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My mum, the miraculous Minion

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Hi everyone.

I have been AWOL from my blog, Twitter and the TV screen for the past couple of weeks. I’ve also been absent from my building site and pretty much every other aspect of my ‘normal’ life, too.

Instead, I’ve been by my mother’s side, almost nonstop, since Sunday the 2nd of August. She had a spinal operation on July 30th. It was a very necessary op; the risk of having it meant she could end up in a wheelchair for the rest of her life, but without it there’d be no ‘could’ about it. She would have definitely lost the use of her legs, and so she felt the risk was worth taking. The good news is the spinal operation went very well. I went to visit her the day after the operation (she has no recollection of this at all now) and she seemed tired but well. This was Friday.

Sunday morning I awake to find two missed calls and messages from the hospital asking me to call them as my mum has deteriorated in the night. I get straight in the car and over to the hospital where my mum is in the high dependency intensive care unit. They stopped me going over to where I can see her unconscious and hooked up to (what looked like) a tangle of tubes and wires. They say I can return shortly but we need to have a talk first.

I’m taken to a little room, obviously a ‘relative’s room’ like I’ve seen in films and on Casualty. I’m left there alone for what seemed like an age but was probably only a few minutes. A sofa, two chairs and a box of pre-prepared tissues for company.

The doctor and nurse return to tell me mum’s organs are shutting down. Lungs, kidneys, liver and heart. They tell me it’s an hour by hour situation. It really could go either way but with her being 80, diabetic, and a list of other reasons, it would be a good idea to contact family members. All my siblings are in America.

Crash. Inside I’ve hit a brick wall at 100mph. This can’t be. Okay, well it must be. I can see it with my own eyes. I see the nurses bringing new bags of blood for her as they smile pityingly and sympathetically as I stay by her side hour after hour. She wakes, I speak with her. She is very weak but knows I’m there. They fit her with a special type of oxygen mask which resembles a diver’s helmet and helps her to breathe. I keep everything from her at this time as I know that her being frightened could make things worse. I keep up the act and keep smiling and making little jokes so she feels all is normal and this is just a small infection she needs to rest from. She looks up at me and asks in her tiny, weak voice “nothing drastic’s going to happen, is it?”. I almost crack but, instead, stay strong.

“Don’t be silly, mum. You just need to rest, you’re doing great!” – I felt terrible lying to her but had to just wait.

Hours later a different doctor and nurse asked me back to the relative’s room. They said she was being ‘very heavily supported’ after being resuscitated. The breathing machine was up to 80% and if she kept going in that direction then the only two options would be to either let nature take its course or for her to be hooked up to a life support machine which would render her paralysed and unconscious and only offer her a small percentage of survival. They said I should speak to my family and find out what we thought she would want to do if and when it came to it.

I went outside and called my brother and his wife. I held it together as I apologised for having to give them this news. I had been holding it together all day. Finally, I broke down. I just wanted my mum back at home. I couldn’t believe this was really happening. My brother phoned my other brother and sister as I headed back to the ward.

Back in 1998 my father had gone into hospital for a heart bypass operation. He had, like mum, said it was a risk worth taking and, like mum, was looking forward to the new lease of life it was offering. Sadly, he never came out but died with hope in his heart. All of this came back to haunt me as I sat by her side. It had niggled me prior to her going in but I put those thoughts aside and now, here I was, preparing myself for the worst.

After a very long day my mum said I looked tired and should go home to get some sleep. I went back to her house and slept for a few hours. When I returned she had slightly improved though they were still talking about the prospect of moving her to another hospital for kidney dialysis, although that in itself carried hefty risks. I suddenly felt like a penny had dropped in my mind.

Mum’s improving! Of course! What was I thinking? Why had I just accepted what the medical team had said? They were speaking with the knowledge they had but there was one thing they didn’t know. My mum! My mum is feisty, strong, a battler. They had been seeing her as a frail, little old lady but I knew that wasn’t her. I just knew she had to pull through so I went into (almost) full denial that anything could go wrong.

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I stayed with her making her smile. She didn’t have the energy to laugh but I could tell her spirits were lifted. I pointed out the resemblance between her oxygen ‘helmet’ and a ‘Minion’. Minions are characters from the children’s film ‘Despicable Me’. This amused her. She said I ought to take a picture of her and send it to my siblings so it would make them smile and reassure them she’s okay as she still has her sense of humour. “Umm, really mum? You don’t think it’s a little poor taste to be taking pics of you like this? Although you’re fine it may make them worry”. She insisted. I found a picture of a Minion and put them side by side with the caption ‘spot the difference’! My brothers and sister appreciated it and it made them laugh, just as mum had said it would.

I kept my emails to my sister and brothers upbeat and light whilst keeping them informed every step of the way. I gave regular updates on Facebook for mum’s other family and friends, but I was very careful not to let on how bad it had been as I didn’t want to scare people like her sister, in Australia, who were too far away to do anything but worry.

My sister decided to come over from America. By this time mum had stopped being ‘herself’. She was saying strange things like the computer gave her a bed bath, she was also hallucinating. The doctors said there was a possibility she’d had a stroke (we later learned she’d had a ‘mini stroke’) and she may have some brain damage but they wouldn’t be able to do a scan to check until she was off the intensive care ward. I had to call in to work and get the day off as, otherwise, my sister would have arrived to this distressing situation and been on her own with her for several hours waiting for me to return. QVC were wonderful. Karen, our scheduler, had already been struggling with cover due to presenter sickness but she couldn’t have been more supportive. It meant so much. I was able to meet with my sister and prepare her before she saw mum.

