COULD THIS NEW TREATMENT SAVE MY LIFE?
WOMAN'S OWN|August 10, 2021
Doctors told Chris Powter that she only had a few years left to live, but she refused to give up that easily
MISHAAL KHAN

Walking through the front door, I dreaded the moments ahead as my husband John, then 56, and I prepared ourselves for a difficult conversation with our daughter Steph, 21. ‘It’s bad news. I’ve got terminal cancer,’ I said. Steph looked stunned, her mouth open, and her eyes glistening. She gave me a hug, but instead of breaking down, reassured me. ‘It’ll be OK, Mum,’ she said. It was typical of Steph to be so positive, and although the odds were stacked against me, I tried my best to take inspiration from her.

‘IT WAS THEN THAT FEAR STARTED TO CREEP IN’

Just two months earlier, in April 2017, I’d started feeling unwell after lunch with friends. When I was sick that evening, I put it down to food poisoning as I’d eaten seafood. Working at a bullion house, I kept myself busy, ate well and my health was otherwise perfect. John and I had even recently been on a skiing trip to France.

But over the next few days, the sickness didn’t subside, and everything I ate came straight back up. A week later, I went to the GP and was prescribed anti-sickness tablets, but they didn’t make a difference.

Over the next few weeks, I struggled, and by June, I’d lost 2st. My eldest children from a previous relationship, Mark, then 47, and Karen, 44, were just as worried about me as Steph was. I pleaded with the doctor. He agreed to fast track tests.

I was taken aback as cancer had never crossed my mind. I tried not to worry, especially as the doctor didn’t seem concerned. The nausea and sickness meant I couldn’t have an endoscopy, and so the only option was investigative surgery.

‘I’m sure it’s something easily treatable,’ I said to John, not worried at all. But as I came round after the op, doctors told me they had found something on my small bowel and a few unusual cells on the peritoneum, the tissue covering the organs in my abdomen. It was only then that fear started to creep in. ‘What if it is more serious than we thought?’ I worried to John, who looked even more concerned than me. ‘I fear it is,’ he said.

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