John and Joan

Paul Duffy Woods tells the story, in his own words, of the journey that led to his parents diagnosis for pancreatic cancer from which they both sadly passed away in 2015. 

13234900_10154182481087760_168043039_oMum was being treated for a prolapsed womb in 2013-2014. She had been booked in for a hysterectomy in November 2014. She had a routine pre-op scan in the September that showed up a small cyst on her pancreas and was told it’s nothing to worry about. But mum was not convinced, she arranged a follow up scan and on the 22/11/14 she was told it was inoperable cancer.

By early December we had met Professor Palmer of Clatterbridge Hospital Wirral (mum’s oncologist). He gave her hope via chemo. Mum was pleased and started to smile again. Dad then fell ill and was in a lot of pain and struggled breathing. By mid February he had been referred to lung specialist at arrows park hospital who booked dad in for 2 weeks for tests. Dad was told he had pancreatic cancer too but his was much worse.

Dad came home for 2/3 nights but was then rushed to A&E and spent the next 3 weeks in high dependency ward before the Macmillan nurse got dad a bed at the hospice. Dad lasted a couple more days and passed away with mum and the rest of us by his side (22/03/15). Mum was so ill with the shock of it all she had to put a hold on her treatment for over a month.

Mum did have more treatments but her body and mind where worn out by it all and she passed away with us all by her side she really did fight it and struggled to eat food and when she did her dignity was being compromised as she would urgently need the bathroom or she was violently sick. Mum had a few stays at clatterbridge hospital and the staff there where so good to her and to us. She stayed as strong as she could for 4 months and a day after loosing dad but on the 23/07/15 she also lost her battle.

We where so very lucky to have them as our parents and friends and we miss them so very much, but we wouldn’t have wished them the cruelty of staying longer in the pain and discomfort they had. My mums dad died of cancer in 1998/1999. His cancer was like dads everywhere but we don’t know the primary. My dads mum had lung cancer 20 years ago ish. But lived for over a decade after it was removed. My dads only brother had had a long battle with a cancer in his mouth/tongue and he passed away shortly after dad.

My older sister has been told even though both our parents died of this cancer we need 2 people in the same family line to have it before we qualify as being at greater risk!

He has much more planned, you can keep up to date with his challenges and sponsor him here: