A GRIEVING family have paid an emotional tribute to their 'wonderful mum' who tragically passed away only months after being diagnosed with cancer.

Greenock mum-of-three Margaret Beaton had been treated for urinary infections for two years before medics discovered that she had a tumour in her bladder.

Two major operations and gruelling chemotherapy and radiotherapy took its toll and she passed away at home surrounded by her family last month.

Her daughter Vikki said watching her fit and healthy mum fade before her eyes was heartbreaking.

Vikki, 30, said: "My mum deteriorated very quickly.

"She worked every day, she drove a car but she aged 30 years.

"She became frail, a shadow of her former self.

"It's left a gaping hole in our lives."

The 51-year-old firstly had a procedure where the surgeon removed the tumour through her urethra.

Vikki said: "That is when the doctors decided to remove the bladder and spotted a lump that was undetermined on her ovary and then they suggest a hysterectomy and said it would be best to remove everything."

Margaret had a 'three-in-one' operation at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Glasgow, lasting 11 hours.

Vikki said: "We were told the worst case scenario would be she would have to use a urostomy bag but she would have a good quality of life.

"They tested all the lymph nodes and it came back clear."

But sadly Margaret did not make a full recovery.

The family later discovered medics had hit a nerve during surgery, causing her to lose the feeling in her left leg.

Vikki said: "After that we were hit with blow after blow, as the cancer spread rapidly to her spinal cord and liver.

Margaret received chemotherapy and radiotherapy and a second round of chemo plus a blood transfusion at the Beatson Cancer Centre in August.

At this point she was being cared for in Inverclyde Royal Hospital in J North and got home on September 10.

Vikki said: "She perked up a little knowing she was going home.

"The staff in J North did an outstanding job of caring for her but she never opened her eyes again and passed away the day after her 27th wedding anniversary on Thursday 12 September.

"She fought a short battle, but she fought it with everything she had."

Her heartbroken husband of 27 years, Craig, said: "Margaret was given antibiotics for two years without having any scans.

"Doctors went down the infections route.

"We were told her symptoms were wear and tear and osteoporosis in the spine, when it was cancer."

The devastated dad says that when Margaret was finally given a MRI scan it was too late and his worst fears were confirmed.

Margaret passed away at her home in Finch Road with her beloved family around her.

Vikki, who was four when her parents got married, said: "She was the backbone of the family and kept everyone together."

Margaret leaves Vikki, her son Craig and 16-year-old Amy-Leigh behind.

As the family try to come to terms with their terrible loss Craig has raised £900 for Macmillan Cancer Support through completing a 5k assault course while Vikki is determined to raise awareness about bladder cancer and is urging people to get a second opinion before it is too late.

Vikki said: "Doctors said that after the second operation she would be walking about in three days.

"She was in intensive care for a week and sixteen weeks after the operation in May she died."

The family had hoped that their mum would have been able to spend another Christmas with them all, but sadly this was not to be.

Vikki said: "My mum loved Christmas, when she was told the cancer was terminal she asked if she would be here for Christmas.

"My dad's angry, he's self-employed and never got any help from anyone."

Vikki says her mum was much-loved by everyone who knew her and is devastated how quickly she deteriorated after the surgery that was meant to save her life.

She said: "She felt cheated. She had the operation to give her more time and a quality of life. She must have had that tumour for a long time but she had never been unwell.

"Two weeks before she died, she was just constantly sleeping and couldn't plan her funeral.

"She didn't have the time to tell her us what she wanted to say.

"We were all there when she passed away in my dad's arms.

"She took her last breath knowing she was safe to go - I think that gave him some comfort.

"We weren't ready for it, it happened so quickly.

"My dad feels he has lost half of himself, they were together 31 years.

"It's heartbreaking."

Margaret was the manager at Chaplins for 15 years and also worked in Amazon in Gourock for 10 years.

Vikki said: "All her family and friends are so upset, it has affected so many people.

"She's left two brothers Paul and Hughie and so many other people behind."

Her sister-in-law Gemma, 33, who is married to Paul, said: "I'd known Margaret 16 years, even before I married Paul, and she was just a great person.

"We all loved her, she was like a mum to Paul."

Dear friend Flo Rankin, who spent all her time by her side, is also grief stricken along with Margaret's brother-in-law John and sister-in-law Adele.

Vikki said: "We have a small but close family and now there is this big hole.

"My mum was everything to everyone, we already knew this but without her as the days go on its getting harder and harder."

Testament to Margaret's popularity was the huge turnout of 1,000 people who came to her funeral at Greenock Crematorium.

Friends of her husband Craig also turned out in their scooters to pay their respects while staff at Amazon were also allowed to time attend Margaret's funeral.

Vikki said: "Mum was popular and well liked both at Chaplins and Amazon.

"She was the most lovely person you could meet."