I want to say a big Thank You to everyone for your really helpful suggestions and comments, both with regard to the washing machine troubles and mum's renal cancer.
Having used the machine a couple of times, it seems perfectly fine, back to normal (thank goodness). I'll know what to do next time it happens, we do have power cuts quite often here.
Mum seems happier in herself, now the initial panic has worn off and she's taking control by arming herself with information. As I said, it's entirely her decision whether she has the op or not, but I don't really think it's a good idea for her to have a major op at her age and frail state of health. I just hope that any future pain she gets (she doesn't have any at the moment...well, not from the kidney cancer) can be managed effectively, we'd hate to think of her being in pain.
So the next thing on the agenda is hopefully getting the results of my wee test this week, and then what happens next in the event of it being positive. And husband is waiting on a date for his foot op....the hospital said the wait time is around 4 months, but he's opted for a cancellation at short notice if one comes up. He's feeling much better today, his chest pains and breathlessness have eased up a lot. He's off to help an elderly neighbour with a bit of gardening this morning, under strict instructions from me to take it easy and I will be sneaking along to check up on him.