Katie and Charlotte’s mum, Debra, known as Debbie, was diagnosed with breast cancer in December 2020 after finding a lump.
Once she discovered the lump, she received the diagnosis every woman dreads. When she told her friends and family, she took it in her stride and continued to put on a brave face to show us she could and would fight it.
Debbie’s treatment plan was put in place to begin in March 2021, with chemotherapy and radiotherapy to remove the cancer and stop it spreading. However, she was then given the devastating news that the cancer had spread to her liver and spine.
This news absolutely petrified us all and we couldn’t comprehend mum already having Stage 4 cancer so quickly. Her cancer was now terminal and she was given a prognosis of two to five years. The doctors informed us the treatment would only be to prolong her life.
Over the next two years, Debbie had countless appointments and scans at several hospitals for new drugs, injections and chemotherapies in the hopes to prolong her life.
It was safe to say mum did everything she could to try to fight the cancer. For most people that knew mum, her main goal and aim was to be able to attend my wedding in April 2023. Thankfully, she achieved that goal and she looked absolutely stunning, was in good health and she gracefully gave me away. It was the most magical moment for the both of us.
Soon after the wedding, Debbie started to deteriorate and she wound up in hospital in May 2023. The family were told that there would be no further treatment as she was experiencing liver failure due to the cancer’s rapid growth.
Once again, mum continued to be in high spirits at hospital, making jokes about the food, taking photos, but also trying to prepare the family for what was next for her. This broke us all but we continued to be strong for mum. She was now experiencing severe jaundice due to the liver and it was clear how poorly she really was. However, she continued to be up on her feet, eating small amounts and being her usual happy self.
Debbie was discharged from hospital and returned to the comfort of her own home with arrangements made with the palliative care team and Myton at Home. However, she quickly deteriorated as her appetite reduced and she became less mobile.
At this point, mum needed care for all aspects of daily life. This is where the Myton at Home team really stepped up. It felt like the team were always there, helping us as well as mum. The support they gave the whole family was phenomenal.
After three days of being at home, Debbie died peacefully, surrounded by her family.
Mum’s fight was over and she didn’t need to fight anymore.
From the moment mum was diagnosed, counselling sessions through Myton were set up for her to help support her through her illness. She went to see someone weekly at Warwick Myton Hospice and she always told us how much she appreciated them. They helped her understand and get her head around being terminally ill and supported her with any questions she had. They helped her with writing a book about her final wishes and her funeral plans.
All of the family are eternally grateful for all they did to help mum. It’s a charity so close to home and made a huge difference for mums journey.
Katie and Charlotte decided to take part in Stoptober to raise vital funds for Myton.
Those who know me and my sister know just how much we love a glass of wine. For us, it wasn’t just about giving up drinking, it was about raising money for an amazing cause and we knew we would never fail. Myton did so much to help mum through her illness and during the last stages of her life. Me and my sister wanted to be able to give something back.