Debra tells the story of her husband, Colin's, experience of metastatic pancreatic cancer
Our world changed forever on 8th December 2016 when my darling husband, Colin, father of two beautiful girls, grandfather of four grandsons and brother to Ed and Harry, was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer.
Tests and diagnosis
After a while of having his symptoms put down to IBS, a bad back and being overweight, I noticed around the end of November 2016 that Colin looked yellow so I took it upon myself to call the doctors. They called back almost immediately and got us an appointment and Colin was given an urgent blood test the next morning.
He received a call within two hours to go straight to Airedale Hospital, where he was told he had cancer and needed a stent fitted. They could not do it at Airedale so off we went to St James’ University Hospital Leeds on Friday 2nd December. The doctors booked Colin in on the Sunday to have the stent fitted on the Monday and on the Thursday 8th December, we received the devastating news that there was nothing they could do but offer palliative care and chemo if he decided to have it.
After a family holiday to Mexico, Colin was ready to start chemo. He found this really difficult as he was sleeping for twenty hours at a time and had no appetite. He also became diabetic, had thrush in his mouth and was suffering with sickness.
He really struggled with the rapid weight loss, going from a size 36 and 14.8 stone to a size 28/30 and only 7 stone. He was always so proud of how he dressed/looked – I found it quite hard seeing him so distressed.
Around the beginning of June 2017, he started vomiting very often, doctors and district nurses were out daily to try and make him comfy. After several days of this we decided he would get better instant care if he went to Manorlands Hospice, so on 14th June, this is what we did.
Making the last days count
To make him more comfy the doctors decided to put a tube into his stomach which helped a great deal with the vomiting along with the pain and morphine drivers.
Thanks to the care he received at Manorlands, we were able to celebrate a few firsts - our youngest grandson got christened and Colin’s daughter, Kelly and her fiancée, Chris, had a pre-wedding blessing brought forward so Colin could attend and be in the pictures. Both were touching occasions but sadly we all knew he was losing the battle and battle he did until the end, which heartbreakingly came on Sunday 9th July 2017 at 11.30 pm.