Sussex woman reflects on her dad’s diagnosis of terminal pancreatic cancer

Clarisse Honore’s dad, Gilbert, was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer in October 2021. He sadly died in April 2023. Clarisse is working with Pancreatic Cancer Action, the only UK-based charity dedicated to improving survival rates through early diagnosis of pancreatic cancer, to raise awareness of the disease’s devastating nature.
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Gilbert’s pancreatic cancer diagnosis came just a few months after the birth of Clarisse’s daughter.

“She was his sunshine, and he was mine,” Clarisse, from Brighton and Hove, said. “He had lost weight for a few years, but nothing too noticeable, or at least not enough to worry him to get to the GP.”

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Gilbert's symptoms were missed until he developed jaundice, and he was quickly seen by his GP. He was immediately referred for a CT scan, and just three days later, he was given a terminal diagnosis of pancreatic cancer.

Clarisse Honore with her dad, Gilbert. Photo: Pancreatic Cancer ActionClarisse Honore with her dad, Gilbert. Photo: Pancreatic Cancer Action
Clarisse Honore with her dad, Gilbert. Photo: Pancreatic Cancer Action

Clarisse added: “That day changed all our lives, and it broke something in me.

“It was a lot of ups and downs throughout the next 18 months. The hardest day was when he had surgery to remove his pancreatic tumour after chemotherapy had shrunk it to an operable state, and doctors found a second tumour that stopped them from being able to remove anything, and they had to close him.

“Despite everything, he never gave up and always kept the faith that he would be healed and never shared any fear or doubt with us; he took it upon himself to make sure that we didn’t stress or worry.”

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Clarisse’s mum put her life on hold for 18 months to care for Gilbert.

“Dad said to mum so many times, ‘I’m so lucky that you are my wife; if I was on my own, I don’t know how I would cope.’”

​After a few stays in hospital, Gilbert’s health deteriorated. He entered the hospital for the last time on March 20, 2023 and passed away on April 10, 2023.

​Clarisse said : “I tried to support mum and dad as much as I could until his last breath. I consider myself lucky to have had him by my side for 18 months, even though I know how hard it was for him and us to watch.

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“I am dealing with grief, of course, but I have no regrets as I did everything I could to make sure I was there as much as I could be, I made sure my daughter got to spend as much time with him as possible, and my Mum was incredible, she did everything in her power to help dad.”

Pancreatic cancer is the fifth most common cause of cancer death in the UK, with around 10,500 people diagnosed each year. Early diagnosis is crucial for improving survival rates, sadly, 26 people a day die from the disease, and a further 29 are diagnosed.

Pancreatic Cancer Action is dedicated to raising awareness of the disease and funding research into early diagnosis and treatment. To find out more about our work, visit

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