15th July 2020

Rebecca Livingston

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Rebecca will soon be walking down the aisle on her wedding day, making sure that her mum plays a big part in the special occasion. Although she passed away from lung cancer in 2018, her mum will be with Rebecca every step of the way, with Rebecca finding a very special way to remember her…

“Our mum was amazing. She was the glue to our family. She always put others first. She always had time for other people and always listened and gave great advice. She cared so much and loved having her friends and family around her and had the best laugh and was always smiling. Mum was also really musical, having the ability to turn every sentence into a song! It drove us crazy at times but it was so clever we always laughed.

She loved her grandchildren and lived for spending time with them. From playing practical jokes on them to singing songs she always knew how to hold their attention and they all adored her. She gave the best hugs, wiped away our tears and told us to be strong and that she would always be around keeping an eye on us. Mum was the strongest person I’ve ever known. She never wanted to know her prognosis. She went on a ‘let’s take each day at time’ attitude. She never once complained and made each day count.

Mum had had a cough for a while but otherwise was fit and healthy. She ran, played tennis, walked and ate healthy foods. So when we got the diagnosis it came as a massive shock as she was already at stage 4 and palliative. Initially she responded well to treatment but that changed, and the treatment plan changed. When that started to not work anymore Mum was referred for a trial. This was when Mum was at her worst health wise. She had awful effects to the trial drug but stuck with it until the trial consultant said the side effects were too severe for what effect the drug was having. This was difficult for Mum, but we had positive news in that the drug pembrolizumab was being used. This was a huge boost and Mum responded well to this.

Mum battled on for nearly four years. We still managed to go on family holidays to Center Parcs and even managed a trip to her holiday home in Spain in the year that she died. Although needing constant oxygen she was determined to visit all the usual bays we went to and we have wonderful memories of her making the most of her time there.

It was after October 2018 was when Mum really started to deteriorate. Her strength and determination got her to her oncology appointment even though she was barely able to walk as she wanted to speak to her consultant face to face with the hope there were other options. This was a really difficult appointment as it was then Mum’s consultant said it was time to stop the medication as they were no longer working. It was time for her to get looked after at home as it was her wish to stay at home if possible.

Mum passed away in December 2018 surrounded by her children, grandchildren and husband. Although devastated none of us could bear to see her suffer any longer. Our beautiful mum was no longer in pain or suffering.

The first year of Mum not being around has been a bit of a blur. It still doesn’t seem real that she isn’t here anymore. We will never stop grieving.

Everyone thinks their mum is great, but our mum was everything and more. Her unconditional love was never fading, and her laugh, smile and silly ways lives on in her children and grandchildren.

I’ll be getting married soon to my future husband Mikey, and we both decided we want Mum to be involved on our wedding day. After her lung cancer diagnosis she became an avid supporter of Roy Castle Lung Cancer Foundation as she knew how important the work, support and research the charity carries out is. That’s why we’re asking our friends and family to leave a donation for a wedding present instead of giving us gifts. It seems the perfect way for Mum to part of our day.

All Mum ever wanted was for me to meet the love of my life and to be happy. She will be on my mind throughout the day of our wedding, but I know she would not want us to be sad. She will be with me every step of the way. I know she would have loved Mikey and would be so immensely happy knowing I am finally getting my happily ever after.

We all will continue to support Roy Castle Lung Cancer Foundation as much as we can and will continue to do so, to continue Mum’s memory.”