Thanks for taking the time to visit our JustGiving page. This is in memory of our mother Ruth Cooper. It was a shock to all when Mum developed jaundice in February 2013 and soon became very weak and tired. She was then diagnosed with pancreatic cancer and we were told fitting a stent would help but she was likely to live for weeks, maybe months. Prior to this Mum had been a very healthy and fit 86 year old. She looked after herself and her garden and played a full part in the village life in Little Bedwyn.
Fitting a stent was much more difficult than was first thought. It took 5 attempts during a period lasting more than a month. All credit to the team at Great Western Hospital, Swindon, who persevered. Suddenly the jaundice disappeared, and Mum regained strength by the day.
She did however have to take the very difficult decision to leave her home of 56 years and move to live with Janet in Derbyshire. However she thrived and was soon digging Janet's allotment, creating a new herb bed and helping to sand down and repaint her narrowboat, Redshank. She had a holiday, partly in Cornwall with Jim where she showed determination to walk to the top of St Michael's Mount, and with nephew Richard in Gloucestershire where eating huge amounts of cake and cream on days out helped her to regain the weight she had lost.
Alas it was not to last. A course of chemotherapy and a fall really took it out of her, but she did enjoy Christmas with all her family. A brief improvement in her health in January did not last and through the first 2 weeks of February she declined by the day. She lost weight, strength, appetite and became frustrated at her inability to live her very full and active life. She died on 18th February, exactly a year after her first visit to her GP with jaundice.
From what we have heard and read her story does not follow the normal pattern of pancreatic cancer, perhaps this just emphasises the need for more research into this hard to diagnose, hard to operate on and almost always terminal form of cancer. Mum had a great life, was a wonderful mother and grandmother and friend to many. Others are not so lucky. Please give to help find ways of diagnosing and curing pancreatic cancer.
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Janet Briggs and Jim Cooper.