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Concerned husband


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  • Saxon


  • PCUK Nurse Jeni


  • Veema


  • PCUK Nurse Dianne


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Saxon, I am so very very sorry to hear of the loss of your lovely wife. This disease is truly insidious it just overwhelms the body, no matter how hard the fight. I am glad you were all able to be with her, when she passed she would have been aware of all your love I am sure. wishing you love and strength to cope with the next stage of this journey, please take care love sandrax

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I’m so sorry to hear of your loss, but yes she did fight valiantly and managed to prove them wrong which is always the best thing a person can do. I hope you find some peace and strength in the next few days/weeks knowing you did everything you could and I’m sure she was just grateful having you by her side through all of this.

Try and take some time for yourself now, it will be hard and strange to not have to focus your energy into someone else’s wellbeing, so try and focus on your own.



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  • 2 years later...

A lot has happened in my life since my wife died from pancreatic cancer 2 years ago. A lot of it for the better and even through all these Covid stuff things were starting to look up.

About 6 weeks ago my mother-in-law, who we have always lived close to and in normal times see several times a week, was given an almost exact diagnosis as my wife was given. She is obviously a lot older - in her early 80's, but otherwise relatively fit and healthy. My children are very close to her and especially my 21 year old son who helped her when her husband passed 6 years ago and then grew closer to her when my wife passed 2 years ago.

She has pancreatic cancer and this has spread to her liver and lungs. She is currently in hospital with an infection and fluid in her lungs and no-one can visit her. Her son and daughter both live 4 hours drive away, but her daughter is currently living in my mother-in-laws house to support her.

This has brought so many horrible memories back for me and I'm struggling to function at work. All I can hear when I close my eyes is my wifes last words to me 'pain...pain...' and dwell on all the pain and suffering that she will have to go through and we will have to suffer with her. I know that this is selfish and I want to do whatever we can to support her, but just feel like I'm sliding into an abyss. I don't want to be at work, but equally cannot be at home either as don't want my children to see that I'm not coping. In my mind, me going to work is life as normal for them and that helps them and I'm being extra vigilant to check ont heir feelings.

I'm so worried about my son as he has really struggled to come to terms with his mother passing and now he has to go through the same with his Grandmother. He wants to be a close part of her treatment and help her out as much as he can, but I don't want him to get too involved as it might knock him back We did try and keep all the children shielded from as much of my wifes treatment as possible as its not nice watching someone go through the chemo process when you know how ill it makes them.

I want my sister in law to take her mother back home with her so that she can live with her and be cared for by her. I know this sounds dreadfully self centered, but not sure if I can cope with this all first hand again.

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Gosh Saxon. How incredibly awful for you. I can’t imagine what you must be going through seeing your mother in law with what your wife suffered. I think you’re right to want someone else to care for her - it would be too traumatic for you and trigger terrible memories. The only other thing I can add is that pancreatic cancer isn’t necessarily painful. My husband came home with a big bag of morphine and didn’t need any of it - no pain at all.

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PCUK Nurse Jeni

Hello Saxon,

Thanks for posting and updating the forum family.

I am so sorry to hear all of this, and that yet another person in the family has now been impacted with pancreatic cancer. How awful for you all.

Saxon, I would encourage you to speak with your gp - its probably not going to be great for you to keep all of this to yourself, and "pretend" as you say, that all is well. It may cause a strain on you physically as well that you are not aware of at the time. If you are feeling like you are sliding into an abyss as you describe, then Saxon, I wouldn't ignore this feeling. This can be a sign to yourself to reach out for help.

You are more than welcome to contact us for a chat Saxon - our details are below.

With regards to your son, its totally understandable that you don't wish him to be hurt again, or impacted negatively. I would encourage you to chat to him about this, and share how you are feeling - things are always better out in the open.

I guess at 21, though, he is able to make decisions for himself - as much as our parental instincts might wish to protect our children, it may well be his way of coping too, especially if he didn't have too much detail of his mum's treatment (which is understandable also).

Saxon, we are here anytime should you need us. Don't be alone.

Kind regards,


Jeni Jones

Pancreatic Cancer Specialist Nurse

Support Team

Pancreatic Cancer UK

email: nurse@pancreaticcancer.org.uk

support line: 0808 801 0707

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Barobi & Jeni,

Thanks for your response, some very good advice there. When things get tough it is sometimes so easy to miss the obvious.

My mother in law is still in hospital and my sister in law is now allowed to visit her for an hour a day as she has been moved to a green ward. Whilst she's happy to be in hospital as she is getting the care she needs and, as Barobi pointed out, she isn't in much pain at the moment - paracatemol controls this alone; she is on oxygen, with her heart struggling to cope and has fluid in her lungs and building around her lower organs. I just cannot help dwelling on how bad things were for my wife when she had these symptoms. Maybe it was the chemo, but she struggled a lot with pain control for her last 6 months.

You are also right about my son too, so I will talk to him rather than think for him.


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Spoke to my son this morning and feel so much better for doing this and I think it has genuinely helped him too.

I've been able to express my fears and also confirm my love and support for him in visiting his grandmother in hospital.

Excellent advice!


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