Days went by and mum, gradually, made improvements. Finally the minion mask was removed. The doctors were amazed at her miraculous turnaround! Every day a little more ‘mum’ showed up until, finally, she was discharged from intensive care back to the regular ward. We were so relieved and amazed. We had first prepared ourselves to lose her completely and then, perhaps an even harsher blow, to lose the mum we knew but get this new one who just wasn’t really our mum. She got through it all! She’s back to her old self!

She was desperate to come home. There was a waiting list for home help, however, that would’ve meant leaving her in the hospital for another two weeks. I had booked two weeks off a while back in order to push forward with my house so decided to get her home. My sister had to fly back to the States the morning after the evening mum came back, so it’s been me and mum back at hers for a week now. I really missed my sister as we had become a great little team of three together.

Mum is doing brilliantly. She can’t do much for herself yet, apart from feeding herself and walking a little with a wheeled walker when necessary, but she’s home and it’s my privilege to be her nurse. We’ve got a bit of a routine going now and we love spending time together. Sometimes it’s hard to see her struggle and taking so many different medications to keep her going but it’s the very best it can be and every day there’s improvement.

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My mum is very lucky to live in warden-assisted housing. It’s a lovely little community of houses with an incredible resident manager, Irene, who has lived there caring for people for over four decades. I know she is in safe hands and she has emergency pull cords in every room for when I go back to work this weekend. I will still be staying with her for as long as she needs me but nipping off to work, too.

I’ve missed you all so much. I think I’ll feel very nervous the first time I go back on air, like it’s my first day all over again. It feels like a lifetime ago since I was there even though I did a couple of shifts during the early part of all this. Be gentle with me! I’ll probably be a bit rusty!

I’ll just finish this extraordinarily long blog by saying don’t give up. Miracles can happen. They didn’t for my dad but it was better he went believing in them than going defeated before he even reached the finish line. Keep hope, keep smiling and make the most of every day.

Thank you for reading, I’ll see you at the weekend!

Lots of love,

Catherine xx

91 Comments

  1. Alison Freestone August 18, 2015 at 11:30 am -  Reply

    Sending love to you & your mum Catherine ,had tears in my eyes reading this ..I miss my own mum so much Xxx

    • janine churchward August 22, 2015 at 4:02 pm -  Reply

      Its so good to hear your mum is getting better sending my love and best wishes to you and your mum xx

  2. Anne derwin August 18, 2015 at 12:07 pm -  Reply

    dear Catherine
    i have just read about your mum and it has prompted me for the first time in my life to reply to a total stranger but i have to say this, your mum is clearly a fighter and with gods will she will be around for many more years and you are right, you must never give up hope, even doctors can be wrong.
    make the most of every minute you can with your family, make memories you will cherish for ever. xxxxxxxxx

  3. sue lee August 18, 2015 at 12:35 pm -  Reply

    A wonderfully up lifting blog! Best wishes to your mum & you. I had a simliar experience & I remember the fear almost takes your breathe away. I noticed that she had her toenails painted, that made me smile!!! Sue Lee xx

  4. Yvonne partington August 18, 2015 at 12:40 pm -  Reply

    WOW Catherine so pleased to ere your mums ok I’ve just read your story and I cannot stop crying you keep strong Catherine and most of all hope you will be feeling better soon take care xxx

  5. Belinda August 18, 2015 at 1:14 pm -  Reply

    Catherine I’m so sorry your mums be poorly,I hope she gets well soon keep up the good work looking after her,all the best

  6. Jackie Elliott August 18, 2015 at 1:20 pm -  Reply

    Catherine, I am so pleased for you and your family. Having lost my Mum 3 years ago I know what you must have been going through. The power of positive thought can be amazing. I think your Mum look fabulous – I love her pedicured toes!!
    Here’s to her making a speedy recovery.
    Big love
    Jackie xx

  7. jilly August 18, 2015 at 1:27 pm -  Reply

    Very best wishes Catherine to you and your mum. Mums are very Special peope, I lost mine far too young. Treasure your memories of your dad and as always your time at work will pan out I’m sure.
    Enjoy the time you have with mum and others in the family. Your new home, and job will be there for some time to come.
    Take care.

  8. Christine milnes August 18, 2015 at 2:08 pm -  Reply

    I am so pleased your mum has turned a corner as a Christian I believe in prayer and prayer does work.god bless to all your family.

  9. Davina Morris August 18, 2015 at 2:25 pm -  Reply

    Oh Catherine. what a remarkable blog. Your Mum is brilliant to come through all that and what an angel you are for being there to support her & never giving up hope. It is good your mum is home & progressing well i hope. I guess your own house building is the least of your worries at the moment, but i’m sure you will get back to it soon. My good wishes to both you & your mum and some special hugs for you both.

