It’s wonderful when we see friends and family coming together to support a new Mum diagnosed with cancer! This is Rachel’s Story…
At about 36 weeks pregnant I noticed a lump on my neck, and as you do, didn’t think much about it. But I did ask my boss, a dentist, what he thought, and he said to keep an eye on it and go straight to the doctors if anything changed. So with this in mind, I carried on with last few weeks of my second pregnancy, and getting ready for my planned c section, on the 5th of June 2015. The day arrived and all went well, had a healthy baby boy, Jack. And a fab little brother for Sam, who was 2 and a half.
At the 3rd week of being at home I noticed the lump again, and was getting strange chest pain, which I put down to my c section and breast feeding, but I went to see the doctor, and got told off for not going sooner with my symptoms.
I was referred straight away to the ear nose and throat at my local hospital. Here they did a small biopsy and then sent me for a deeper biopsy and a ultra sound scan. This happened within days.
We had to wait for my results, but during the wait, I never once thought it was cancer, that happens to other people.
My hubby took the day off to get results with me, but got a phone call to say they didn’t have the results and to come a few days later, so I went back on my own to get results as we didn’t think it was anything serious. My god how wrong were we.
I walked in to the consultants office to be meet by many people. He gave me the results that I had Hodgkin lymphoma. And to be honest, wasn’t sure what was going on, until he introduced me to Lucy, the nurse in the room, and she turned out to be the best person I’ve ever meet. She was my Macmillan nurse, and then it hit me, it’s cancer.
… all this and a new baby.
We told all our friends and family, and got huge support from them.
I few weeks later I went and had a pet scan to find out how far it had spread, and luckily only stage 2, and the hospital intent was to cure, so with this in mind, all I had to do, was get my head down and get on with having chemo ever 2 weeks. And leave my hubby and mum to look after the rest. I couldn’t of got thought it with out them.
Once I’d had 2 sessions of chemo, I was scanned again, and was told that it had already gone, and just needed the rest of treatment to keep it that way. So wonderful news.
I decided to shave my head once my hair started to fall out, but wasn’t to much of an issue, as it was coming into winter so hats at the ready, I did get a wig, but the boys didn’t like it and baby Jack would pull it off.
Chemo was grueling, but we got ourselves into a nice pattern, all I could do for 2-4 days was sleep. And then all of a sudden I’d be back to normal. And then it started again. I was really lucky to get reflexology, I feel this was a huge help in my treatment, keeping me well and my spirits up.
I had a break over Xmas, to enjoy the festive season and my Sam’s 3rd birthday. This helped, I was beginning to really struggle, and getting a chest infection, so time off helped me regroup and gain my strength back.
After Xmas I only had 3 more sessions left. And then that was it, a long road to recovery which I’m still on, It took me by surprise, to how long it would take to get better, but we have and are hear to tell the tale. I’m still getting counselling as the emotions of dealing with cancer can be worse then the cancer it’s self, crazy.
We heard about Mummy’s Star from the brilliant services at the special cancer unit. The hospital gave our details to Mummy’s Star and within days I’d had a phone call from Louise. We had applied for a grant to help with the cost of things while I was ill.
Louise was wonderful over the phone, and I knew they were there at anytime, but I didn’t need them as much, the money was a huge help to us, and kept us a float.
I feel there are families out there with much harder stories then mine, but I know how wonderful Mummy’s Star are, and really wanted to raise some money to make sure any other family get the chance for the same help as what we got.
First my really good friend did a sky dive and then Rob really wanted to do total warrior for mummy’s star, so we put a team in, and were really pleased that my friends from back home in Cumbria wanted to join us, and help raise money too. Team Mummy’s Star rocked.