In December 2017 I brought my parents a bottle if champagne, Dad said he wanted to save this for a special occasion, a real celebration....
In January 2018 I noticed Dad was jauntidice but he brushed it off, “I’m fine he said!”, “No Dad your not!”. Dad had no other symptoms.
It took him two weeks to go to the doctors and after a blood test he was shortly diagnosed with pancreatic cancer. This hit us extremely hard but all was going to be ok. The doctors told Dad he was “one of the lucky ones” he got to have a whipples procedure in March which would remove the cancer, his pancreas and some of his stomach. The operation was successful Dad was told “its gone, no more cancer however we need to give you chemo just to clear up any floating cells”.
Dad started chemo in May 2018 and went every week for one hour and was given the lowest dose of chemo. This was the toughest part. Seeing my Dad so poorly, being sick, weak, unable to walk and having to help him have a drink and to eat. It was heartbreaking and my Dad was “one of the lucky ones” the doctors couldn’t understand why Dad was so unwell - he didn’t have cancer - he was just having chemo just to “make sure”.
Dad was in and out of hospital in between chemo as he reacted so badly, swollen legs were the most common. But that didn’t stop Dad doing the things he loved, going to the football, being out in the garden and being there for us all.
In early October he had his CT scan this was going to show if the chemo had worked which of course it had because Dad “didn’t have cancer”. Weeks went by we heard nothing so assumed that Dad was in the all clear. In late October he was admitted to hospital as his swollen legs had returned. It was then that he was told by the Doctors that the chemo hadn’t worked, the cancer had spread and that there was no more to be done. Dad needed an MRI scan.
To say this was a shock was an understatement we were so unprepared and this was really unexpected. We spent the next few weeks in an absolute bubble. Numb is the right word.
After the three weeks past and after the MRI Dad received a phone call from the Nurse.. “we think we got it wrong, we think we’ve made a mistake, sleep well and see you next week!” What did this mean? The nurse wouldn’t tell Dad anymore but wanted him to feel a bit more positive. For us this meant maybe Dad was in the all clear! A few days later Dad went back to hospital and was told “we need to do another MRI as the results aren’t clear but for now you are in remission”
This was fab news - however Dad didn’t want to celebrate just yet as it was far from over. Dad continued as normal and we enjoyed Christmas and New Year as a family.
In January 2019 Dad went for his MRI scan and in 10th January we were told the bad news that his cancer has now spread to his liver and it’s incurable. My Dad has 6-12 months to live.
The champagne from December 2017 will sit in the fridge.. it will never be opened ever and for us there will be no celebration.
I am running Race for Life not just for my Dad but for EVERY single person who has/is being/will be affected by cancer.
My Dad maybe losing his battle but doesn’t mean that one day we will.. let’s kick cancers butt 👊🏼