    Davina xxx

  10. Pebbles August 18, 2015 at 2:27 pm -  Reply

    Oh my lovely. She is a tough lady like you. Give her hugs and kisses from us xxxx

  11. Helena Wilson August 18, 2015 at 2:29 pm -  Reply

    Hi Catherine, well what a story!! I’m so so glad your Mum is much better now. It must have been so frightening for you all. Must be difficult with your siblings being in the US, but glad things turned out well. Your Mum should be so proud of you. You are an incredible woman. Best wishes to you all, take care. Love Helena xx

  12. Kim August 18, 2015 at 2:49 pm -  Reply

    Catherine, I am so glad that things are looking up for your mum and yourself; you have been through such a rough time, and I’m sure it is largely down to you, keeping her spirits up, that have helped your mum make the marvellous recovery she has. My mum has deteriorated rapidly, due to osteoarthritis, over the last year and, like your mum, now has to use a walker, so I know how hard it is watching your once fit and healthy mumget to that stage. Mum is having surgery on her knees in October, so obviously that will be a help. Keep smiling and enjoying time with your mum – you’re missed on TV and we’ll be glad to see you back! Take care, love Kim xx

  13. John Clinton August 18, 2015 at 3:12 pm -  Reply

    I am should that many people will say this Catherine ( been there).I was there in February of this year. My dad had been in nursing home for fours with Alzheimer and had gone into coma for 4 days and like your mam pulled through and was fine other 7 days ,but when into second coma and sadly he passed away three days later on the 9th Feb. Hopefully your mam has few more years a head of her Care Take Catherine .

  14. Julia vernon August 18, 2015 at 3:38 pm -  Reply

    What an amazing story, so glad your mum pulled through. X

  15. Joan August 18, 2015 at 3:39 pm -  Reply

    Catherine just read your blog with tears in my eyes. So glad your mums on the mend. Have been through similar experiences so know how hard this must have been for you. You will be fine when you go back on air,always professional. Take care and hope your mum continues to improve.X

  16. Alison August 18, 2015 at 3:50 pm -  Reply

    Oh Catherine what an awful time you have had. It must have been so distressing to see your poor mum like that, especially with your family being so far away. Four years ago my mum was critically ill in hospital and the consultant took us into one of the family room telling us to prepare for the worse. Thankfully she rallied round and us still with us but l can understand what you all went through. My thoughts are with you and your family.
    Love Alison xxx

  17. Ann Davidson August 18, 2015 at 4:24 pm -  Reply

    Oh bless, sending love to you and your mum. Looking forward to seeing you again soon Q world has missed you.

  18. caroline knight August 18, 2015 at 5:07 pm -  Reply

    Am so pleased that your mum is doing well,what a really hard time uve all been through.Thankyou for sharing such a personal story.My mums going through bad health at the moment,its so hard because although shes 75 in my mind shes still young,working,looking after me and my brother,its hard to accept old age with all its ailments and seeing someone so independant look so vunerable.I wish you and your mum goodluck and am sure having you there was a huge comfort.Am sure tv Catherine is exactly the same as real life Catherine…pretty,confident and lots of good karma.Keep positive and am sure like soo many other viewers you are wished the very bestxxxx

  19. Judith lennon August 18, 2015 at 5:26 pm -  Reply

    Hi Catherine

    So very sorry to hear the tough time you and your family have been through. What a wonderful fighter your Mim is! No one knows until they have been through these situations just how terrifying they are and having to tell the ones we love that it’s just a little set back they are experiencing. I know I’ve been there. I hope your Mum continues to improve and remember to take care of yourself too as the carers have had a rough time also. My thoughts are with you. Judith x

  20. Susan nation August 18, 2015 at 5:27 pm -  Reply

    Thank you for sharing with us,your mum’s struggle and recovery. You must have felt very lonely and desperate. She and your family are lucky to have you. Best wishes to your mum for her continuing recovery, please take of yourself. Look forward to seeing you back.

  21. Lynn August 18, 2015 at 5:32 pm -  Reply

    Wishing your feisty mum a steady and complete recovery!! Best wishes to you too Catherine it must have been awful for you.xx

  22. Jane Hardy August 18, 2015 at 6:22 pm -  Reply

    Reading this with tears in my eyes I lost my at age 66 yrs 8 weeks after an op on her tummy You only get one mum so make the most of her as time goes so fast So glad she is on the mend , strong willed lady bless her All my Love Jane xxx

  23. Elaine August 18, 2015 at 9:12 pm -  Reply

    Catherine I am so pleased your mum is getting better .It made me think about my mum and all our difficulties we faced. Fingers crossed for a speedy recovery. Missed you at qvc and on twitter but family first x

  24. Jane ivey August 18, 2015 at 9:30 pm -  Reply

    Oh Catherine, what an awful time for you and your Mum. So happy to hear she is on the mend: what an incredibly strong lady. You must feel shattered, holding it all together on your own. Be kind to yourself now; you are obviously a wonderful daughter. Looking forward to having you back on screen. Jx

  25. Hester Tulloch August 18, 2015 at 9:43 pm -  Reply

    Your Mum is very obviously a very strong lady and has a very strong daughter in you Catherine. I know you are taking care of Mum but never forget to take care of you as well love to you both xx

  26. christine jones August 18, 2015 at 10:02 pm -  Reply

    Hi Catherine
    Oh what a heartfelt and moving blog with a tremendous account of triumph over adversity and faith and hope and love and determination… What an incredible testimony… moved me to tears so beautifully written and with that element of laughter being the best medicine…God bless your mum in a million, your mum in a minion!!!!! XXX
    Whar a sweetheart she is And A FIGHTER to boot .. God s been with her and you too. His love for us is amazing!!!

    She has been truly blessed with wonderful family and a precious and loving daughter in you as you now care for her as your sister has returned home… Such a privilege to care for your mum…Just take time for yourself so you are strong to look after your mum..

    Send her my love and prayers as I do for you too Catherine..

