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Message for Rach


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Dear Rach

I read about your Mum's diagnosis on the diagnosis section of the forum and was shocked to say the least! I'm sure that you are very angry and distraught about how your Mum was treated and please don't forget that we're all here to listen if that's what you need.

I hope that everything goes as well as it can on Wednesday. Let us know how you're getting on from time to time.

Kind regards


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  • 2 weeks later...

Dear Nicki,

Thanks for your message. It has been a very strange time to say the least. The funeral service was beautiful. Load of people wore bright colours as this was how they remembered my mum, and her closest friends and family read tributes out. The choir with whom she loved to sing also sang a couple of songs during the service. I managed to find the inner strength to read a poem she had left for me as well as a tribute that I had written. The hardest day of my life, saying goodbye to my mum but she has been spared the pain and agony of going through chemo to fight the PC. She would have hated to have gone through that suffering, which seems to be experienced by so many people.

I am angry that the hospital could have done more, and those questions will be answered in due course. I feel so many emotions its crazy... I'm devastated that my mum has gone so soon, the house seems so quiet and I miss her terribly. I find it hard to take in that she is no longer around. I have only just turned 29, she died 4 days after my birthday. She won't see me celebrate my 30th birthday, or see any kids that I have. But I am relieved that her pain and suffering is over, it was heartbreaking seeing her crying out in pain when the nurses turned her. The nurses in the hospice were wonderful and mum was so much more comfortable, and I'm pleased she was in such a beautiful place when the time came, and that I was by her side.

I have read some of the other posts in which people have mentioned the swelling of the legs and abdomen.... is this normal with PC? My mum had both and we thought this was attributable to the hospital pumping excessive amounts of fluid into her which were not being passed. Her abdomen was also painful because her gall bladder had burst and she was quietly dying of peritonitis without anyone knowing.

So many questions and so many answers that we need to find. This seems to be such a hard and cruel disease, with so much suffering for patients and their families. This website has been a great source of information and long may it continue to provide advice and support to all those battling this terrible cancer.


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Hi Rach

I'm pleased to hear that your Mum's service was beautiful, if exceedingly difficult for you. It's wonderful that her life was celebrated in style.

Of course you have had a hugely traumatic time and you will want to take some time before putting your questions to the hospital. The conflicting emotions are only to be expected and I'm sure you have a big hole in your life. As you say, though, it's tough to see someone you love in pain and your Mum is free from suffering now.

Yes, swelling of the legs and abdomen is quite common with pancreatic cancer. There are at least two possible causes (more if you include those related to chemo, which your Mum never had):

1. If the patient loses a lot of weight this can decrease the amount of protein in the blood. This results in fluid leaking from the blood vessels and accumulating in the tissues. Gravity has a part to play here and draws the additional fluid downwards hence the swelling appears in the lower half of the body.

2. A tumour in the abdomen can put pressure on lymph vessels and veins running up from the legs. These lymph vessels and veins run throughout the body and carry fluid which collects in bodily tissues back into the bloodstream. Obviously if the vessels are blocked then they are unable to carry away the fluid. The fluid remains in the tissues and causes swelling.

As you say, there are so many questions and it's such a cruel disease. Like, I suspect, most members I had no idea that pancreatic cancer even existed until my husband was diagnosed. It's a huge and unpleasant learning curve but I agree that PCUK is doing a sterling job of supporting those of us who are unlucky enough to have to know about it!

Kind regards

Nicki x

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