I was diagnosed with Stage IV Neuroendocrine Cancer in October 2015.
The primary tumour was in my small intestine with metastasis to liver and lymph nodes.
Diagnosis came both as an absolute shock (I had run a half marathon two days before) and as a relief as I had been having extremely unpleasant symptoms (hot flushes, raised blood pressure, palpitations, loss of vision, diarrhoea, constipation, night sweats, fatigue) for nearly a year and intermittent unexplained abdominal pain for 3-4 years.
I had been misdiagnosed with hypertension, heart disease, IBS, depression, early onset menopause, endometriosis and lastly with making it all up!
Some of my symptoms were blamed on the stress I as experiencing caring for my terminally ill husband, he had bowel cancer.
My advice: IF SOMETHING IS WRONG WITH YOUR BODY GO TO YOUR GP AND BE PERSISTENT
Treatment has involved two surgeries (bowel & liver resections), Transarterial Chemoembolisation (TACE) twice, monthly Lanreotide injections (these are ongoing) and in the autumn I will be starting PRRT (I’ve got mixed feelings about this). I will also be having surgery in August to correct a hernia caused by previous surgery.
Fatigue is my worst enemy, there are days when brushing my teeth is as much as I can do; in 2017 I had to take early retirement due to ill health.
Treatment and surgery have made me gluten intolerant and managing nutrition and digestion is a constant struggle which is a nightmare when one loves food as much as I do.
Despite all this I try hard to enjoy life, I run (not as fast/far as I used to), do yoga, walk my dog by the sea and continue to raise my teenage children as a lone parent (I widowed in 2016).