On the 3rd of March this year, I was given the news that I had stage 4 lung cancer. Being a lone parent to two young boys, George 8 and Milo 7, my world fell apart and has been in freefall ever since. The thought of not being there for them was too much to bear.
I first went to the Dr’s feb ’16 with a bad cough and feeling run down. They sent me to the hospital that day for a chest x-ray which showed only one shadow in my left lung. My GP rang me with the results saying that he was putting me on a cancer pathway and that I would get immediate treatment as it was early days. I was then put under a respiratory consultant at my local hospital. My consultant put me on antibiotics and said it was just an infection. I remained on those antibiotics for 18 months. Every other month, I had another x-ray which showed progression of the shadow. The diagnosis for this was that I had self-organising pneumonia and I was taken off the cancer pathway. I had a bronchoscopy and biopsy in June ’16 and from this, was told I was cancer-free. Having been given the all clear, I went back to work though still clearly ill. In all my 20 years of teaching, I’ve never struggled so much managing the symptoms, work-load and my own children at home. But, in Dec ’16 I came off the antibiotics and within 4 days, I was rushed to hospital in an ambulance with sepsis. I spent 5 days in hospital in and out of consciousness. Upon discharge, it was mentioned in passing that the radiologist’s report was adamant that I had cancer but the ward consultant - and my own - dismissed it and told me not to worry and enjoy my Christmas, but also, that if the report was correct, then it would be too late for any curative treatment. I pushed for a biopsy as I really needed closure and felt that I could not be on antibiotics indefinitely and 3 months later, I had the biopsy. My mother came with me to hear the results a week or so later. The consultant sat us down and said “I’m really sorry, you have cancer”. I had to watch my mother break down, unable to deal with the devastating news that I had late-stage lung cancer and no suitable treatment plans were available to me.
This takes us to now. I’m basically left to my own devices but refuse to accept that there is nothing that can be done. I have found private treatments in this country and abroad but these being private obviously come at a great cost.
Struggling, I sought out a private cancer consultant who liaises with those working at the forefront of cancer treatment developments around the world. She told me about a clinic in Germany and advised me that this was one of the best clinics in the world offering the latest integrated medicine along with alternative treatments. I have funded various treatments myself but the money needed for this sadly, is far beyond my means. Some of the cutting edge treatments include; low dose chemotherapies, immunotherapy’s, dendritic cell vaccines and personalised cancer vaccines. These treatments have been seen to cure the ‘UK NHS incurable’!
The 6 week school holidays have been the hardest ever. Having to tell my young boys that their Mummy has cancer was heartbreaking for all 3 of us. Through lots of tears and cuddles, I reassured my boys that Mummy’s going to put up the best fight ever to which Milo replied “but Mummy, I want you to grow old and grey just like all the other Mummies do”.
My boys need their Mummy.