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Dealing with the tragic death of a loved one


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Hello everyone,

Since the loss of my mum, and during her illness I have been an avid reader of all the posts on this site. I haven't contributed much, but nevertheless my heart and thoughts have been been with everyone.

This is a terrible disease in so much as prognosis is difficult, treatment is limited due to it's aggressive nature, and life expectancy is short.

I read everything I can about the disease, and because my mother, her sister and their mother died of this I fear it may be genetic. I'm paranoid about going to the doctors anyway, but to ask about this and my chances of suffering as they did is surreal. I constantly check my urine, my faeces as my ma did whilst she was ill.

The horror of what I and many others have, and are going through in relation to this disease is unbelievable.

My ma died july 2009, and I have to say that the heartbreak I felt the day she passed is still as vivid today. Despite bereavement councelling from cruse, I still life with the nightmare of the 10 week diagnosis to death.

I cry every day, sounds unreal but true.

I don't know the answer!

This isn't a self pitying post, just my reality.

But my heart goes out to those stronger than me, those who are suffering themselves with the disease such Juliana God bless my love, keep up the fight and get the voodoo doll out for those horror of horror in laws.

I didn't know where to post this, hence new thread.

Love and blessing to one and all,



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Oh Millyjo, I'm so sorry to hear you're still having a rough time of it. I can't believe it was over a year ago that your ma passed, although it must seem like forever to you. The horror and shock of diagnosis and short life expectancy is one of the aspects of this disease which is particularly cruel. Some people don't even have time to come to terms with the diagnosis before losing their loved ones, as was the case with your family so you get a double-whammy.

There's nothing wrong with the odd self-pitying post and nothing wrong with asking for support - your ma may have passed but you're still affected by the disease. We're here for you just as much as everyone else, you know!

From what I've researched only a very few pancreatic cancers are genetic, so it may just be bad luck. One of my colleagues lost both her mother and father to the disease and was told that it wasn't environmentally or otherwise related, just coincidence. If the genetics are worrying you, perhaps asking your GP is a way forward, surreal as it may seem. At least you will be forearmed if the answer is "yes, possibly" or you would get peace of mind.

You're in my prayers and I'm sending huge thoughts of strength and comfort your way along with a few virtual hugs.


Nicki xx

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Dear Millyjo,

Never ever worry about posting how you feel on these boards, this is EXACTLY what this place is here for. I'm just soooooooo sorry you feel the loss of your Mum so keenly, and that time has not been kind to you in helping recover. When I was younger, and even now I used to the fear the death of one of my parents - I just couldn't imagine being in that place. And now I feel the same of my husband and my children.....the answer is simple, it's because you love them so much.

I have no idea how counselling for a loss of a loved one works, but I had a chat with my Mum today, who lost both her parents within the last 5years and only a year apart. She still has not been able to grieve for her Mum because whilst she was dying in hospital......I too was dying, but nobody knew. Then she passed in the January and I was diagnosed in the February - the timing had a profound effect and the tap of tears got closed, not to reopen. The problem is - she wants to cry, but just cant seem to let go - let it happen. I suggested writing a letter to her Mum, as if she were still alive - tell her about her day, how she feels - recall good memories from childhood to adulthood, tell her things she may not have told her before etc.

I know that whenever I 'try' to write my letters, to my children expressing my love and sharing memories, I cry sooooooo much I have to stop - its hard, and I feel drained afterwards. Unfortunately I cant pull my socks back up to try again - but for my Mum I think it may just be the trigger she is needing, and then hopefully her grieving process will start its path and take her on a journey which will bring her some peace.

I have no idea if something like that would be of any help to you.....and sorry if I am way off the mark.



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dear Millyjo ,

I know how you feel it's been 16 months since my dad passed away the shock and anger hasn't subsided at all

I still cry every day have bad dreams every night my children are suffering with their grief but I don't know how to help them ( how can I when I don't know how to help myself ) my health has gone down hill in the last year or so and have now been put on the lovely ( not ) morphine I had my 40th birthday last week and the only thing i thought was my dad should be here with me

I have contacted the local paper here about the pc awareness week more has to be done into research of this cancer so hopefully they will run something

take care


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Dear Millyjo

There are no magic words I can offer that will be able to make it 'alright 'again but I wanted to let you know that my thoughts and love are with you. I lost my beautiful daughter Gemma to this horrific cancer in August this year, she was only 27 years old and life has been pretty tough since then. I am also receiving counselling via the hospice and I find it is a useful time and space for me to simply reflect and talk about Gem without feeling I am burdening anyone else.

I don't post on here very often since Gem died but I know you will find a wealth of support, knowledge and expertise about this disease and most of all huge empathy for what you are experiencing so never feel that you are self pitying in anyway.

Sending huge hugs your way


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PCUK Nurse Jeni

Hi millyjo,

sorry to hear your sadness over your mum's death.

If you would like to contact support@pancreaticcancer.org.uk then you will be able to get some answers regarding the heredity chances of pancreatic cancer.

Best wishes,


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  • 4 weeks later...

Dear Nicki, Julianan, Pauline and Debbie,

How are you all?

As I have said before I rarely post on here, but I do read regularly.

It is the most humbling of things, and highlights how many wonderful people there are in this world, who are willing to forgo their sorry, difficulties and pain to support and give strength to others, like myself.

I hope you all realise how very much you are appreciated. . thank you.

Nicki how is Ted doing?

Juliana how are you doing?

Pauline how are you, and can I ask how your health has suffered?

Debbie I know i lost my mother, but she was of an age that had allowed me many happy years with her. Gemma was so young to have been take away from you, how must you be coping.

My heart goes out to all those suffering from or connected with someone with this terrible disease.

Thank you all once again.

love to you all.


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Dear everyone, I am new to this forum. Sadly my sister was diagnosed with this awful illness last week. It has come as such a shock to everyone, she had been going backwards and forewards to her G.P for at least 3 months with terrible hip, legs and back pains , they diagnosed bursitis and even suggested she might be imagining some of her pain! How can doctors treat patients like this? I have read that pc is very hard to diagnose but surely they could have seen that something was very, very wrong. Her last 2 appointments she was in tears and still they sent her home with just more tablets. Now after finally being rushed to hospital and all they can do is offer pallative care as it has spread so much. We are all devastated, she is 58.

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Hi Millyjo

Ted's doing ok - this second lot of chemo is taking it out of him more than the first and he's had to have 3 weeks off because of chest infections but generally speaking we certainly can't complain - we are so lucky compared to many others.

It's so nice to hear from you again. No need to thank us - it's what the board is all about.


Nicki xx

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Hi Milljo,

The doctors are not too sure whats going on at the moment i'm in so much pain knees mostly (have to have double knee replacement but have also found a lump under my chin going for a scan next week so will know more then but i'm sure it's all to do with grief it's been such a hard 17 months what with losing my grandad then my dad and my best friend passed away with pc in july this year . life is just so hard sometimes don't know where to turn how to get help to deal with all this crap going around in my head and now we are coming up to that time of year again when it gets even harder..................

hope everything is ok with you

lots of love

Pauline XXXXX

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Hi Pauline

So sorry to hear that you're going through your own health problems now. Still thinking of you and sending up prayers.


Nicki x

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