“She only had one wish, to see her son get married.”
Shona Cameron shares her story about her mother Nancy.
September 2022 was to be a wonderful time Mum was so looking forward to it as her laddie Andrew was getting married. Her mother of the groom outfit had been purchased in April along with the obligatory massive hat, the countdown was on! Little did we know it would also be the month we lost Mum to Pancreatic cancer after having been diagnosed only a few weeks prior.
Around May time Mum went to see the GP thinking she had a hernia as she was experiencing pain and discomfort similar to when she had an issue with it the year before. The doctor examined her, he couldn’t feel anything but wrote to hospital to get it checked. Mum thought nothing more of it and was waiting on an appointment from the hospital.
"Mum went back on the Monday afternoon; Dad was allowed to go with her this time."
Fast forward to Friday 5th August Mum was in pain and was sent up to A&E by GP thinking pain could be due to gallstones. The MRI showed her pancreas was swollen and there were nodules in her liver. The doctor told her he thought it could be cancer and asked her to go back on the Monday for a CT scan. Mum was on her own due to A&E being overcrowded.
Mum went back on the Monday afternoon; Dad was allowed to go with her this time. She had a CT scan which confirmed a tumour in her pancreas and that it had spread to her liver. She was told it was inoperable but hopefully she could be offered treatment. The next step for her would be to wait to hear from the cancer specialists who have a weekly meeting on a Tuesday, in Mum’s case that would be the following Tuesday.
Mum came home told the family and said she would stay positive and see what treatment she would be offered. Mum received a call on the following Tuesday afternoon asking her to go in the next morning to see the specialist. So, we knew then it was going to be bad, but we took Mum’s lead to be positive.
On Wednesday 17th August only 12 days after thinking it could be gallstones and the first time meeting the cancer specialist Mum was given the worst news possible. She was told it had spread and caused too much damage to her liver already, there was nothing they could do for her. She was given one month, two at the most to live.
Testament to how strong and brave Mum was, she had me take her to her dress fitting alteration appointment that same day then shop for shoes. She only had one wish, to see her son get married.
"Mum passed away at home three weeks later, on the 7th of September 2022."
Mum passed away at home three weeks later, on the 7th of September 2022. Andrew & Nicola got married on the 17th and then Mum’s funeral was on the 22nd. She wore her mother of the groom outfit on her final journey along with a beautiful wrist corsage the bride had made for her.
So many emotions, I’m thankful Mum’s not in pain or distress but wondering if we did enough for her as we cared for her at home. I’m angry at the timing as it should have been such a special time for the family instead of heart-breaking and cruel for her. Disbelief in how one day thinking oh could be gallstones, oh might be cancer, oh it is cancer, oh nothing can be done. Sometimes I think did those few weeks really happen? Did I dream that? If only.
Wanted to share Mum’s story as she’s not just a number or a statistic, she was a wonderful caring person. Far too many people are losing their lives to Pancreatic cancer as diagnosis is made too late.