Janice

My Story is about My Husband

 

This event took place from 14 October 2020 to 7 March 2021

 

The Discovery

He started with a small cough and for a few months would have a loud hiccup in the middle of the night which we laughed about as it was loud enough to wake me up. He also complained about itchy skin which we put down to dry air. He also lost interest in things he loved such as watching soccer and playing his guitars telling me he was bored with them, we put it down to all the restrictions with COVID. He also lost weight but he was fussy about staying slim and I did notice he was eating less.

In mid February he said he couldn’t taste his food so we got tested for COVID which was negative. he then went to the local clinic who did a chest X-ray that was clear. Our son in Law is a Surgeon and said we needed to go to emergency which we did and they did more blood work and a cat scan. Two days later we had a phone consultation with our Doctor who informed us he had terminal pancreatic cancer that had spread. He had non stop hiccups that no amount of medication could stop and he was unable to get a liver biopsy because he couldn’t keep still. He never really had any pain just mild discomfort. We tried to keep him at home but he was so weak and disoriented from the medication which they couldn’t regulate we had to take him to palliative care.
Just before that we had a video consult with an oncologist in Victoria who really wanted to help him with new treatments but he was already too sick and was too weak to make the 2 hour journey to the cancer centre.

The Nurses and Doctor in the palliative care were wonderful and he was much more comfortable plus I stayed with him. At this point he wasn’t eating or drinking and he lived three more days before passing away at age 76. He was never in pain and even the lowest doses of morphine were almost too much for him to take. Since he passed away I’ve checked the early signs of pancreatic cancer and the itchy skin is one of them. He never had the yellow skin but he did have terrible night sweats in the last two weeks he was alive.

This is My Story

We had 29 wonderful years together and it was so hard to see him lose his fight to live when he had so much more he wanted to do and see.
Because he had always been the fittest one of our group it made us all think about our mortality and how we need to make every day count as you just don’t know what is in store for you.

The Impact of Time

We should have taken more notice of his symptoms but because of all the COVID restrictions we were more worried about getting COVID that dealing with what we’re mild symptoms in the early stages from October to February.

He had always been one of the fittest people I know and an athlete but once he received the diagnosis later in February he only lived two more weeks so we had little time to get all our affairs in order. We did manage to get the Family together which was difficult because of COVID.

 

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