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Our journey is finally over :(


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Our journey is finally over.


My then 86 year old Mum started feeling unwell (unknown to me or my brother at the time) in April 2020 just as the first lockdown kicked in.  Although she went to our GP who booked her in for an urgent CT scan with the NHS, when we tried to arrange a date, the NHS said that they were unable to do a scan for months due to Covid.  My father, then 90 decided to pay for a private CT scan, booked late on a Friday for a Monday morning appointment.  This cost just over £1K.  Next day following the scan at 9am our GP was on the phone to Mum to say that she had pancreatic cancer.


Mum struggled for 22 months with chemo, issues with her platelets, sepsis, strokes but she always came out of hospital and was still my Mum.  Sadly at the end of February of this year she started to change, she was confused, couldn’t remember people.  Her last visit to her oncologist confirmed that chemo was over and there was nothing more that they could do for her but organised an urgent MRI to see what was going on with her brain and it turned up she had had a massive stroke.


Mum was admitted to hospital for a further week and when she returned home, although she wasn’t 100%, more 80% she knew who we were.  Sadly the next 10 days she went downhill, every day there was some further issue, whether it was unable to walk, to difficulty in eating, to not eating or drinking, to being unable to talk.  Sadly my Mum passed away at 8.10pm on Wednesday 4 May 2022.  Mum was 88 years old.


Prior to the cancer diagnosis she had been a very fit 86 year old, went to aerobics twice a week, went on holiday walking miles and miles each day, loved gardening, loved life.  Pancreatic cancer led to her becoming a very frail very old 88 year old.  I still don’t know why the NHS scan for bowel, breast and other cancers, but not for pancreatic?  Is it because the majority of people that get this cancer are either in or heading towards the second part of their life? 


My father now 92 has had to not only bury his parents, his younger brother now his wife.  My brother and I are doing as much as we can to support him.  I would like to thank the NHS though as without them Mum would have been dead a lot sooner.  At the end of her life, we had the loveliest of carers who actually cared for Mum and shared tears with us when Mum left us.


Her death we're hoping wasn't painful as she had a driver fitted, but my Mum should never had had to die the way she did and I have now signed up to Dignity in Dying.  My Mum’s final few days she had no quality.


I will always love you Mum x


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  • 1 month later...

Sending you love, good to read that you had lovely carers to support you and your family when you needed them.


My husband is 59, recently diagnosed with pancreatic cancer that has spread to the liver . He does have a genetic mutation which was diagnosed in 2020, following 2 successful surgeries for bowel cancer in 1989 and 2019.  We have led a very full and happy life, knowing that his may be shorter than the usual  years. He went to the GP early on, in February this year, with symptoms of abdominal pain. Delays left over from covid and a lack of face to face GP appointments may have lead to a later diagnosis. Like you, we ended up paying for a private test- an ultrasound- arranged within 3 days rather than 9 week NHS delay. If anyone can afford private scans, I think it is absolutely worth doing. Once the GP saw the private scan showing liver tumours- everything then started to move faster...


Interesting to know about the dignity in dying, I will look at this. My Mum was able to have a peaceful death at home 2 years ago at age of 81 from throat cancer. The doctor did say that this type of cancer is not always painful. She had decided that she did not want any treatment which my sister had originally found hard. We both read 'Dear Life' by Dr Rachel Clarke, recommended by the GP. It was very helpful in explaining the process of dying and helping us to know what to expect. The author is both a doctor and supported her Father when he was diagnosed with and died of cancer.

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