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Woman with bloated stomach was told it was menopause – but it was in fact cancer

todayJune 15, 2022

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A Nottingham woman who went to the doctors with a bloated stomach says she was told it was due to the menopause – but it was in fact cancer. Caroline Guy decided to visit her GP in 2019 after becoming concerned about her swollen stomach, which at times woke her up in the night and she described as looking ‘seven months pregnant’. She says she was told it was likely down to the menopause.

But just one year later, the 56-year-old was diagnosed with stage 4 bowel cancer. Upon receiving her diagnosis, she was given just three or four months to live as the cancer had spread to her liver and ovaries.

Two years later, the mum-of-two has been told that she is cancer free in what she describes as a “miracle”. After her initial diagnosis, Caroline underwent treatment at Nottingham University Hospitals. She also had surgery for a full hysterectomy and had part of her bowel removed, MEN reports.

READ MORE: Some children in Notts can’t say their own name or use the loo when starting school says headteacher

Caroline said: “I felt sluggish, I just didn’t feel right. My stomach was swollen, I’d Googled my symptoms and I actually asked him outright if I had bowel cancer, and he said no.”

Caroline visited her husband Adam in Saudi Arabia in January 2020 where she woke up one night in agony as she said she looked “seven months pregnant” and was “violently sick”. She was rushed to hospital where she had x-rays scans, MRI and blood tests before being given the devastating cancer news.

The mum asked doctors “am I going to die?” as the surgeon had told her husband it was “very bad”, adding: “You’re looking at three to four months.” Caroline’s cancer was classed as inoperable and incurable, but she started a course of chemotherapy and a targeted drug, Cituximae and returned to the UK in September to see her daughter, Hollie, in Nottingham – but she immediately caught Covid-19 and had to self-isolate.

She recalled: “It was scary, the thought of coming back to England, worrying would I still get my treatment, because I’d done so well in Saudi, but I had to come back. I had to see my family”

After the treatment, Caroline has further scans which showed the tumour had reduced in size. As a result, medical professionals says that Caroline likely had two more years to live, but she was “heartbroken”.

She explained: “I didn’t want to hear a timescale, I was doing really well. I continued with the fortnightly chemotherapy and Cituximae.



Caroline is now in remission
Caroline is now in remission

“I had a pump fitted and I’d go away and have chemotherapy for 48 hours at home. It’s been a long hard process, but I have never had my treatment stopped. And the staff were absolutely marvellous, they were under tremendous pressure. Nurses that should’ve finished were still there hours after their shift had ended, because they can’t just walk away when machines are bleeping and patients need attention.”

As the chemotherapy effectively shrunk the tumours, she was told by surgeons Alastair Simpson and David Humes that she could have surgery in a “huge operation”, and was later given the news that she was in remission.

She will now be monitored every three months for the next five years. She said: “The surgeon looked at me and said you’ve got no cancer. I said ‘are you sure? I just couldn’t believe it. It’s a miracle. It cost £110,000 for my treatment in Saudi, my husband’s retirement fund, because I didn’t have insurance. I got all my documents through a week after I was diagnosed with cancer.

“The money it cost for private care – even though it was amazing – it doesn’t touch what I’ve had done here with the NHS, and the NHS gets such a bashing. For the surgeons to say ‘we’ve got it all, you’re cancer free’ – how can I thank them?

“How can I thank the NHS? Some of the staff are like family. The amount of people who have been involved with my care, and they have all been wonderful. I’ve met the Crown Prince of Bahrain, I’ve met Professor Stephen Hawking before he died, and I’ve met David Jason… and I’ve met Alastair and David – and they are part of my VIP list.”

Husband Adam is now is returning to England at the end of the year and the couple plan to buy a house in Nottingham to be near daughters Hollie and Gabrielle. Caroline said the journey has made her a “stronger person” as she now has a “permanent smile on my face”.

The 56-year-old said: “I don’t fear anything any more, because nothing can be as bad as being told you have a cancer that is incurable and terminal. I’m a positive person but of course I had those thoughts, so when a surgeon says they are going to operate, and not with a view to extending your life, but to go in determined to cure you, it means everything. I owe them everything.”

Written by: thehitnetwork

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