Mum who was hoping for one last Christmas with family after cancer diagnosis celebrates making it to end of year

A mum who was hopeful for one last Christmas with her family after being diagnosed with advanced pancreatic cancer has celebrated making it to the end of the year.

Jo Dodd, aged 38, vowed to spend the time that she has left making precious memories with her children following the devastating diagnosis in August.

Jo told Chronicle Live in September: “Mainly I just want to spend time with them. If I make Christmas I’ll be happy, if I can have one last Christmas that will be really good.”

Now Jo, from Gateshead, has fulfilled her wish to spend what is expected to be her final festive period with her family.

She said: “I’m not a big lover of Christmas generally, but this year it’s nice to have one last one.

“My auntie is making Christmas dinner for myself, the two boys and my mum and dad and brother.

“We’re all going to spend Christmas together which is good, because I don’t have to cook. Normally it’s me cooking.

“I’m not a fan of all the running around and planning, but I’m looking forward to the day.

“The boys are as well – they’re very excited young men at the moment.”

After suffering an allergic reaction to her first type of chemotherapy treatment, Jo has now been transferred to a second as she waits to find out if her tumours have stopped growing.

She said: “I have good days and bad days – some days I’m okay and then other days, really not.

“I’m still in a lot of pain but I refuse to take any morphine – the pain’s not bad enough to make me take it.”

She is also trying to spend as much time as possible making memories with her boys, saying, “We’re just doing. little bits and pieces. It’s having the energy to be able to go out and do things at the moment – it tends to really wipe me out.”

Jo had been suffering with stomach pains since March this year, but numerous tests and trips to the doctor had failed to pick up the problem until last month.

She went to her GP with “intense” stomach pain, and was taken by ambulance to the Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Gateshead after some worrying test results.

Jo Dodd from Pelaw, Gateshead
Jo Dodd from Pelaw, Gateshead

A CT scan revealed the horrifying news that she had pancreatic cancer which had already spread to her spleen and liver.

She previously told us: “It is terminal so the only thing they can do is slow it down a little.

“I’ve got two boys so it’s about giving me more time.

“At the moment I’m planning things to make memories and enjoy the time we’ve got.

“I don’t want them to tiptoe around me or be different.

“I’m not angry, I just want to last as long as possible.

“I know there’ll be days when I’m having chemo and throwing up and can’t be bothered with people, but I’m a fighter, I’ve always been a fighter.”

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