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Joined: Tue Jan 21, 2014 3:58 pm

My Mam

Postby Sarah18 » Tue Jan 21, 2014 6:50 pm

I am posting this as I have been using this site for the last month to help me get through the most difficult time of my life. Educating myself about pancreatic cancer and the devastating effects it had on my Mam has been the only way I have felt remotely empowered again the inevitable.

Even as I type this I almost don't want to share the words and pain of what has happened but this forum has been so invaluable to me that this is my way of giving back the smallest piece of comfort that anyone can get at this time.

My Mam returned home from her annual holiday with her friends on 25 October 2013 worked for a week (as a nurse it was her life),took her first day sick with a bad back on 2nd November 2013, various trips to the doctors followed and in short on 18th December 2013 at 15.05 she was diagnosed with advanced pancreatic cancer. I had taken the day off with my Mam to go the hospital with my Mam and naively up to this point were thing slipped disk as the symptom was back pain and weight loss (my Mam never had much of an appetite. The DR who broke this new was truly fantastic (is seems bizarre to say that but my Mam even said to him "well if that is the news I have to have then no one could have broke it to me better than you did).

The Dr advised that my Mam needed a MRI to confirm how advanced the cancer was and where else it may be. My Mam was admitted to hospital that night so the test could be completed as soon as possible. We waited two days for the MRI and the ward that my Mam was on had a very strict visiting policy that would not allow us to come and see her until late afternoon. I asked that I was with my Mam when she got the results of the MRI and the nurse old me no the consultant would wait until visiting to come and give my Mam the results. Inevitably this did not happen and on 21st December 2013 my Mam was told, alone on a shared ward, tthat the cancer had metastasized to her lungs, liver and bones. The back pain was cause by my Mam's T10 vertebrae crumbling and paralysis was a danger and they would look to treat this with radiotherapy. I am not going to get into the emotions that I had about my Mam being given this information alone as I am sure they go without saying.

Due to the level of pain that my Mam was in she needed to be kept in hospital until this was under control. On the 22nd my Mam got a severe pain in hip and was sent for a X-Ray. My Mam had a stress fracture in her hip that would become a full fracture if no action was taken. It was decided that my Mam would have a operation and a metal plate in her thigh to stop the fracture. This took place on boxing day.

We moved from the ward to a hospice on 30th December as Mam was deteriorating so rapidly. Hallucinations were one of the most distressing symptoms for the whole family. The hospice that my Mam was in were absolutely fantastic. My Mam met with a specialist who advised that Radiotherapy would probably not be feasible, I honestly think to this point my Mam thought that she would have Radiotherapy and maybe have a few good months. We had discussions with Drs about DNRs, where my Mam wanted to die, what flowers she would like at her funeral, that I would always look after my little brother (25 but never lived away from home), I would be there for my aunty (who was my Mam's best friend and soul mate), what sort of wedding I would have in the future and that Mam would never get to meet any future children that I had.

Mam's final wish was that she die at home. We took Mam from the hospice back home on 6th January 2014 and my Mam died on 11th January 2014 02.40 surrounded by her family, I held her hand and kissed her forehead telling her how much we all loved her as she took her last breaths.

The speed at which this disease moves takes my breath away. My Mam was the strongest lady that I ever knew I still cannot believe the effect that this disease had on her body, she didn't even have a chance.

My Mam would have been 62 on 6th February 2014 I am proud that I had such as person for a mother, friend, confidant and guide through life. I am not religious but I hope that my Mam is now at peace and pain free as that is my final wish for my Mam.

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Joined: Mon Jul 08, 2013 8:29 am

Re: My Mam

Postby nikkis » Tue Jan 21, 2014 7:10 pm

Hi there,
I am so very sorry to hear you and your mum's story. I can tell that she was a very special lady, who you must miss so much.
Take care of yourself and your brother, and make sure you get support as well,

Posts: 103
Joined: Fri Jun 25, 2010 1:58 pm

Re: My Mam

Postby suef » Tue Jan 21, 2014 7:54 pm

Dearest Sarah,

My heart goes out to you and your family. Please accept my deepest condolences. What a terrible time you have all been through. I wish you much courage for the coming days and months, and want to thank you so much for sharing your story.

Very best wishes,


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Joined: Tue Apr 30, 2013 11:03 pm

Re: My Mam

Postby MSH » Tue Jan 21, 2014 8:53 pm

It's so hard when this thing can move so fast with such devastating effect. The emotional pummelling must take a long time to settle down. Still as you say she's at peace now and was able to die surrounded by her family.

My condolences.


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Joined: Sun Mar 24, 2013 8:15 am

Re: My Mam

Postby J_T » Tue Jan 21, 2014 9:16 pm

Dear Sarah, so sad to read another tragic story. You sound like a close family and that is good. May your mam rest in peace, she would be very proud of you.

