Thank you for visiting our website. I would like to take this opportunity to tell you my story, and invite you share your story.
In March 2009, I was diagnosed with Breast Cancer and after a year of tough chemotherapy and radiotherapy, I was back in work and fighting fit once more. Life was on the up…
My mum had been suffering from a recurring cough since October 2009 and had visited her GP during this time. She was prescribed anti-biotics and advised that this could take up to eight weeks to clear. Mum’s cough did not clear, and in January, she returned to her GP and was sent for a chest x-ray which was followed by a CT Scan.
Mum returned to her GP following the scan and it was during this appointment that Mum was told by her GP that she had lung cancer, with secondary cancer affecting the Lymph Nodes and Liver. Mum had been told by her GP that is was not looking good, but we all tried to remain as optimistic as possible.
Mum received an appointment to see Dr Collier. Mum was extremely nervous as she felt she was going to be told that she did not have long to live. It was heartbreaking to see Mum and Dad holding hands in the waiting room with Mum’s head bent down low in anticipation and Dad stroking her arm lovingly. This image will stay with me forever. We were called in to see Dr Collier and Specialist Lung Cancer Nurse Sarah Morgan. Dr Collier then confirmed that Mum had Lung Cancer and would carry out a bronchoscopy to ascertain what type of lung cancer this was. Sarah Morgan provided us with notes of what Dr Collier had explained, which was fantastic as I had learned from my own experience that you listen to everything, but hear nothing.
We then took Mum home and although a little sore, she was in good spirits. Dr Collier had given Mum hope that treatment was available in order to manage and control her pain and symptoms. My Dad and I knew this meant palliative care. Mum gave us the impression that she thought she may get better – in hindsight, this may have been her protecting everyone else.
During the next two weeks, Mum deteriorated rapidly. At our next appointment with Dr Collier Mum was unable to walk very far and was using a wheelchair. She became exasperated at the slightest task, going to the toilet and making tea were a real chore for her at this stage. At this appointment, Dr Collier confirmed that Mum had Small Cell Lung Cancer, and that chemotherapy would be offered in order to minimise pain. Mum had selectively heard that she was going to have treatment and believed that “something can be done” and this brought a smile to her face. Again, this was probably for our benefit.
On Friday 5th March, Mum went to see Dr Wilkins to discuss chemotherapy and Mum was to return on Monday morning. By this time she was becoming increasingly confused. This was my husband’s birthday and that evening we all gathered at my parent’s house to share what was to be our final family occasion together – a proper Welsh tea party!
Mum deteriorated quickly over the weekend. Dad and I stayed up through most of that weekend taking it in turns to sit with Mum. She remained firm, however, that she was going to attend on Monday for her chemotherapy. Somehow, we got her dressed and into the car on Monday morning and she was smiling at my Dad, happy that she was being given the opportunity to fight.
When we arrived at the Chemotherapy Unit, Dr Wilkins could not believe that Mum had made it to the hospital. Mum was very confused. Dr Wilkins asked Mum if she wanted to go home, or be admitted under her care to Steffan Ward. Mum was worried about dying at home as she didn’t want us to be walking through the living room thinking “Mum died there.”
Mum kept her sense of humour all through her illness, and put up a very brave and dignified fight.
Sadly, Mum passed away on Tuesday 9th March 2009 at 5.30am. There was the most beautiful sun-rise that morning. It felt surreal travelling home with my brother that morning. How can life change so quickly in just 6 weeks?
In the weeks that followed, we pulled together as a family and all dealt with our grief in our own way. I felt it most unfair that Mum had not been given a chance to fight and that had we have been more aware that the symptoms she had could be lung cancer, we would have sought medical advice a lot sooner. This resulted in me writing a simple letter to Dr Collier. I wanted to raise funds to improve the awareness of the disease and improve support for sufferers, but wanted to ensure that this went directly to his department. Dr Collier responded to my letter and the rest, as they say, is history.
Since we first met in May 2009, we have now set up Lung Cancer Campaign Carmarthenshire and have up to the end of 2015, raised over £40,000.
Thank you for reading my story and together we can make a difference!
Thank You to Lucy
We are extremely grateful for the very generous donation of £1000 from Mr Gareth Williams in memory of his wife Lucy. Sadly, Lucy recently lost her battle with metastatic breast cancer, and our thoughts are with her family at this time.
Despite many set backs, Lucy remained positive and cheerful aided by the loving support of her husband. Lucy came to know of LCCC through the fund raising efforts of theatre sister Rose Davies. Lucy, despite her own ill health, admired and supported the aims of our charity in raising awareness of the early symptoms of lung cancer.