Bereaved Story

“As a family, we felt my mum had been robbed of a dignified death”

Linda McCaig shares with us the experiences of her mother, May.

May McCaig

My mum visited her GP approximately around April 2010. She had been drinking a lot of water and had lost some weight. She was diagnosed with Diabetes Type 1 and was in the care of the diabetes team. She had to inject insulin daily and adapted to this well.

In April 2011, after not seeing her for two weeks, I was very shocked by her appearance and weight loss. She visited her GP on the 18th April. As I worked in radiology, she was able to have an ultrasound that day, followed by a CT scan which diagnosed pancreatic cancer which spread to her lungs and liver.

Mum opted for no treatment as the prognosis was very poor. She passed away on 2nd May just two weeks after diagnosis. We did have her at home, however, on the day before she died, she was admitted to hospital after falling out of her bed. She had brain metastases by this time and had to be moved to the hospital.

As a family, we felt my mum had been robbed of a dignified death. Had she been diagnosed at the time of the onset of diabetes, she could at least have been in the care of palliative services.