Woman wearing yellow top sitting in cafe, smiling at camera

Laura, Amy & Debbie

Debbie was 64 when she was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer. Her daughter Laura and Laura’s partner, Amy, reflect on making memories with Debbie before she passed away, 10 weeks after diagnosis.

Laura and Amy

Mom was complaining of constant bloating and was unable to eat a full meal. This continued for roughly 2 weeks, she contacted her GP and asked for a blood test to be done. Her GP called and advised mom to go straight to A&E as a matter of urgency due to abnormal test results.

After having an endoscopy and further tests she was told she had a mass on her pancreas.

Two days later she was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer  and informed that she would now be at end of life care. There was NO treatment that could be offered. After spending a further week in hospital, she was discharged back home.

The next few weeks were a battle.

She needed  24/7 care from her family, there were carers coming in, district nurses, GP visiting the home and the house had to be adapted to meet mom’s needs.

Mom’s last wish

Throughout this time, we ensured we met her last wish and this was to take mom to Swanage.  It’s a place that mom loved very much. She went there on holiday as a child and so did all the family, so it’s a place that is close to the family’s heart. The palliative care team had concerns about mom travelling but we all wanted to ensure that mom’s last wish was fulfilled.

The journey took 4 hours with having to stop for mom being sick, but we finally made it to Swanage. We surprised mom with a beach hut we had booked out and had the BEST time together.  Fish & chips by the sea, ice cream, pushing mom round the shops, mom sitting by the sea watching us in the sea etc. We made the best memories and we could see mom loved it too. We made her wish come true. Mom put a lock on a cage with the quote “memories last forever” and we wheeled her to the sea where she chucked the keys in.

Rapid decline

Mom took a rapid decline when we got home from Swanage. She was struggling to swallow medication so a syringe driver was fitted.

Mom went into a hospice at her request because she said “we are all doing her head in”. Typical words from mom. She went into a hospice on the Friday and wanted to come home by the Tuesday so we got her home.

Mom sadly lost her fight to pancreatic cancer 4 days after returning home from the hospice and died with her family around her.

From diagnosis to death it was 10 weeks.

Remembering mom

Mom was taken too soon, she’s left a massive void in all our lives.

This May will be the first birthday without mom here so as a family we are going back to Swanage for the weekend to spend time at the beach hut where mom had her last trip.

“Wherever a beautiful soul has been, there’s a trail of beautiful memories.”

Rest in eternal peace mom ❤️

Laura and Amy 2024