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.
Continue reading your story on the app
Continue reading your story in the magazine
ISLAND-HOP IN CROATIA
Experience beauty at every turn as you head off on a memorable Adriatic adventure, says Isabelle Broom
WHAT ARE THE CHANCES?
Deciding to go away before IVF, Stephanie Latcham, 29, brought home more than just a tan
Richard and Judy's HOLIDAY FALLOUT!
The couple have always been candid about their disagreements, but is this latest drama the final straw for the presenters?
WE GAVE UP OUR JOBS FOR OUR PETS
With working from home coming to an end for many, three women tell us why they’ve walked away from their careers after acquiring a pet during lockdown
It's all about the SEA VIEWS
Holly Keeling used a palette of soft colours, weathered finishes and relaxed coastal details to bring this old barn conversion back to life
FORCED TO SAY ‘I DO'
After the Government committed to raise the legal age to marry in England and Wales to 18, campaigners agree it’s a good start. But what else can be done to protect those forced to wed?
DON'T LEAVE MY SON BEHIND
For those with learning difficulties and autism, like Penny Wincer’s son, emerging from lockdown can feel daunting
Sam was at a crossroads in her life after a death – and it was time to pick a new direction for herself
A FLESH-EATING BUG NEARLY KILLED ME
Loubna Trott, 51, almost lost her life, but her dad’s death inspired her to overcome her greatest fear
Train Your Brain!
Get more from your exercise routine by making it mindful
KALEY'S CURSE STRIKES AGAIN!
Unlucky in love cutie’s marriage down in flames
John & Olivia - BABY ON THE WAY!
The comedian’s going to make a lot of dad jokes now that the actress is pregnant.
Blake Shelton, Kelly Clarkson, Ariana Grande, John Legend Premieres Mon., Sept. 20, on NBC
Nexvoo Health Ergonomic Desk Chair
A chair that monitors your health? That’s what Nexvoo aims to do
What Are Our Feelings Telling Us? Heartful Communication
In this 3-part series, LIZ KINGSNORTH introduces the importance of effective communication, some principles of Heartful Communication, and how we can better understand our personal feelings and longings, and the feelings and longings of others. In Part 2, Liz explores why we think and behave the way we do, giving examples of how our communication will improve as a result of this understanding.
THE TRUTH about TikTok nutrition
Your FYP might be feeding you false food facts.
TELL YOUR STORY THE RIGHT WAY
It isn’t about sharing all your great accomplishments. It’s about being relatable with your failures.
BRUCE PUSHES DEMI INTO TRAVOLTA'S ARMS!
Old crushes reignite for celeb singles
Vintage Christmas at Your Fingertips
Take a peek at three women-owned shops that love vintage wares both old and new.
SCARY-SKINNY ANGIE'S MYSTERY HOSPITAL STAY
Fears grow for shrinking star!