“My Mam just had a feeling. She knew deep down something wasn’t right.”
“My Mam was amazing. I know I’m obviously biased because she was my Mam, but she was so bubbly and made everyone feel welcome, no matter what. Whenever I would go to her work, everyone would speak so kindly of her. She just lit up a room. No matter who you were, if my Mam walked in she would grab your attention, just by her aura, her presence. She was just amazing."
“My Grandma passed away from pancreatic cancer in 2016. Obviously, off the back of my grandma passing away, my Mam was aware of the symptoms of pancreatic cancer. I do think if my Grandma hadn’t had the cancer, my Mam probably wouldn’t have pushed as much as she did. She just had a feeling. She knew deep down that something wasn’t right. She was only 53 and I think because of her age – she was fit and healthy, she didn’t smoke, she barely drank. She was active and loved to go walking. She went to see the doctor and I feel like the doctor just didn’t think she would be susceptible to pancreatic cancer. My Mam just knew deep down.
“The doctor diagnosed her with IBS. The doctor kept saying she had IBS and she was like ‘no’ because she had lower back pain as well. She kept going to the doctors – I think she went at least four or five times. I don’t want to slate the doctor but I think she was made to feel stupid. She just knew deep down but because she kept going back, I think the doctor was like ‘You are worrying too much.’ She was embarrassed to keep going back but I’m glad she did as eventually she pushed that much that the doctor agreed to send her for a scan. He turned round and said ‘I’m just sending you for a scan to put your mind at ease, put your mind at rest’.
“The next day he rang her and she knew something was wrong immediately. He said ‘I’m really sorry, there’s a shadow on your pancreas’. And obviously off the back to that my Mam knew, she just had a feeling. Because it was quite recent after my Grandma passed away, as soon as the whole family heard the word pancreas, everyone was like ‘Oh my God!’. She had some further tests, she had a biopsy and it turned out she had pancreatic cancer and it was terminal. The cancer was inoperable. I know the lucky ones can have the Whipple operation, my Mam couldn’t.
“The plan was to just try and manage it as much as possible. She did try chemotherapy – she had two or three rounds, but it just wiped her out. She was diagnosed on the 1st May 2018, and she passed away on the 1st September that same year. Before that, because of the chemotherapy, she had kind of gone already. She was just completely out of it and didn’t really know what was going on. Part of me wishes she didn’t even have chemo in the end because she didn’t know what was going on and it wasn’t very nice to see. She died on the day before her 54th birthday. It was her birthday on the 2nd September, and she died on the 1st so she didn’t get to turn 54.”