    With love

    Christine xxxxxx

  27. Lorna August 18, 2015 at 11:35 pm -  Reply

    Dear Catherine, so sorry to learn you have had such a distressing time. Your mum is extremely fortunate to have had you at her side bringing loving support and your special way of being in her hour of need. I’m sure that is why she has made such a marvellous recovery.
    Like you I lost my dad and my mum is very precious so I can empathise with your situation just a little bit.
    I do hope your mum continues to improve. Take care of yourself and your mum, God bless you both, L xx

  28. Jelena August 18, 2015 at 11:38 pm -  Reply

    So sad to read what you have all been through – have been there having sadly lost both my parents – but so pleased for you all that your mum is slowly improving. Wishing her continued progress, and best to you all. Take care. x

  29. Debra Leigh August 18, 2015 at 11:50 pm -  Reply

    Hi Catherine – our mums are amazing creatures, made of strong stuff! So pleased your mum is on the mend and brilliant that u have been able to be such a great support for her – my heart goes out to you on this as my mum has been on what seems like a constant run of going into hospital, then respite, then home again over the past 3 years – we finally will be completing on her new flat on Friday but she will have to wait another few weeks to live there once the care is available for her to be in her new home rather than a nursing home – we’ll have to send each other positive vibes for our lovely mums to stay healthy for a long, long time – looking forward to meeting up at QVC for Cozee Home soon x

  30. Fran Whitehead August 18, 2015 at 11:57 pm -  Reply

    Hi Catherine this is the first time on your blog. I was apprehensive about getting to the end of your blog. What an amazing outcome. Life must be hectic at the moment…but I’m sure you wouldn’t have it any other way. I like you believe it is a privilege, every day is a blessing. Best wishes to Mummy Minion ;) x

  31. Shona August 19, 2015 at 12:19 am -  Reply

    Dear Catherine, I don’t normally leave comments but your blog really touched me. I wanted to give your mum lots of love and get well wishes. She’s one tough cookie and you’re a lovely daughter!

  32. Sadie August 19, 2015 at 12:30 am -  Reply

    Dear Catherine, So relieved that your mum is coming through this. It has been very traumatic, and you have coped remarkably. I will be thinking and praying for you and your mum, sending you both ( and the rest of your family) all the love in the world. xxx
    p.s. I am sure you will be fine on air. I can understand what you say about being rusty, but you’ve just come through so much. We will all be rooting for you. Look after yourself and Mum. xxx

  33. Laila Ann August 19, 2015 at 1:35 am -  Reply

    Wishing your mum a speedy recovery Catherine, what a roller coaster you & your family have been on emotionally, I know that you lose a bit of confidence when that happens, my dad has Parkinson’s he got it at 29 and it is now very advanced so is frail & weak he has it 43 years (all my life!). We all love seeing you on QVC so please don’t feel nervous – you are fab at your job, big virtual hug L xox

  34. Marie McGee August 19, 2015 at 1:38 am -  Reply

    What a lovely ending to a frightening story. My thoughts are with your Mum and you and your family. Hope she continues to get better every day. You are one of my favourite qvc presenters so come back soon when your mum is being taken care of x

  35. Annie Ansell August 19, 2015 at 3:17 am -  Reply

    My sister was truly amazing. She kept her sense of honor and continues to care for Mum whilst keeping her laughing and pampering her. She is feeding her amazing meals as well as painting her nails. Such a tower of strength!

  36. Christine Stanborough August 19, 2015 at 6:06 am -  Reply

    What a lucky couple of ladies you are to have each other. Lots and lots of love and hugs to you both xx

  37. Gail August 19, 2015 at 6:38 am -  Reply

    Hi Catherine and lovely Mum (you didn’t mention lovely Mum’s name). Wow, bless you both, what a horrendous time you have both had. What a fighter your mum is Catherine, although I’m certain she fought just as hard for you as she did for herself.

    I wish Mum a full recovery as possible and send a big, gentle hug. Love the photos, absolutely brilliant. A good sense of humour definitely helps. She truly is ‘one in a minion’ – couldn’t resist xxx

    I think your Mum and Dad made very brave decisions re their ops Catherine.

    Lots of love and speedy recovery to lovely Mum x

  38. Barbara Burrows August 19, 2015 at 9:19 am -  Reply

    Thanks everyone for your kind wishes. I am
    Very much better, having best of care from my angel Catherine and the great support from you all

  39. Sue Potter August 19, 2015 at 10:34 am -  Reply

    Sending love and best wishes to you and your Mum x

  40. jennifer cann August 19, 2015 at 11:06 am -  Reply

    So pleased your mum is doing well and thank goodness you didnt give up on her . take care both of you.

  41. AMANDA PORTER August 19, 2015 at 11:44 am -  Reply

    Hi Catherine, I am so glad to hear your mum is improving daily. That is such an awful thing to have happened. You must have been so scared. Look after yourself too and all will be well.
    Love Amanda x

  42. Jean Pugh August 19, 2015 at 12:58 pm -  Reply

    Hi Catherine,
    Oh you poor soul what a worry with your Mum. It is lovely to hear she has pulled through, she must be strong in body and mind.

    It was nice that you were able to be with her through all this. I expect you do miss your Sister now she has returned to the States.

    I hope your Mum improves day by day bless her. And you take care of yourself.

