In April 2017 I fell ill whilst on holiday celebrating my 40th birthday and ended up in hospital with heavy bleeding and clots. I was told I had a fibroid and to go to my doctor once home if symptoms persisted. I did just that and was referred to Northampton General Hospital where, after a biopsy in June 2017, I was told I had cervical cancer. Numerous scans and consultation visits later I was diagnosed with Stage 3b cervical cancer. I had a tumour approx. 5cm in circumference attached to my cervix and it had travelled into some of my lymph nodes. I'd always had the recommended smears and my last one, two years ago, was clear so this appeared to be quite aggressive.
I was given the opportunity to take part in a clinical trial called 'INTERLACE' and was accepted into the group that received additional chemotherapy before the standard treatment. I received 6 upfront chemotherapies once a week followed by the standard treatment, which involved 5 chemotherapies once a week and once a day (Mon-Fri) radiotherapy for 25 days. I was due to have 3 Brachytherapy (internal radiotherapy) sessions but I was unable to have this so I had an additional 8 external radiotherapy sessions instead. In total I received 11 chemotherapy sessions and 33 radiotherapy sessions.
My journey was not straight forward with allergic reactions, issues getting cannulas into veins, infections and the steady increase in side effects. I was incredibly impressed by the supportive, professional and friendly staff in the Oncology department who helped me through some of my darkest days. My journey is still ongoing but I know the cancer treatment and excellent service I receive from the Oncology department is expensive.
As many of my friends will know, prior to my diagnosis, Clubbercise with Marie Tur was a passion of mine, attending the exercise class once or twice a week. Throughout treatment Marie and the Clubbercise 'Glow' family kept in touch; posting live videos of classes, dedicating a Wonderwoman themed session to me, visiting for afternoon tea and Flash-mobbing my driveway one evening. I could not have got through this if had not been for the support of the Glow team and my own family, who lifted my spirits and cared for me whilst undergoing treatment. I'm now back at Clubbercise putting the glow paint and glitter on whilst awaiting the results of my treatment.
Marie has kindly offered to celebrate her 2nd Anniversary by running a 2 hour Glow party of Zumba and Clubbercise and raise money for the Oncology department to support the treatment that I and many others face. I am taking part along with other members of our glow family. I am sure someone you know has faced this battle so please donate to this worthy cause.
Thank you for reading my story and donating.