Together we will beat cancer


Mum’s pancreatic cancer

18 Jun 2019 00:11

Hi all. Just needing a bit of support.

Around 5 weeks ago, my 74 yr old mum was diagnosed with advanced pancreatic cancer. A massive shock, as she’d previously been fit and well and only recently had quite vague symptoms.  

Due to an infection, she has been unfit for any palliative chemo and is now in the local hospice, where I visit her every day for much of the day.

Its now at the point where she’s lost weight, isn’t eating and is sleeping most of the day. I feel totally and utterly devastated and can barely stand to look at her wasting away. I spend lots of time in the relatives room crying.

I’m a 38 year old an only child with no father (already deceased) and it is breaking my heart to face her in the bed every day. Though obviously I want to be by her side.

She is disappearing before my eyes and I don’t know how I can face another day.

How the hell am I supposed to cope?

i have supportive friends and some extended family, but it’s the seeing her getting thinner and more helpless that is tearing me apart.

i love her so much. 

Mum’s pancreatic cancer

18 Jun 2019 01:16 in response to eachnewday

hey Eachnewday, 

okay so I’m not going to shower you with I’m so sorry to hear this is happening to you and all that because I am sure you know that’s how I feel and everyone around you is saying it all the time.What I will say is I have been there and my mam was 57 - should have been 58 yesterday and passed away on the 23rd of May. When I say she was my best friend on this planet, my rock, my hero - that doesn’t so justice to how I felt about her. She was the strongest person I knew and honestly I didn’t know how I would even live without her. I didn’t see a point in living without her. She was my world and I was hers. By the way, I am 29 and am too an only child and my father passed away 9 years ago. Look there is no easy way about this - I am 4 weeks in and losing my mother is definitely the worst pain I have ever experienced - but yours is still here for the time being - so spend all the time you can with her - tell her very often how much you love her, hug her and kiss her and make her smile. Don’t grieve your mother before she goes - make sure to be there with her. Hold her hand while she sleeps. Do anything you can to be close to her. If she has good days hours minutes take pictures with her. But unfortunately things will eventually come to an end - so don’t regret the last bit of time you had with her. 


It’s not gonna be easy when she goes, it’s gonna be really tough and it’s gonna feel like your whole world is crashing down around you - but it’s not. Take the time off that you need, surround yourself with the best people for you and remember she will always be with you no matter what. X 


im here if you need me x 

Mum’s pancreatic cancer

18 Jun 2019 01:36 in response to meglou213

Thank you so much for your reply.

I’m lying at home in her bed crying reading it. At a time when you are clearly dealing with your own sorrow, I really appreciate your sound advice. 

You are right - my mum is still here; though not quite as I know her. I will sit next to her bed and just absorb every moment I have with her.  Right now, I honestly can’t imagine wanting to live without her, but I guess I will find the strength somehow. It all just feels so surreal and we had so many plans. 

Thank you again. Perhaps we can support each other down this difficult path? Stay in touch if you would like.

 xxx love 




Mum’s pancreatic cancer

18 Jun 2019 17:52 in response to eachnewday

Sorry to hear you are going through this. I have been there myself and it really is the hardest thing ever, to watch a precious mum fading away is just the most painful thing and I don’t think you ever really get over it. 

Spend as much time with your mum as you can and say everything you have ever wanted to, I used t think that advice was a bit cliched but it’s so important to take the opportunity. I only had less than 2 hours to get my head around the fact that my mum was dying as is happening so quickly and there are so many thing I wish I could have done differently. 