    Love Jean XX

  43. Carol August 19, 2015 at 3:09 pm -  Reply

    Your Mum is lucky to have such a loving & caring daughter and family. You are her angel, and just as she cared for you when you were younger it is now your privilege to care for her. Be strong, take a deep breath in…. and take good care of yourself, Mum needs you more than ever. Xx

  44. Marilyn Cameron August 19, 2015 at 3:19 pm -  Reply

    Catherine. .iv just read abt you and your mum.bless what a fantastic lady she is….mums are so special. .

    God bless.

    Marilyn. X

  45. CHRIS August 19, 2015 at 4:49 pm -  Reply

    hello Catherine, have never posted any comments to anyone, but after reading your blog, felt that i just wanted to say how happy i was to be able to read at the end, that your mum has come through such a traumatic time,….. back to her old self (excuse me i should have said….young self!!). And i’m sure having you by her side through it all was the biggest and best medicine she could have. Even though our minds may not always be fully aware that our loved ones are nearby, our heart and soul are fully aware and we hang onto the love and the courage that passes from one to another……. and thats what your mum hung on to. Your mum is so lucky to have you and feels it every time she looks at you …… just as you feel equally lucky to be by your mum’s side as she continues to heal and recover .. with your help each day.
    Love can certainly move mountains. xxxxxx

  46. Jacqui Salt August 19, 2015 at 5:02 pm -  Reply

    Dear Catherine, oh my heart just went out to you reading your blog– yes upsetting to read & l could feel my heart beating faster, but when you said ” they didn’t know ‘your mum’, but you did l knew what you meant, as that was me a 2 years back– inside stubborn & determined, as apparently if I had left someone phoning the doctor, ( I have a massive phobia of doctors & hospitals), any later & getting me straight to hospital they said I was about 2 hours from probably during. So like your mum it’s the person inside that they don’t know, that is quietly saying” I will beat this’ & she did. Well DONE Catherine, as you were a mager part of it, let’s hope & pray good luck continues. Will be with you at the weekend, supporting you. Take Care, both of you. xx

  47. Pamela Ambrose August 19, 2015 at 5:31 pm -  Reply

    I read your blog with tears in my ewyes. My mother died 16 years ago after a very short illness and yet I can remember it as though
    it was yesterday. She lived with me and I adored her.

    Pleased be brave and pray that she will soon be back to her
    usual self. Mothers are worth fighting for and you clearly
    have done that. Take care.

  48. loraine August 19, 2015 at 7:10 pm -  Reply

    Oh dear what a time you have had with everything it’s always very worrying but luckily things are looking better for you I had a very rough time of it a few years ago my mum died suddenly and I then had a miscarriage because of the shock and then my dad died his health wasnt good anyway I think he missed her though so all this happened in 18 months was so lucky to have my daughter at the time and a good husband but I always feel cheated because I was only 27 at the time anyway good luck to you and hope your mum keeps improving love Loraine xxx

  49. Linda August 19, 2015 at 7:32 pm -  Reply

    Dear Catherine,
    Just finished reading your blog, I am so glad that your Mother is making a recovery. You must be so happy that you could have been there for her. I am sure that it was because of you that she made this recovery.Although it my be slow I am sure she will get there in the end.
    I will look forward to seeing you again on the Q. I always enjoy reading your blogs with all your news. I hope your house will be finished soon for you. God Bless you and your Mum and look after both of you.

    Love to both of you
    From Linda xxxxx

  50. Jackie Hubbucks August 19, 2015 at 7:54 pm -  Reply

    Hi Catherine
    I am writing this with tears welling & a lump in my throat. I was so sad to hear your Mum was so poorly after going through such a big operation and even more so when she deteriorated. If it were my Mum I would’ve been there 24/7 too. My Father died in hospital and it haunts me all the time that I couldn’t save him , had I have known he was going to pass I wouldn’t have left his side ,I have never told this to anyone, so I do apologise, but it is so important for a loved one to have someone with them by their side , ( but it was impossible to foresee as he deteriorated so fast ) .
    Your Mum truly is a fighter and thank God for that , and you obviously get your strength and courage from her .
    Halfway through reading your blog I was so willing there to be a happy outcome and as I read on I was so thrilled she came out of the rough , and won the battle.
    Everyone has a story and my heart goes out to all.
    All the best for the future , oh and she did look like a Minion , so cute x

  51. Fiona August 20, 2015 at 2:27 pm -  Reply

    Hi Catherine

    My thoughts are with you and your family. As you said in your blog, your mum is a feisty and she sounds a wonderful lady. Wishing her a speedy recovery. Keep positive.

    Love and best wishes
    Fiona ❤️

  52. Gill August 20, 2015 at 9:44 pm -  Reply

    Dearest Catherine, so sad to read your blog, but glad there is a happy ending. Your Mum is a wonderful lady, I hope her good health continues. I looked after my own Mum for 3 years until she passed away five years ago. She, like your own Mum, was a feisty and headstrong lady. Just one thing in all of this, remember to look after yourself too. I know caring for elderly relatives can be exhausting, but try to get plenty of sleep. Look forward to seeing you back at the Q. In the meantime I hope your Mum continues to get better. Take care, sending big hug and love. Gill

  53. Nikki August 20, 2015 at 9:59 pm -  Reply

    Hi Catherine. I wish you and your Mum continued and sustained improvement. My own Mum came out of Hospital recently, having suffered pneumonia and heart failure with other complications. It’s been a long and sometimes hard slog for Mum, my sister, me and the truly fabulous Hospital staff ,who could not have been more kind or have done more for her. Recovery takes longer and is slower with advanced years (Mum is 86) but she is very strong willed and determined and with everyone’s encouragement, she’s getting there. I’m a firm believer in having a positive outlook and in addition, Mum is looking forward to a holiday with her older sister in Spain – a great incentive to press on with great nutrition and appropriate rest and care.

