Chris asked the nurses how long he had left and they replied: “We don’t know, but you need to go home and make memories with your family.”
Today, Lynsey Brown tells her husband's story and how misdiagnosis led to his pancreatic cancer being discovered too late for his life to be saved.
My husband, Chris, began to feel unwell during the COVID period. He had lost a lot of weight without trying, and he was feeling extremely low and tired all the time. Chris managed to speak to a doctor over the phone in May 2020, where they told him he was depressed.
On Christmas Day 2020, we all sat down to eat our Christmas Dinner. About 20 minutes after eating, my husband went upstairs saying he wasn’t feeling well, he was sick and was complaining he had really bad heartburn. I was so worried about him and begged him to make an appointment at the doctors in the new year. He promised me he would.
In January 2021, my husband finally saw a doctor face to face, and it was when they sent him his blood tests. The results came back a week or so later, and he was told he was diabetic and put on medication straight away, alongside regular check-ups and blood tests.
As the months went by, my husband wasn’t getting any better, and the weight was falling off him. His blood sugar levels were still high even though he was on medication for diabetes, and the heartburn was so uncomfortable for him that he couldn’t eat. Chris kept saying he felt like his food was stuck at the top of his tummy. Then, at the beginning of May 2021, Chris was sent for an ultrasound scan and then a follow-up MRI scan at the end of May. On the 14th June, he was asked to attend an appointment at Sandwell Hospital.
When we arrived, we were met by two Macmillan nurses who took us into a private room, sat us down and said: “I am so sorry Mr Brown, but the scan results show you have a very large mass on your pancreas and that it is stage 4.”
I turned and looked at my husband, he looked so lost and scared and there was nothing I could do to help him, he asked the nurses how long he had left and they replied: “We don’t know, but you need to go home and make memories with your family.”
In the meeting, the nurses covered what would happen next and explained that chemotherapy was an option, but wasn’t a cure. They also gave Chris protein replacement drinks and prescribed him medication to take before eating. After everything was discussed, we left and came home to tell our children.
A week later, Chris took a turn for the worse, and he was rushed into hospital. While he was there, he had to have fluid drained from his tummy and was being fed through a tube; by this time, he was so weak and thin. Two weeks later, they let Chris come home, and we had to sit with the palliative care nurse to make an end-of-life plan.
During the next few months, Chris tried so hard to be positive and to keep on fighting, but he was just too weak. On 8th September 2021, my husband passed away peacefully at home, with me holding his hand whilst he was surrounded by family.
Chris is loved so much, and he is missed every day.