Movingly , On June 11th Johnny (Beverley’s husband and soul mate) wrote:
‘Dear Family and Friends
I am so sorry to deliver this shocking and deeply saddening news by email.
Beverley passed away…..
As some of you will know, Beverley has been fighting pancreatic cancer for the last 19 months. She has kept it quiet and private so many of you may be particularly shocked to hear this news. I am sorry.
We will be planning a small gathering to remember her in a couple weeks.
Details will follow.
As you know, Beverley and I have been soul mates for the best part of two decades. I’ve been battling with her through every step of this illness, but it is the worst of all cancers, and there was nothing more we could do. Her mother passed away due to the same cancer 4 years ago.
Beverley celebrated her 50th birthday quietly on 3rd May.
Since her first diagnosis in October 2015 she has been positive, brave and got the most out of her remaining life.
After a whipple operation in January 2016 to remove part of her pancreas, we thought she had the “all clear”. She worked hard on her diet and exercise to become as fit and outgoing as I have ever seen her. We went for long (10+ miles) county walks from our Oxfordshire village to other villages and visited the pubs along the way. Beverley set a blistering pace up and down the rolling valleys.
She had a second diagnosis in October 2016. The pancreatic cancer had metastasised to her liver and lungs. We tried, unsuccessfully, to join a clinical trial at Cambridge University and made the most of the local restaurants on our frequent visits. Unfortunately, however, we couldn’t get her blood results to meet the minimum requirements of the trial.
Still feeling fit through February 2017, we took a vacation in Dubai with great friends. Unfortunately, that was when the symptoms of the new tumours also began to present themselves. Since then we have been managing pain and trying other home remedies, like sea cucumber, which may have helped her the last month or so.
By late April Beverley was getting quite frail as the tumours grew and multiplied (one the size of a tennis ball in her liver). We had been afraid of the words “palliative care”, thinking it was where you went when all other options were lots…while we were in the mind-set to keep fighting. However, to our pleasant surprise, palliative care is awesome! They really know how to make people feel better – controlling things like pain and nausea that GPs are not equipped to cope with. Moreover, you don’t have to give up the fight with palliative care. We continued down the avenues we were pursuing but more comfortably for Beverley.
We checked her in to a charitable palliative care centre called Katherine House Hospice near where we live. She stayed 10 days and they got her eating and the pain under control and then she came home shortly after her birthday. She spent 5 weeks back at home and showed many sings of improvement and recovery in the first few weeks (possibly down to the sea cucumber).
In the last week or so, however, things started to deteriorate. It’s been a roller coaster and we thank our friends and neighbours for their support.
We admitted Beverley back into Katherine House last Thursday afternoon after a couple seriously bad days at home. Beverley said she was “ready to die” and “at peace with death” before we made the decision for her to spend her last days in the hospice’s experienced hands.
I’ve been at her bedside since we moved in and they have treated us like guests at a 5 star resort. We had a huge private room, full board and wine with dinner (for me – she was on stronger stuff).
Her family and I are planning to celebrate her life in the next couple weeks (details to follow).
Meanwhile, please do not send any flowers. Beverley would like donations to go to Katherine House Hospice instead.
Look forward to seeing or being in touch with you soon.
All the best.’