Mum’s pancreatic cancer

18 Jun 2019 20:22 in response to eachnewday

Hey there, sorry I didn’t reply last night - I drifted off to the land of nod! look all these things are easily said when your not the person in the position believe me. My mam was due to come home from hospital on the Friday and died on the Thursday when nobody was there with her. Won’t go to much into it here but basically she never should have died. And honestly no matter what anyone says it really doesn’t make it easier. But you need to look after you! You need to remember, you are what is going to be left of her, you are going to keep her spirit alive and you are going to make sure she’s not forgotten. I know what you mean about not being there as you know her - I had the same with my own mam at one stage. It’s heart breaking - like it rips you apart. It’s just another level of pain - but it’s still her. It’s still the woman who raised you to be, I’m sure and incredible woman - but do not let this break you - and don’t isolate yourself - when your down, seek help and when you feel alone come on here and talk to people, talk to me. You always feel like you are the only person in the world going through this - and in a way you are, cause she is YOUR mother, but we’re here to help each other through - that’s what this is for. Xx yes - definitely - we can help each other through this x how are you doing today? Have you been to see your mother? How is she doing today? Xx 

Mum’s pancreatic cancer

19 Jun 2019 03:03 in response to meglou213

Thank you so much for your insightful reply. You have really helped me get through the last 24 hours. Mum was a bit more alert today, possibly down to them changing her meds from morphine to something with less of a sedative effect. She is still very sleepy, but not quite as confused. She even managed to snap at me today, which was heartening and more like our usual relationship! 

I’m hoping to get her (and myself) some counselling at the hospice, as I do feel she is scared and holding back from talking about it. Maybe to protect me. 

It sounds like you’ve had an awful time, with your mum passing somewhat unexpectedly - I don’t know how the heck you’re managing to cope and be such a good support to others on here, but it’s heartening that you are. 

It just feels like normal life has ‘stopped’ and I can’t imagine what the new one will feel like. 

I really respect your maturity and compassion in supporting people on here; your mam obviously played a lovely part in raising you. 


Thanks again. Will keep you posted- and you do too xxx


Mum’s pancreatic cancer

19 Jun 2019 15:14 in response to eachnewday

Hi eachnewday, 

hope today isn’t a tough one for you - each one feels so different, I know - you really don’t know what each day will bring but we just have to take it one day at a time I suppose! 

Ah yes - the morphine - like floating on clouds for them, like talking to a wall for us. Ye the tired part is hard, my mam used to drift off and selfishly I’d cough or move a chair to wake her just because I wanted to talk to her more - not all the time but sometimes  . . .  Look your there - no matter what - your there. Haha ah yes the mother daughter relationship - wouldn’t be the same without a bit of snapping - years ago I’d sulk - towards the end I’d laugh when she snapped at me and we’d just laugh about it together. Anything to avoid an argument. 


Might be an idea - my mam was the same, held things back and told my aunts about the pain she was in but always only told me bits of it - she was always so worried if anything happened to her what would happen to me. Like yourself, being an only child is tough with stuff like this because you feel like your totally alone like. She was worried for me. Your mam is going to be the same with you. Does she have other family that visit? Brothers or sisters of hers? I wonder does she talk to anyone about it. Death is so so scary cause it’s the unknown - everyone is scared of that - is defo try get the counseling it will be good for both of you. 

You know, it sounds awful because I wouldn’t wish this on my worst enemy, but it’s comforting to know your not the only person in the world going through all of this - and it’s nice to talk to people and help where you can. Realistically there is nothing you can do to help. But a chat sometimes just takes your mind off all that’s going on for a while. My mams story is a long one - and a very sad one - but she’s at peace now with my dad. So I have to believe that. 


Look your normal will never ever ever ever be the same - but in time you will build a new one - so don’t worry about that.


My mam was my best friend - she made me the person I am today - so I suppose in a way I just don’t want her death to be for nothing - so if things like this keep her memory alive then it’s what I want to do. 


Hopw your mam is doibg okay today. That you get to have good chats and laugh where you can.

Your doing so well and although it might not feel like it now I am sure she is greatful to have you by her side. 