    You and your Mum have many more wonderful memories to make, please both focus on that and press ever onward. I’ll be watching when you return and sending you the best wishes. I’m sure you will be fine as you are surrounded by friends and support….and us!

    With love,

    Nikki.

  54. Lisa Carter August 20, 2015 at 10:06 pm -  Reply

    So sorry to hear that your mom has been so poorly but glad that she is on the road to recovery….sending you all my very best wishes and take care love Lisa x

  55. beennie August 20, 2015 at 10:40 pm -  Reply

    So glad your mum is getting back to her old self , but remember to take care off yourself, your such a lovely person she is so lucky to have you. best wishes Beennie X

  56. Carol S August 20, 2015 at 11:44 pm -  Reply

    Hi ya Catherine . So sorry to hear what a hard time you and your mum have been going through. Glad to hear that she is well enough to return home and hope she continues to get better. I lost my mother three years ago when she was ninety five. She was in hospital quite a lot since she was about seventy but she always fought back. I know how hard it is to watch someone you love suffering. Wishing you and your mum good health in the future. Love Carol.x

  57. Catherine Huntley August 21, 2015 at 8:16 am -  Reply

    Dear Alison,

    Thank you for writing in. I’m so sorry about your mum. I hope your heart is filled with memories of her that help to ease the pain of loss.

    Sending you huge hugs and much love,

    Catherine xx

  58. Catherine Huntley August 21, 2015 at 8:23 am -  Reply

    Dear Anne,

    What a very kind message. Thank you so much for taking the time. Mum surprises me daily with how she has bounced back. She just needs a lot of help at the moment but we’ve got our little routine finely tuned. Going back to work will be a little daunting but I’ve made sure she will have everything she needs to hand while I’m out.

    I wish you and yours happiness, health and love.

    Love Catherine xx

  59. Catherine Huntley August 21, 2015 at 8:27 am -  Reply

    Dear Sue,

    I’m so sorry to hear that you have been through this, too. Very hard but it’s all about perspective. You sound like a very positive person. If you can stay positive then I think you can cope with just about everything, even those things which you never imagined you could deal with.

    It’s funny you mentioned my mum’s painted nails! I just had one colour with me in my work bag at my mums and it’s a gorgeous hot pink by Joan Collins. I treated mum to a full manicure and pedicure to make her feel a little more human after coming out of hospital. Now you can see her a mile off! Super bright nails! :-)

    I hope you are well and happy and thanks again.

    Love Catherine x

  60. Catherine Huntley August 21, 2015 at 8:50 am -  Reply

    Dear Yvonne,

    Bless your heart, didn’t mean to make you cry, sweet lady. Thank you so much for your kind message.

    We’re taking each day at a time and doing well. I’ve even got her on to healthy eating! Well, she has no choice as I’m making her food, ha ha. I’m only joking, I give her choices but encourage her to go for healthy options rather than sugary ones.

    Keep well & happy.

    Lots of love,

    Catherine x

  61. Catherine Huntley August 21, 2015 at 8:54 am -  Reply

    Hi Belinda,

    Thanks so much for your message. Every day there are little steps in the right direction. Must be all these good vibes people like you are sending our way :-)

    Take good care,

    Love Catherine xx

  62. Catherine Huntley August 21, 2015 at 9:23 am -  Reply

    Dear Jackie,

    I’m so sorry to hear about your dear mum. You never get over losing a parent, or anyone for that matter, but with time the happier memories overshadow the sadder ones.

    Thank you for noticing mums pedicure! In between all the other aspects of care I ensured I found time to give her a manicure and pedicure so she could feel a bit better after all that time spent in hospital gowns. She’s voluptuous so they didn’t offer much dignity but she had to wear them so her spinal wound could be accessed easily. I think the mani pedi reclaimed a little personal dignity :-)

    Thank you again for your kindness and sharing.

    Love Catherine xx

  63. Catherine Huntley August 21, 2015 at 9:28 am -  Reply

    Dear Jilly,

    I’m so sad to read you lost your mum and it’s especially sad when they go much too soon. I feel the same way about having lost my dad when I was still very young. There’s so many important things they miss and that’s hard but we can keep their memory alive by thinking and talking about them.

    I really appreciate your thoughtfulness and best wishes. I send you much love and a virtual hug.

    Take care,

    Love Catherine xx

  64. Catherine Huntley August 21, 2015 at 9:29 am -  Reply

    Hi Christine,

    I really appreciate you writing in. Thank you so much for your kind words.

    Sending heartfelt thanks and love your way,

    Catherine xx

  65. Catherine Huntley August 21, 2015 at 9:33 am -  Reply

    Dear lovely Davina,

    So kind of you to write in with your lovely words. Very characteristic of you to be kind and lovely. It means a lot.

    I do hope life is treating you well. I’m not on Twitter much at the moment, as you know, but I look forward to being back on QVC this weekend.

    Huge hugs coming your way!

    Love Catherine xx

  66. Catherine Huntley August 21, 2015 at 9:37 am -  Reply

    Hi Helena,

    Lovely to hear from you. Thanks for your kind wishes. You’re far too kind.

