Bereaved Story

“It was only when she was jaundiced and basically bright yellow did they do a scan”

Kirsten reflects on her mum, Elizabeth, and her experiences with pancreatic cancer.

Kirsten Watt

My mum was healthy, slim and fit. She never smoked and very rarely drank, and regularly cycled and walked everywhere.

She had stomach pains in the summer of 2018 but thought it might be Helicobacter Pylori returning. The pain continued to get worse and gall stones were suggested.

It was only when she was jaundiced and basically bright yellow that they did a scan and diagnosed pancreatic cancer. Mum was given approximately four to five months. Her tumour was not suitable for surgery.

She got two and a half chemotherapy sessions but her bloods were never good enough to get more.

My dad tried to get her into a trial for Nano-Knife but she wasn’t accepted as the cancer was too advanced.

She continued to struggle to eat anything and was in constant pain. But was always positive and refused to say “why me” or that it was “unfair”. She had a strong faith which kept her going.

She passed away four months after diagnosis peacefully at home.

I only wish we know about this cancer beforehand and its symptoms, and that she had seen her GP earlier. ANd that when she did see the GP, they treated it more seriously from the outset. Also the NHS website says that Helicobacter Pylori can be a cause of pancreatic cancer, and as a previous sufferer of this, should have been a massive warning sign.

I am writing this to help raise awareness and in the hope it might help someone else.