pain and was told that the cancer was very aggressive, and then she was admitted to hospital whilst they ran tests, tried to alleviate her pain and did radiotherapy on the tumour in her neck. Then Billy and Raji had a call last week, telling them that there was an emergency and to go down to see her fast.

She had been told she had a bowel obstruction but was too weak for life-saving surgery, so it was felt she would not live long. By the next morning, the blockage turned out to be a twist of the gut, which managed to untwist and the immediate emergency was over. However there was a lot of concern over how weak she was and the pain she had, and we started to think things didn’t look good. More tests were being done but things were stable, so Billy and Raji came back home and on Monday, Raji started his new job, though was continuing with the evening bar work for this week to cover staff shortage.

On Monday night Billy was told that Rani was still getting weaker but that his aunt would go and see on the Tuesday what the situation was. On Tuesday, she advised Billy to try and get down again, so he booked a flight for early Wednesday morning to see how things stood. So on Tuesday night, Billy packed a bag, tidied up some loose ends at home, and then was about to go back to work to write an urgent GP referral letter, when the phone rang. Rani’s bowel was blocked again and she was getting very much weaker and not expected to last the night.

So Billy phoned Raji at the bar and advised him to get home straight away so they could drive down immediately. Raji didn’t even pack a bag. This was about 9.15pm and they were gone and just hoping they’d get there in time.

They did. They stayed with their mum and she had moments of clarity and others too clouded by pain and drugs, but she appeared to be stabilising. On Wednesday morning, they spoke to the doctor who said that she was far too weak for any further chemotherapy, which would not have any significant effect anyway. The worry was that there was nothing else that could be done really, other than keeping her as comfortable as possible, and we knew it was just a matter of time. This was confirmed (for Billy and I) when she was later moved in to a side room, and off the ward.

Rani finally passed away at about 4am on Thursday, with both her sons at her side. Billy called me to tell me and I really wished I could have been there to cuddle them both and help them through the awful few days to come, making arrangements. Instead I’ve just managed as best I can to support them through phonecalls and doing anything I can at this end, such as keeping people informed, from friends and relatives, to employers. (Who have all been outstandingly supportive.)

It seems impossible to remember this time last year, preparing for Rani to move in with us after having surgery to remove the first round of the cancer! In fact by looking at all the posts about her, I can see how much this awful disease took over!

Arrangements are still being finalised but the funeral will be Friday 20th February – next week, and then hopefully she can rest peacefully at last.

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