Kay’s Story – Liver Cancer

Hayley bravely shares her mum’s story and experience with liver cancer. Here is Kay's story:

When did your mum’s symptoms start?

Mum had just had a hip replacement. The bad weather meant she couldn’t exercise as much as she’d wished to, so she was still trying to build strength. One day she’d said to me “my wee is very dark”, but we thought little of it. After all, she wasn’t 100% herself yet, she was still recovering from her operation.

A few weeks later mum was admitted into hospital with deep vein thrombosis. She ended up staying in hospital for weeks. During this time, they tested her liver as mum had started looking yellow (jaundiced) and they’d found a ‘shadow’ on her liver.

How did you feel when you found out Kay had liver cancer?

We had all expected the upsetting news. What we didn’t expect was to be told that mum’s cancer was terminal, there was nothing they could do.

We asked how long we’d have with mum. We were told a month at best. We’d barely even got our head around the fact she had cancer, so to be told she had weeks to live was an awful shock.

Mum died just 5 days later at 64 years old, surrounded by the whole family. She was still chatting away right until the end. Mum was the best at making us all smile, even at the hardest of times.

Tell us more about your mum:

Claire, Kay & Hayley

Mum was my best friend. Me and my sister, Claire could tell her absolutely anything. The three of us did everything together. We’d even go out clubbing when I was underage. Mum would say, “it’s alright – I’ll get you in!”

You’ve probably heard of ‘dad jokes’. Well, mum had her own ‘mum jokes’. Every now and again, I’ll remember something she said, and I’ll cry with laughter! Once at the dinner table, she placed a chip on my shoulder and said “are you alright? You’ve got a right chip on your shoulder you do!”

How did you deal with your mum’s passing?

I can’t get over how quickly everything happened. Years on, I still don’t think I’ve fully grieved. To keep myself busy, I started boxing. It helped me vent, get out all my anger and upset. I’ve met an incredible group of women through boxing and in 2018, I raised over £2,000 by boxing for Guts UK.

It’s not good enough that people are being diagnosed with liver cancer once they get to A&E. We need screening programmes and better awareness of the symptoms. Liver cancer takes lives too quickly. It took my mum’s life just 5 days after diagnosis.

Please support to Guts UK today. Together, we’ll make sure no other family has to experience a loss like ours did.