Marie shares the story of her Mum, Sue, who was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer when she was 61 years old.
Back in July 2018 I found myself at Mum’s doorstep shocked at what I saw. Mum was looking yellow and was in a lot of pain in her back and stomach, she had also been sick. I have never known my Mum to be ill, so it was shocking to see. I rushed her to A&E.
On observation, they thought it was gallstones. They thought the jaundice was caused by a blocked bile duct, so did surgery to fit a drain for the bile. They advised us that they had found what they thought was a tumour, but needed more advice so sent us to a specialist hospital.
In August, the specialist hospital confirmed the worst – it was pancreatic cancer. The doctors were hopeful they could operate and carry out a Whipple’s procedure.
Mum was getting quite poorly, she was not eating and was losing weight. She was on antibiotics and Creon tablets. She also tried having nutritional drinks – which she hated!
Surgery day was in September. We were very hopeful given the advice we received and hoped this would give Mum the best chance. However, 2 hours into the surgery I received a phone call. We found out that Mum’s cancer had spread, and they couldn’t do any more. We were devastated. She was given 6 to 9 months to live.
She developed diabetes, so had to take more tablets, and check her blood sugars daily.
Mum was so strong and took it all in, determined to enjoy the time she had left. Some days were harder than others, through the pain and discomfort. She was strong and lived for the time she had left.
She was my world and seeing her deteriorate was so hard. We spent every day together. Going out on days that she felt better, and resting watching the rugby or Emmerdale on days when she was tired.
Mum unfortunately passed away on the 24th April 2019 – 7 months after her planned Whipple’s procedure.
We are so thankful that we had Christmas with her and celebrated her 62nd birthday. Memories we will treasure forever.
I plan to raise more money and awareness for this awful disease. I have raised some money this year through a cake sale, raffle and a mud run. I want to keep going in Mum’s memory but we also need to keep fighting to raise more awareness, and fight for early diagnosis.