Bereaved Story

“He was still hoping for some kind of miracle, but it was not to be”

Sarah Harradine reflects on her father Michael's experiences with pancreatic cancer. Read more below.

Sarah Harradine

Dad loved life. He and mum enjoyed spending six months in South Africa and six months in the UK since they’d both retired. He was always so helpful and kind, a gentle giant of a man and an incredible dad.

Dad had been going to the toilet a lot more frequently probably for a few years. He’d seen the doctor several times and they just told him he was borderline diabetic. Then suddenly he lost an enormous amount of weight, which we all put down to a house move and the stress of it.

He hid a lot of what was going on until the pain was unbearable and he started going yellow. It was then that I realised something serious was going on, and after a middle of the night call following blood tests, I knew it was dreadfully wrong.

We eventually got another GP appointment, and the GP said he’d refer him under the two-week rule, so I knew cancer was a possibility, but it wasn’t until I rushed him to A&E and they did a scan that the cancer was found in his bile duct and pancreas.

He’d already lost too much weight and was too frail for chemo or any kind of treatment. He lasted just over five months and it was a horrendous five months. He looked like a skeleton by the time he died.

He was still hoping for some kind of miracle, but it was not to be. It was heartbreaking to watch.

More needs to be done to detect this cancer in the early stages. And prevent any more unnecessary deaths.