I haven't had cancer. My wife has. Breast cancer, about 9-10 years ago. A mastectomy, some glands taken out from her armpit (just in case it tried to spread) and a lot of rest then she was told she'd got the all clear after possibly 5 years. We didn't dwell too much on these things. Example, having the operation she said was the best time she'd had as it was in the summer, coinciding with school holidays & was the first time she'd spent any quality time with our son since he was 6 weeks old, him being about 8 or 9. Maggi being the bread winner and myself not.
She just got on with life as before ignoring that pernicious anaemia & lupus & antiphospholipid syndrome was causing her to basically collapse. Maggi forever puzzled as to why she was tired as her head felt fine.
She started to get pains never felt before in the lower abdomen & after a while went to the GP (for Maggi to go to the GP pains have to be insufferable). Then blood tests. Results, nothing that they didn't know already. Pain went away. A while later pain came back, she had to go back. More blood test. More results. Same. Showing nothing new.
2nd weekend in August 2009 I was out working in my studio & got a call Maggi was desperate, apologetically asking me to come home. Of course i would, I told her it was on again so I wouldn't miss anything, she'd be feeling guilty (honestly) about me leaving. Got home and we 3 (our son now 15) had a best a night in as we could. Next evening I went to the studio again & I got a call saw the name on the phone, was already getting myself ready to leave whilst answering, I knew this was wrong.
Possibly the next day, it was a busy or fuzzy time, it was down to the hospital. Mags went with a friend (she was in no condition to drive & I can't) had some tests. I don't even remember if she stayed in overnight or not, or who the friend was, where my son stayed, the next thing that I remember is Mags saying the Doctor told her at best it's gallstones & at worst it's Pancreatic Cancer, Maggi said she didn't think it was gallstones & neither did I.
The 11th of August Maggi Gamble was told that she had terminal pancreatic cancer & that it had nothing to do with the breast cancer she had conquered less than a decade before. It was in the Doctors very own words, "It's just bad luck." When asked if we wanted to know how much time is left the reply was no. We thought it would be about 2 months but clock-watching? Not our thing. People are sorry we had so little time, but I tell them we got 5x the amount we thought. We reckoned 2 months, but somewhere she went and got an extra eight.
All she said she wanted to do was to "See my baby turn 16."
She didn't get to do that
Love you Maggi