“To this day, I feel anger and sadness that it took my mum away so soon”
Tiffanie Bromham shares the experiences of her mum, Sandy.
As a mum of three girls, my mum was vibrant and young at heart, having only retired within the past few years. She loved her garden, loved her grandchildren and was really starting to slow down and enjoy life away from an office desk.
In October 2014, mum began to feel a little unwell with indigestion-type symptoms. My sister took her to the doctors, who referred her to A&E to get checked out.
After an examination and a scan, we were all shocked to hear the diagnosis that my mum had pancreatic cancer. In total, from her feeling unwell to being told it was around five days, during which she had begun to show signs of jaundice also.
When we spoke to the oncologist shortly after diagnosis, they suggested they wanted to put a stent in to relieve the jaundice and make my mum more comfortable. This was successful, and we went home.
What happened over the next six months still feels like a dream, as it was a mixture of pure sadness and also happiness enjoying those rare moments.
After speaking with many doctors about having the Whipple surgery, it was agreed that sadly my mum’s cancer was too advanced at Stage 4, and it wouldn’t be effective and also not fair on her. We joined a chemotherapy trial at Guildford General Hospital, which was very hard on my mum. Exhausting and emotional. We ended the trial in January 2015 because it made my mum too weak and sick.
We enjoyed the next few months as best we could, having prawn curry every night as that’s what my mum wanted, laying in bed watching trashy tv. I can still feel the warmth and magic of those moments now.
In April 2015, my mum took a turn for the worse and ended up back in the hospital. Sadly, she then moved to the wonderful Thames Hospice in Windsor, where she was cared for brilliantly for two weeks. I got to stay overnight with her the night before she passed and I will never forget it.
I know lots of people say it, but my mum was so brave, and during this time, this disease took us all by surprise, and still to this day, I feel anger and sadness that it took my mum away so soon.
I now have two girls of my own, and talk often about nanny, and I hope to do it more as they grow up.