I suspect that Sarah knew hope was fading by sometime at the end of March 2008.
As ever she approached this news with the same stoic and mature attitude that she had applied to her nursing, marriage and upbringing of the children.
Not to be dismayed or sent into depression, she set about putting a number of areas of her remaining life into some sort of logical order, setting out to her closest friends and family how they might be able to help with the continued support for the children.
These tasks gave her a much better sense if purpose and made the forward journey easier to come to terms with.
She even found the strength and time to take part in the Race For Life event in March, together with sister-in-law, Lisa, who’d also gone through her own cancer traumas.
As March turned into April, her health began to deteriorate. We tried to plan a holiday near Snowdonia but this was constantly thwarted by ever increasing hospital visits. However Sarah remained determined to see out as many of her self enforced duties as she was able to and also spend as much time as she could with the children.
She wrote personal letters to each of those she felt had made a direct influence on her life, She also spent a lot of her time gathering up the many hundreds of family photos and labeling them in date order.
Her penultimate public outing was at the Bell Farm School Fair, 10th May 2008. Despite being extremely weak by this time she managed to walk unaided and hold conversations in the same happy manner that had precluded her illness.
Her final public engagement was to attend Sam Dunsmore’s 40th birthday bash on 12th May. Despite by this time being in some pain Sarah put on her usual brave face and showed her steely determination to attend. Always smiling….
Her last wish was that she could visit the seaside for a final time. Therefore on 28th May a number of us together with the paramedic expertise of Chris Dunsmore set off in a few vehicles for West Wittering to grant Sarah her last wish. The sun shone and ironically she seemed to gain both strength and an appetite whilst having lunch.
We wheeled her to the edge of the beach and took turns to sit with her whilst others looked after the children. She was unable to speak by this point but kept giving us the thumbs up indicating her happiness at being able to undertake this last visit.
I shall be forever in the debt of those persons who made this journey possible for Sarah.