A rare small cell cancer

Wednesday 8 October, 2008 by Julie

It is 19 years now since my beautiful daughter was born and I also had a 3-year-old son. Just after Gracie was born I was diagnosed with what they then thought was Cervical Cancer but after a major hysterectomy the pathology showed something much more sinister.

Somehow I had a deadly form of lung cancer - Small Cell Cancer - that turned up in my cervix and had spread to lymph nodes. Can you possibly imagine how I felt with 2 tiny children and all my family in the UK?

Shortly after my big surgery, I began chemotherapy but my diagnosis was so rare that advice had to be sought form overseas on how to treat me. The doctors didn't even know if my body would be able to cope with the combination of cytotoxic drugs needed.

For 6 months I had to be admitted to hospital for 3 days each month, knocked out and hooked up to a drip containing the 'nasty chemo' I had to have. I went home on day 4 feeling dreadful and tried to stay positive and 'normal' for my babies. I lost a week out of every month being so sick from the chemo.

It was for many years later that I had to see my specialist on a regular basis but my determination, positive attitude, faith and belief in my doctors helped me to fight and not give in to this horrible cancer.

I had a very poor prognosis and didn't expect to make it to 2 years but I wanted to see my children grow up so badly. To this day I don't know why it had to happen to me but I learned many things from my illness and even now I don't take life for granted.

Hearing people whinge about the irrelevant is the only thing that makes me mad nowadays. My children have grown into lovely young adults and only now can I relax and get on with my life.

If you've been diagnosed with a rare type of cancer and are unsure about your treatment and care you may like to call the Cancer Helpline on 13 11 20 and speak with one of our cancer nurses.
Updated: 08 Oct, 2008