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My journey started back in May 2018, when I thought that I had injured my back whilst gardening. I visited the doctor who referred me for a scan, the result of which showed fluid in my chest cavity. I was admitted to hospital as an urgent case on 1st August and was initially diagnosed with mesothelioma on 8th August. I was advised that my case was atypical and therefore it was important that we awaited the result of the histology for a certain diagnosis. Histology results also indicated mesothelioma, but because is is so rare in a woman of my age (48 years) they wanted a further biopsy to be undertaken to be 100% sure. Following a VATS peurodesis with talc, confirmation was given on 4th October that I have mesothelioma.
Whilst undergoing these tests a shadow showed up on my right breast. It transpires I also have breast cancer, which is a hormone responsive type of cancer. So as well as being an atypical case for mesothelioma, I am also a rare case because I have two totally different types of cancer.
I have received amazing treatment to date through the NHS, so I want to give something back. I am doing this in three ways.
Firstly I am going to have my long hair cut on 20th December and will donate my hair to the children charity little princesses. This charity donates wigs free of charge to children suffering from hair loss as a result of cancer treatment.
Second and third I am asking friends to choose to donate either to Mesothelioma UK or Breast Cancer UK.
Currently mesothelioma is incurable and this charity invest in research and treatment. It also funds specialist mesothelioma nurses - Karen from Leicester is mine.
Breast cancer affects women and men alike and has affected a number of colleagues and relatives of friends. It remains a worthy cause to help support research and support those suffering from cancer.
I am just recovering following radical surgery, having had an extended pleurodectomy and decortication. Chemotherapy starts in January.
I remain positive and full of hope.