My incredibly beautiful, vibrant, amazing and brilliant mother passed away at about 22:30 on Monday night, October 12, 2020. Linda (a.k.a. Laura) Lubitz Dunlap. She was an extremely youthful 73. She was in the RUH here in Bath, in the Waterhouse ward. She had been receiving palliative care for a couple of days, not enough. My father, who has been with her for 54 years, was by her side. He kept repeating "Fly away, like the most beautiful bird." i hope she heard him.
She died of ovarian cancer, although there are contributing factors that i will mention below. i'm not sure, but i think that many participants here are familiar with at least part of her history battling this terrible disease. She was diagnosed in 2017. She was BRCA-1 positive, and so am i. She survived to help me - while undergoing chemo herself - through two major risk-reducing operations: my ovaries and fallopian tubes were removed via laparotomy, and then i had a double mastectomy.
The coroner listed ovarian cancer, biliary sepsis, bowel obstruction (by cancer) and liver metastases as causes of death, but this fatal outcome was drastically hastened and perhaps caused by a Covid-19 diagnosis several months ago. It meant that my mother was denied treatment for almost 6 months, and the cancer was allowed to metastasise enormously.
And a couple of weeks ago, she was transported to London for a procedure to place a stent (really two stents) in her liver, to drain the bilirubin. This seemed like the only thing to be done, as the the liver metastases made chemotherapy impossible, and my mother had become platinum-resistant. This procedure succeeded in draining the bilirubin, but the release of the bile sent her kidneys into near-failure, and fluid began to fill her lungs. She had an infection. as well. She became dreadfully swollen, though her face remained the same, still beautiful, and she grew ever weaker. She was transported from the Royal Free Hospital in Hampstead to the RUH in Bath on Friday, and by the time she arrived, her condition had deteriorated so much that we had to face the fact that she was never coming home. She was in a great deal of pain, but they finally got the palliative care meds right - lots of morphine - and the end, i can only hope, was painless.
i feel like i have lost the meaning of my life. You can read a very succinct tribute to my mother on my father's facebook page: facebook.com/charley.dunlap1