Julia x

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Joined: Fri May 03, 2013 9:39 pm

Re: My Mam

Postby Bee » Tue Jan 21, 2014 10:31 pm

Dear Sarah,
I am so sorry to hear your story. It is such a cruel and vicious disease, but as you say your mum is now pain free.
Use all the support that is around you and take it one day at a time.

Bee xx

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Joined: Fri Jul 05, 2013 11:53 pm

Re: My Mam

Postby belgrade » Tue Jan 21, 2014 11:30 pm

Hello Sarah,
So sorry to read your post. This is an awful disease that can cause such complete devastation to some sufferers. Thinking of you and your brother.
Take care,
Hilary x

Posts: 197
Joined: Fri Sep 20, 2013 11:06 pm

Re: My Mam

Postby EmmaR » Wed Jan 22, 2014 10:04 am

Oh Sarah ,
You had so little time to take in what this awful disease can bring to a person and the family my husband died two months from diagnose date so I know how you feel ,but she is at peace now your beloved Mam so stay strong and take care .
EmmaR x

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Joined: Fri Mar 15, 2013 5:43 pm

Re: My Mam

Postby Cathy » Wed Jan 22, 2014 10:17 am

Hi Sarah

Thank you for sharing your story and I am so sorry to hear of your losing your Mam in next to no time. I hope you will get some comfort in future in knowing that she wasn't in discomfort for too long and that she died in a good place with those who loved her.

My own partner battled advanced PC for a good while. We had longer than you did and he was well for most of the time (I dont like to use the word "luck" with this disease but I know he was lucky with that). But the deterioration at the end was so swift it was shocking and I share how stunned you must feel. He died 10 January.

Cathy xxx

PCUK Nurse Dianne
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Joined: Tue Aug 14, 2012 3:29 pm

Re: My Mam

Postby PCUK Nurse Dianne » Wed Jan 22, 2014 4:52 pm

Dear Sarah,

I am sorry to hear of your sad story. It does sound that you and your mother had a wonderful close relationship, and I am sure she is incredibly proud of you. It is very sad to hear of the way she was told this news, and her rapid progression. I do hope that she was comfortable and pain free in her passing and it was wonderful that you were all able to be with her at that time.

Please accept our sincere condolences on behalf of both Jeni and myself and all of the staff at Pancreatic Cancer UK. Thinking of you at this sad time.

Support Team

marie souter
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Joined: Thu May 30, 2013 7:58 pm

Re: My Mam

Postby marie souter » Thu Jan 23, 2014 2:09 am

Hello Sarah,

Am so sorry for your loss, sucha short amount of time you had with her from diagnosis to the end .. I was lucky in that my mom and I had 8 mths and 1 week together til the end where I did the same as you held her hand and kissed her as she took her last few breaths...you are going to have so many emotions running through you that there is nothing anyone can say to you that will make a blind bit of difference to how you are feeling..but be proud that you did the best you could for her ... that you were there for her as she was leaving this world x

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Joined: Thu Sep 05, 2013 1:53 pm

Re: My Mam

Postby Birchen » Thu Jan 23, 2014 3:44 pm

Hello Sarah
So very sorry that you have lost your beloved Mam. Nothing can compare to the loss that you must be feeling and it sometimes feels like a physical pain. My husband Terry was quite well (enough to drink champagne) several days before he passed away on Christmas Day. Thinking of you and everyone who is battling this dreadful cancer. Love Lyn xx

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Joined: Fri Jun 22, 2012 3:18 pm

Re: My Mam

Postby littlesister » Thu Jan 23, 2014 4:12 pm

Your loss is devastating and you will grieve but from your story I can see you had a wonderful mother who has made you strong and so caring and you must have a wealth of happy and fun memories. Take care, pamper yourself and live a good life, that will be her reward for all she has given.

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Joined: Fri Nov 01, 2013 10:45 pm

Re: My Mam

Postby janem » Thu Jan 23, 2014 7:40 pm

I'm so sorry for your loss, nothing can replace your mum no matter what your age. Although it is difficult to cope trying to remember the good times helps. Look after yourself and take care.

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Joined: Tue Jan 21, 2014 3:58 pm

Re: My Mam

Postby Sarah18 » Thu Jan 23, 2014 9:38 pm

Thanks for all your kind words my Mam and I were extremely close so when we found out this terrible news one of my main strengths came from knowing that my Mam already knew every day how much I loved her as I had already told her this every day of my life.

I am not sure I would have wanted my Mam to have a long drawn out illness, well I certainly didn't want the pain to be prolonged for a second longer than it had to be and I would rather feel the pain I do now than have my Mam suffer any longer.

My brother is doing well I know I am no substitute for my Mam but he knows that he can always rely on me and I have a fantastic partner and friends so I am not doing to bad

I really wish the very best to everyone else and hope that everyone's battles are as pain free as possible whatever the length and however this disease has touched your life.