    Mum is doing as well as can be expected, little daily advances. Slowly but surely we will get there. My siblings wish they could be here, too, but it’s one of those downsides to having an ocean between us. I keep them updated with emails.

    I hope everything with you is well. Keep happy & healthy, lovely lady.

    Love Catherine xx

  67. Catherine Huntley August 21, 2015 at 9:56 am -  Reply

    Dear Kim,

    Thank you for writing in and for being so kind. I’m very sad to hear about your mum’s osteoporosis. I empathise with you and watching your mum getting weaker. I really hope you’ll write in again (to whichever of my blogs is the most current even if it’s not related) and let me know how she gets on after her knee operation.

    It’s so hard to see them going through these ops and I’m sure you’ve prepared yourself for the fact it’ll be one step forward, two steps back. I have to keep reminding myself of that regarding my mum’s spinal surgery. She went into hospital with a walking stick and came out with a walker barely able to stand but each day there’s a little progress.

    I’m sure you will be a great support to your mum. Don’t forget about yourself, too, though. I’m back to work tomorrow and as I type this there is a home help lady here showering my mum. As I’ve been doing everything for her it’s strange for me to be sitting down and taking a backseat. I had already prepared all of her clothes and towels etc and kept helping but she sweetly said that she is here for my mum but also for me to give me some relief. I’m going out to buy some shopping and that will be a nice little break. It’s those simple little moments where you can have time to think and get outside the bubble you’re in when caring for someone else.

    I’m wishing you and your mum the very best for the op and recovery. Thanks again for your kindness.

    Love Catherine xx

  68. mary murphy August 21, 2015 at 10:13 am -  Reply

    Hi cathrine so sorry to hear about your mum hope all is well you have lots of love and support from your qvc family take care best wishes mary xx

  69. Jane Flett August 21, 2015 at 12:16 pm -  Reply

    Hi Catherine, have just read your blog and wanted you to know that you are doing brilliantly. I know from experience that having a poorly Mum and worrying about other stuff as well is difficult, but it looks like you are doing a grand job with all of it. Don’t worry about your next time on air, we will all being routing for you and sending you lots of positive thoughts. Hope your Mum is back to full bloom soon, loved the minion pictures glad her sense of humour was in full swing even when she was poorly. Take care of yourself as well as your Mum. Best wishes Jane x

  70. sue August 21, 2015 at 11:18 pm -  Reply

    Hi Catherine , you sound like such a kind caring daughter .I am an RN and have seen so many pts go through a lot , and a strong will is powerful .Your mum has good sense of humour so it helps ,All good wishes for a speedy recovery ,

  71. Geraldine Crowley August 22, 2015 at 12:17 am -  Reply

    Hi Catherine am so glad your mum is doing so well. Times like this you realise how much your mum means to you and your family hope she has a speedy recovery and looking forward to seeing you back at qvc take care x

  72. Gillian August 22, 2015 at 9:56 am -  Reply

    Catherine, I’ve just read your blog. I’m so relieved your mum doing better. The bit where you wrote about the relatives room, 2 chairs & box of tissues brought it all back for me when me and my sister went through similar a few years ago. Mum didn’t make it and even now nearly 5 years on, oh what i wouldn’t give for just one more hour with mum. I love following you on Twitter & you’ve even replied to me on a couple of occasions. Sending my best to you and your mum. You’re a lovely person. Wishing you happier times ahead.

  73. Maria Stanley Harlow August 22, 2015 at 10:17 am -  Reply

    Hi Catherine, I have just read your blog. I am so sorry your Mum has been so poorly, I’m sure it has been a very difficult and emotional time! I am so pleased your Mum in getting better and I hope she continues to improve daily.
    It shows what an amazing and strong lady you your Mum is……….as are you! I must be the family genes!
    I send you, your Mum and your family all my best wishes!
    Love Maria

  74. Pam edgar August 22, 2015 at 11:04 am -  Reply

    Catherine what a super mam you’ve got I’m so glad your name on the mend your story brought me to tears and it all came back to me about my own mam but she couldn’t fight no longer this was 11yrs ago but its still so fresh in ,y mind to this day I still cry over her and I too lost my dad 32yrs ago they say life has to go on but its hard once parents ave gone cos you feel a part of you is missing any way must go and freshen up and dry my eyes and give my love to your mam and wish her a speedy recovery love to you and your lovely family x x

  75. Catherine Huntley August 22, 2015 at 5:33 pm -  Reply

    Dear John,

    My heart goes out to you for what you must’ve been through with your dear father. Gone but, I’m sure, never forgotten.

    Thank you for your message, see you soon on Twitter or the box.

    Love Catherine xx

  76. Catherine Huntley August 22, 2015 at 5:34 pm -  Reply

    Hi Julia,

    Thank you for writing in, so kind of you to take the time and very much appreciated.

    Love Catherine xx

  77. Catherine Huntley August 22, 2015 at 5:36 pm -  Reply

    Dear Joan,

    I’m very sorry to hear you’ve been through times like these. It’s lovely of you to write in with your kind words.

    I wish you happiness and health,

    Love Catherine xx

  78. Lynn Sutters August 22, 2015 at 5:37 pm -  Reply

    I am so pleased your Mum is doing well. Mums are very very special….. They give us unconditional love and no one could ever replace them. Well done you and your sister and I hope you spend many more happy days together xx

  79. Catherine Huntley August 22, 2015 at 5:38 pm -  Reply

    Dear Alison,

    I am so glad your mum pulled through and is still here today. It means a lot to me that you’ve shared. You must know exactly the mix of emotions we’ve been through.

