One year ago our entire world was turned upside down when I was diagnosed with bowel cancer. We had only just become a family of four and my pregnancy had masked all my symptoms leading to late diagnosis. After an operation I received the awful news it had spread to my lymph nodes.
Over the last year I’ve received 6 months of chemotherapy, 2.5 months of radiotherapy and have received new immunotherapy thanks to our wonderful NHS. I feel so lucky that I went to the doctors when I did and that the Marsden fast tracked me for treatment. If I hadn’t I may not be here today with my beautiful family.
Today I still cannot think back to those early days of diagnosis. There are so many layers of worry and fear when you are diagnosed with very young children. But having them has also made me stronger than I could ever have imagined and we are all here together a year later enjoying everything we can.
Cancer in pregnancy is rare but it can happen. Some women are diagnosed during pregnancy meaning they start chemotherapy treatment before their baby is even born - can you imagine how that must feel?
I’ve had a full on year of treatment and I’m very very thankful my last scans have been clear. I will receive ongoing treatment to help me stay that way involving hospital appointments every fortnight. I don’t know what we would have done if Mike hadn’t been able to take time off work to attend hospital with me and if we hadn’t had Mum and Dad’s support with everything including all the childcare.
Some women diagnosed do not have this support and Mummy’s star charity helps provide practical and financial support for lots of things including childcare. It also importantly provides a platform for mums to talk to other mums in a similar situation to share fears, worries and stories with the only people that truly understand how they feel.
The women on this site are truly the strongest people I’ve ever encountered, each supporting each other whilst fighting their own battles.
Now I have a little more energy I want to set myself the challenge to run 10k. I hope to raise as much money as I can to help fund the charity’s work to help even more mums.
Take a look at their site mummystar.org and if you’re able I would be grateful if you could support me in my fundraising.
Love Karen xx
Mummy's Star is the only charity in the UK and Ireland dedicated to supporting pregnancy through cancer and beyond. Your donation means that women diagnosed with any cancer during pregnancy or within a year of a birth are able to reach Mummy's Star and the specialised support they offer. They help families to meet others in a similar position, offer small grants to relieve some financial burden, give support to partners and the wider family, promote awareness and support research. Thank you!