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My Mum was diagnosed with cancer in the pancrase in June 2010, yesterday we were told it is in her lung as well and she has had a head ct scan as she is complaining if a muzzy head. My mum is 85years old, she has diabetes and mild altzimers, because of her age and frailness we were told it would be very hard to treat her, and her quality of life would suffer.So she is having no treatment at all apart from pain-killers. I am just wondering if anyone else has been in this position, she has spoken to the Mac millon nurses and wants to stay at home to the end, my husband and I support her in this.

She just seems to be getting so frail so fast, I am doing the best I can for her but wondered if anyone who has been in this position has any advice for me, I want the best for her, I want to make her as comfortable as I can,


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hello carol, my sympathy to your family, my mother died when she was 95, this is 20 years ago, not from pancreatic cancer but dementia and assosociated problems, i was quite lucky i guess because i was a manager of a residential home and she was able to have a room there, but it is always difficult when its someone close to you the only advice i can offer you is let your mum decide ,as much as she is able to, as to what she wants it is her life and we have to respect that and not do what we think they want?. this i know is really hard but try to think what you would want if it was you?.

i am sure you will get all the help from the macmillan nurses be sure to keep them informed about her pain control i am sure they will keep her comfortable and help you deal with how you feel also, which i expect is pretty inadequate.

i really do know that feeling, my husband was also diagnosed with pc in march this year went into hospital for major surgery[a whipple op] they were unable to remove anything because the tumour is wrapped round a main vein.

we are currently having chemo, my husband is 61 and doing ok at the moment? surgery at mums age and her other health problems i think you will later on br glad she didnt have to hospital for an op and be away from you all, hope this helps, its a roller coaster it really is , just spend time with mum and love her

bye laura

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Thank you Laura,

Your right I do feel inadiquite right now. Mum says she doesn't want anyone else in the family to know, it makes it hard because my family are all grown up and of course want to know whats wrong, I think they have an idea its cancer but not where it is. My husband does know, he supports me 100%, I would go mad if I couldn't talk to anyone. I stay with my mum 5 nights a week and when she gets weaker I will stay full time. At the moment she can potter around a bit and I make sure she eats well, she has put some weight back on, she was under 7stone she weighs 7stone 3 now, so thats good.

I know the family need to know soon as I do not know how much longer mum has, and they would be so upset if I keep them in the dark but for now I will do as mum asks and not say to much, but when they ask I feel so bad not telling them.

I am sorry I feel like I am rambling.

Thank you for your message


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hello carol glad my reply was some help, perhaps when your having one of your close chats with mum perhaps you could tell her how sad you feel for her and you and that her grandchildren love her so much and would love to talk with her and share happy memories, perhaps mum feels scared and is is not able to talk about her cancer because it makes it to real. There is no right or wrong way of dealing with feelings, just what is comfortable for each of you. I understand the need for you to have someone to talk to, the macmillan nurses will be there for you as well as mum, also this forum of course.

i have been reading a lot of the posts for some time now although i havent contributed [my way of a bit of denial probably] my husband and i are so up in the air at the moment with his pc, im not sure whether to be elated or worried the next visit to the oncologist will give us better direction. my husband will talk to anyone about his pc and the future, but my daughters][ his step children of 30 yrs are unable to acknowledge how serious it is and cant accept he talks so philosophically about things, thats the opposite of your situation, anyway dont worry TOO much, have some pleasure from each day with your mum.

Something i started when my husband came out of hosp was a journal and wrote something about each day and always finished with something happy that had occured. [now im rambling, see its catching!]

The sun is shining at the moment here in cornwall so try and have a good day for now, thinking of you all .A big hug laura xx

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  • 4 weeks later...

Hi Laura,

This is such a hard time, and I know harder times are to come. Thank you for your advice, I have been staying with Mum for a couple of weeks now as she has been so poorly so this is the first time I have had a chance to use the computer. I have come home for the weekend as I am so tired.

Mum had more bad news 2 weeks ago, the cancer is on her brain, there are 2 patches the docter said, he put her on some medication to try to shrink them but the side effects were so bad she has had to stop taking them, she is slowly coming back but for a few days I was so worried I was loosing her.

Now we must just look after her and wait, my children all know now, and my older grandchildren. They have all upped there visits, but Mum is still not talking about her condition to them so they are just making a fuss of her and we all agreed if thats the way she wants it so it will be.

Its just a waiting game , she is having no treatment and I often ask myself why but of course I do know the answer to that, so we are hanging in there, I am sure my Mum won;t be going without a fight, she is so brave. Speak to you soon, Carol

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Dear Carol

Just to say I am so sorry to hear about you Mum. You really must be going through such a terrible time but at least you now have other family members to support you.

All you can ask is that your Mum is kept as comfortable and pain-free as possible.

Wishing you the strength to see you through this awful time.

Best wishes



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hi there carol, nice to hear from you and very sorry about the prognosis, this is so difficult for anyone going through similar times, we see what appears to be very happy people going about their daily business and tend to think its only us feeling so low and unhappy, but truly there are so many people out there at different points of their "journey" attending chemo with my hubby has made me so much more aware.

i am so pleased your family are now able to share this time with you you will probably find a different type of relationship with them thru this.

what else can i say but chin up, keep going and enjoy your memories and perhaps share some with mum?

talk soon, laura <<>>

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