The Syringe Driver



/ cancer

We should always question such practices such as the syringe drivers of the world, because a quote from one of the most reviled men in history could simply resurface under a new name but with the same outcome. “The more we do to you, the less you seem to believe we are doing it."

The Syringe Driver – A Release of Life via Subcutaneous Drug Infusion

“Sometimes a small, battery-operated pump called a syringe driver is used to give medication continuously under the skin for a period of time.”

-          The Syringe Driver


If a syringe driver was a human being, I’d imagine he would be an old silver haired, small friendly looking guy, with silver rimmed glasses, wearing an eerie smile as he smugly quoted Josef Mengele — “The more we do to you, the less you seem to believe we are doing it.”

Once many years ago my life was free from the outside world, I had a busy work life, family and many things going on as we all do.

That all changed dramatically when my beloved mother was diagnosed with cancer.

This is simply a short story of the timeline as I recount my thoughts, and short incidents, that populated my mother’s death — followed by a very hard look at the syringe driver’s role in hastening and depriving my mum, and others of the spirituality of life.

If you have been through cancer, you will surely have encountered the syringe driver. My experience of it is from the Liverpool Care Pathways and things may have changed, but after reading recent comments by an esteemed doctor, who stated its worse, who knows!

Sending heartfelt blessings to all those who have walked this path filled with such sadness and misery but the only parting gift I can bestow upon you is this – they, regardless of age, race, gender or nationality — are free.

Free from pain, torment and suffering. Free from family struggles, jealousies or worries.

Free and if all is true as is told within the bibles of many faiths — in the hands of the Lord.

The book is for my mother, Sue – may God have you forever wrapped up tight in loving arms until we meet again. Xxx

-          Silvia

It all began in 2007, the weather was hot and I was at work when the phone rang, it seemed unusually loud, was that a premonition of something bad, who knows, I answered it “Hello, Steffi, how’s you? WHAT!”

Things changed that day forever, Steffi my older sister had just told me mum was ill and had been lying for months, and she had cancer!

(I guess hindsight is a thing bathed in tragedy because we all use it to say, how if we knew, we would have done something different, we all wish to go back but we cannot! Instead, we punish ourselves daily, reflecting how things might have been different if we had done this or done that — All natural but all painful, especially — when faced with looking back on someone’s life.)

We raced to Weston Park where she was, I remember nearly fainting as I saw that beautiful lady, laid on that bed covered in tubes, her big blue eyes looking distant and frightened. Searching for something as she scanned the room and then widening as she saw me approach. Her voice was croaking as she uttered, “Silvia!”

(I hugged her that day, the biggest and longest of hugs. An embrace brimming with love and a deep connection — a hug of pure love. A mother and daughter hug.)

Mum was in a bad way the nurses said, her voice was so weak I could have cried.

(Seeing her so weak was shocking! A strong willed women broken by such a disease made my blood boil. I was seething inside, angry at it choosing her, choosing her out of millions. It’s a monster, why us!)

Steffi was there, my lovely Steffi, my strength. Steffi was older and always around. I looked at her sat across from me, the pain etched all over her face, trying resolutely not to show it. We each held mums hands, gently squeezing her soft hands as we tried to maintain sad smiles as we spoke softly, with tears slowly streaming down from our water-filled eyes.

(I can remember that day so clearly, so vivid it still makes me cry. A soft silence broken only by the occasional words, and magnified exponentially, by the silent exchanges eye contact makes with one another through tear-filled eyes. That day we all shared an incredible tear filled exchange through just looking deep within each other’s eyes; words can do no justice in helping to recreate it. An intense soul bearing exposé. A moment of surreal silence in such a noisy hospital wing, which still gives me the shivers when I reflect – a moment I treasure.)

We stayed like that for two of the most painful hours of my life, the pain of seeing our rock so fragile and weak, the tubes fastened to her thin arms like something out of a science fiction film, the noise from the ward, the smell of hospitals, the stress but more frighteningly the big C.

(Cancer seems to be something to happen to others, others it picks not you or family! When its pickled fingers reach out for you or family as it had done to us – a sense of disbelief strikes! Why, why has that beast chosen us! Why, we are good people!)

A link to my new book, all sales goes towards going to Lourdes — my mum loved that place.

Thanks for reading this far! :)

Silvia Xxx

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