    Wishing you many more happy times together,

    Love Catherne xx

  80. Catherine Huntley August 22, 2015 at 5:39 pm -  Reply

    Dear Ann,

    Thanks for your kind words. Today was my first day back and I was met with lots of hugs from my work friends and plenty of lovely tweets, not to mention all the sweet comments on here.

    I hope all is well with you,

    Love Catherine xx

  81. Catherine Huntley August 22, 2015 at 5:44 pm -  Reply

    Dear Caroline,

    Thank you for your lovely words. Also, thanks for sharing your own experience with your mum. I’m so sorry you’re having to go through it. It’s hard seeing them grow older, as you say, especially when they’re still very much in possession of their marbles.

    I’m sure she appreciated having a lovely, thoughtful daughter like you. Sending you both love and hugs.

    Love Catherine xx

  82. Viv August 23, 2015 at 8:44 am -  Reply

    My heart goes out to you. I cared for my mother for four and a half years when she lived with me with Alzheimers and I totally understand the feeling of panic when our Mum’s dont seem to be doing so well. Its very hard to watch anyone suffer and I know how helpless you must have felt, but be assured that your presence played a very large part in your mother’s recovery. It’s amazing the strength we get when we have to be strong even when we are falling apart inside. Well done you for being there for your mum and a big HURRAH to your Mum for being the strong woman she obviously is. Heart felt wishes to you and your Mum. Viv x

  83. janet August 24, 2015 at 1:31 pm -  Reply

    Just read this – I’m so glad your mum is doing well – she looks lovely and I can appreciate and know how worrying it is for those stood by the bed of a loved one – must have been agony for you – I know too well what it’s like – I lost my mum Oct 2013 and never a day goes by when I don’t think of her – look after her and make the most of every single day you have with her because you really don’t know what you’ve lost till they pass over. Take care and give her a big hug from me.

  84. Lisa August 25, 2015 at 2:50 pm -  Reply

    Dear Catherine reading your piece you wrote on your mum made me cry reading it I am so glad she’s getting better my mum died four years ago to cancer and I miss her very much she was my best friend to so Ian so pleased your mums on the mend also having a lovely daughter to help her on her way in getting there take care Lisa x

  85. Carole August 25, 2015 at 6:06 pm -  Reply

    Dear Catherine just read your blog so very pleased your lovely mum is on the road to recovery I send her my best wishes. So glad to see you back on QVC you are such a lovely down to earth person in fact one of my favourite presenters, and a fellow cat lover! All the best. Carole x

  86. Caroline Phillips August 27, 2015 at 7:11 pm -  Reply

    Hi Catherine, I’ve just read your blog about your strong fighting mum.wow you have been through a lot over the last weeks, well done for also fighting for your mums recovery. I had tears falling down my cheeks reading your moving words. I lost my mum and to this day find it hard, that she’s not here. Your such a caring person and your capacity for love towards your family is so plain to see. My best wishes to you all, my love to your mum. Hope your lovely cats are good, aren’t they just great, from a fellow lover of cats, I have 5 little babas who are my life. Best wishes, Caroline.x

  87. Pammy McConnell August 27, 2015 at 11:56 pm -  Reply

    Hi Catherine, have just spotted this item. Your Mum has a lovely smile and I would not have believed her age. At 46, I experienced all those feelings inside and it was only my job kept me from breaking up and some particular good work colleagues. I am sooo glad you have come through it but dont feel you have to put on a brave face all the time. Best wishes – Pam xxxx

  88. Lesley Cassidy September 14, 2015 at 2:13 pm -  Reply

    So pleased for you and your mum Catherine!…I wondered why you hadn’t been on air recently. You and Dale are my favourite presenters and it’s so nice to have you back!..Best wishes to you and yours xxx

  89. Jayney October 2, 2015 at 6:18 am -  Reply

    Hello Catherine, I’ve just read yr blog about yr poor mum being ill and felt I just had to send you, yr mum and all yr family my very sincere best wishes for a full and speedy recovery. I do hope that she’s well on the way to her ‘normal’ healthy self now,as it’s quite a while down the line. I’m sure that having you so close definitely helped her to recover. In amongst all the worry and heartache yr mum and u still found time for humour, laughters a wonderful medicine they say, and u were right she did look like a minion! Sending my very best wishes for yr mums continued improvement, God Bless, Jayney xXx

  90. steph October 10, 2015 at 10:22 am -  Reply

    Hi Catherine there I was thinking you had headed off to Hawaii or some such place for a few weeks. Bless you and your mum. My mum is 82 and I had a similar experience to you. The medical bods who looked young enough to be my kids had written her off. Just another old fogie in their eyes or so it felt. They don’t know my mum she has a strength and determination I am in awe of. We were glued to her bedside and n realised every time her sats dropped and she struggled to breathe all she needed was a diuretic to drain some of the fluid which was causing her difficulty breathing . She is up and running just like your mum. She has a lot of problems each day is a blessing. The Dr’s found she has an aneurysm of her aeorta which is 8cm which is very big in aneurysm terms.Its really sad and very hard knowing the consequences. The thought of losing her is awful we focus on the positive and try to keep her content and happy. You have just got to keep on keeping on and thanking him upstairs for the special days we keep having digging out old photos and having a laugh at the old funny times.

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