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Ain't no mountain high enough by Daniella Chesney
My cancer journey
started in 2010 when I was diagnosed with bowel cancer. This totally took me by
surprise as I had always been very healthy and fit. It took 7 hours of
resection surgery and the removal of part of my bowel to be told I was cancer
I naively thought my cancer journey was over, a relatively easy ride I thought.
In 2011 my two older sisters were diagnosed with cancer and caring for them
made me feel thankful that I had overcome this disease.
Unfortunately for me my cancer free days were numbered and in early 2012 I was
diagnosed with lung cancer. Once again I had a resection with a part of my left
lung removed. Following this a nasty infection floored me for a while but I was
determined to survive. This cancer was a really hard blow for me as I have
always been a keen runner, competing in two marathons, completing in 3 hours 20
mins. For a short time, I felt that this disease had robbed me of everything I
loved to do. But I wasn't going to sit and let cancer win, I carried on running
and pushed myself every day to continue to enjoy my life. Soon after, a lump in
my left breast proved to be cancer once again and I endured a mastectomy. This
followed with reconstruction surgery and I now have a lovely pair of perky
breasts, which is a little bonus in the midst of this nightmare. In 2014, I was
enjoying my annual visit to Glastonbury whilst the whole time I was in extreme
agony with pains in my side and back. Once home, I checked in with my Doctor
and was sent to The Christies were I was told I was in kidney failure. I was
then diagnosed with myeloma, a blood cancer that affects your kidneys and is
incurable. After restoring my kidney, the task was then to get rid of the
myeloma. This took rounds of oral chemo, followed by intensive chemotherapy and
an autologous stem cell transplant.
A short time later a reoccurrence of cancer in my left breast, meant that I had
to endure 21 lots of targeted radiotherapy.
Whist recovering, a very annoying and itchy sore on my back proved to be skin
melanoma and this was subsequently removed, just another cancer to add to my
Then in the summer of 2016 my speech started to become slurred, my eyesight was
blurry, I was experiencing piercing headaches and I was zombified. On one of my
regular trips to The Christies, an urgent head scan was arranged. The results
were damning, I had metastasised brain cancer. This is probably as frightened
as it gets and I must admit there were times when I thought it had finally
beaten me. After 2 weeks of targeted radiotherapy to my head, I slowly began to
feel more like myself. It now looks like the tumor has reduced, but still
there, and I will need to be monitored.
It's now 2017 and every cough, every headache, every scan makes me anxious and
scared. But I am determined to continue to live life like I use to, running,
keeping fit and loving every minute of it.
I decided to take on the 3 peaks challenge for many reasons. Firstly to inspire
other cancer sufferers that you can embrace life and be well with cancer.
Secondly, I wanted to repay The Christies for the amazing care and support that
I have received. It is now my second home and I feel safe and so well looked
after by all my nurses and Doctors. I have totally exhausted the multi-disciplinary
team that take care of me and I owe this challenge to them.
Don't be fooled by how well I may look, I struggle to coordinate my limbs, I
have a lingering cough from radiation treatment and I tier easily. I am
determined to successful achieve this challenge in 24 hours, to prove that
cancer hasn't beaten me and I am still strong and fit even after all my surgeries
I want to raise as much money as I can for The Christies but more importantly I
want every cancer sufferer to face this disease with a brave face and not let
it take everything you love in life. It's easy to say be positive but you really
can fight this disease, don't let it define you, I'm living proof that you can
I want to be around for a long time to come, for my husband, my children, my
family and friends and for ME.
I am doing this challenge with my husband, brother and many fantastic friends, we will climb every mountain for The Christies and for every cancer sufferer. Please donate
as much as you can, The Christies is there for us all and one day you may need
unwanted emails. Once you donate, they'll send your money directly to the
charity. So it's the most efficient way to donate - saving time and cutting
costs for the charity