My Story is about my Mum.
This event took place from 31 October 2019 to 16 September 2021
It was discovered by chance. My mum returned from a holiday complaining about an upset stomach and itchy skin. She blamed the food the was eating on her trip and the new bedding she was sleeping in. A few days later, a family friend who is also working in the medical field, looked at my mums eyes and said ‘you don’t look good, you should see a doctor’. A day later she was seeing her GP who found something suspicious in an ultrasound. She was referred to the local hospital and was diagnosed with jaundice, caused by pancreatic cancer.
This is My Story
I am upset that so many people can’t see their loved ones in need due to COVID restrictions all over the world. It was hard for me in 2020 and early 2021 and I was one of the lucky ones that was given the gift of spending time with my mum, who sadly passed away on the 16th of September 2021, just 2.5 months shy of her 69th birthday. I love my mum and I miss her dearly.
For my mum I shaved my hair last year during pancreatic cancer awareness month. I raised $2500. At her funeral we raised another 2500 Euro.
The Impact of Time
Time is the most important. My mum had surgery to free her bile ducts and started chemo soon after. I was able to visit her over Christmas 2019 (just before the world faced this new pandemic called COVID). She was going strong for quite sometime; the chemo was doing its job and my mum was keeping fit, occupied and healthy. She still had some goals, some of which she couldn’t experience due to COVID restrictions. 2020 went by with my mum going about her fortnightly routine of chemo. 2021 she started to struggle, lost more weight, had more side effects from the chemo – started to lose hope. I made an effort to apply for a travel exemption, which allowed me to see her in July 2021. My return flights were cancelled and I had to stay until October. What a blessing it was. My mum deteriorated very quickly in that time. She suffered from jaundice again and the cancer was pressing on her intestines. I was there for her in the time she needed me most. Yes, time was everything and also the timing of things. She managed to live 22 months with her diagnosis of Stage IV inoperable pancreatic cancer. She lived her life with this diagnosis, endured rounds and rounds of chemo and still left the hospital smiling. I am grateful my mum had the time she had; I wished COVID didn’t make it so hard, but she made the best of the time she had. She put plans in place for her end of life care and funeral, which eased the burden on us as a family. Of course, I still wish we had more time. Early detection is so important and can change the time we can spent with our loved ones.