Chat soon xx  

Mum’s pancreatic cancer

20 Jun 2019 09:01 in response to eachnewday

Hello its nearly 15th months since I lost my lovely Mum to Pancreatic Cancer. Mum was diagnosed 2nd Jan 2018  with stage 4 PC and chose not to have any treatment. Mum  died on 31st Jan 2018.  It was so fast and it broke my heart watching Mum fade away. It was Mums wish to die at home so me and sisteer cared for Mum during January. We could not save Mum so all we could do was make sure she was comfortable and hold her hand.  It has taken me over a year to be able to talk about Mum without getting  choked and tearful but gradually I am able to think of the good times and happy memories.  It took many months for me to get the awful  last memories of Mum out of my head and I agnosised over  every last day with Mum. I have many photos of Mum dotted around my house and I have memory box and have written down all the nice times we had together.  My world has certainly changed since losing Mum and it will probabaly never be the same again but I try very hard not to dwell on the cancer as this was a very small part of Mum's life. Its been hard and painful and  I found this forum extremely comforting  during the last 15 months. x

Mum’s pancreatic cancer

21 Jun 2019 02:54 in response to Jenlou

Thanks for both of your replies. It’s good to hear that eventually the memories of the final weeks fade eventually. I’m terrified that all I’ll remember is mum looking skeletal and weak & scared in a bed. I’m struggling to remember what a normal day was like - even though she was ok (we presumed) merely six weeks ago. 

I’ve had to make peace with the idea that I may not get to have a ‘profound’ chat with mum before she goes. She is so drowsy that every word she has to speak is an effort. She even seems irritated by my presence sometimes, which is especially heartbreaking. I’m hoping it’s the meds and am trying not to take it personally.

megalou213 - yes, mum has a brother & sister (my aunt & uncle), but I’m not especially close to them. They are visiting mum, but we’re not that emotional in front of each other.

Thanks for your support - I hope I can return the favour to someone someday. 

Back to the hospice tomorrow.. Wish us luck.

With gratitude;

Thanks again xxx

Mum’s pancreatic cancer

29 Jun 2019 01:03 in response to eachnewday

hello eachnewday,

 i don't know if any of this will help but my mum is also close to passing away and these are some of the things i've been telling myself:

- the fact that i love my mum so so much is just proof of how amazing she is as a mother and a human being, that she has made my life so special and so full of love

- she has only had cancer for less than 4% of her life. of course it is awful that this is how she has lived out her last few years but that is still 96% of her life spent happy and healthy and independent. for your mum, that is over 99% of her life spent living without cancer 

- sleeping is peaceful, it means she is not in pain or scared but simply resting

I don't know how either of us are supposed to cope in this situation – all I do is cry and cry and cry and think about all the things that should have been but when I sit with my mum and she sleeps, I just hold her hand and read my book. maybe you could do that? that way, you are with her physically but not constantly watching her and focusing on what is happening.

if you ever want to talk, i am here x

Mum’s pancreatic cancer

29 Jun 2019 01:18 in response to pgh95

Thank you. It’s been a surreal week. My mum passed away on Tuesday morning. I stayed with  her overnight in the hospice and she died peacefully in bed at the side of me.

I already feel utterly lost without her and can’t imagine feeling motivated to do anything now I don’t have her to talk to and involve. 

pgh95 - how is your mum? And how are you coping? You gave great advice re: sitting in the chair next to mum and reading. I wanted her to feel relaxed and not like she had to ‘give’ anything to me. 

Thanks for all your support. And I am here anytime you want to check in xxx  



Mum’s pancreatic cancer

30 Jun 2019 00:20 in response to eachnewday

hello again eachnewday,

I can't begin to tell you how sorry I am – cancer is SO unfair. I don't think you are expected to feel motivated about anything right now, grief is all consuming and I hope you're looking after yourself and just letting your mind and body do whatever they need to do right now (if that makes sense).

my mum is okay, thank you so much for asking. she was only hospitalised with an infection on sunday evening and we were told she was going to die the next day. she is so dependent on oxygen that she would die on the way to the hospice so i hate the fact that she isn't in the "right" place – somewhere where they know how to give palliative care. i spent most of the day with her which is comforting but she gets so upset because the nurses don't do the "nice" things like help her brush her teeth or wash her hair :( 

I'm glad my advice helped you a bit and that your wonderful mum passed away peacefully with you by her side – just having you there would have been a huge comfort to her. i already know that when my mum is gone, after i have grieved, i am going to spend the rest of my life being absolutely fearless and making her so so proud. maybe one day that will be your motivation too.

please keep in touch if it makes you feel better xxx