Patient stories

Debbie

I was diagnosed in February 2019, two weeks before my 36th Birthday. I had no symptoms of lung cancer whatsoever. The only signs I had were from a secondary brain tumour which was misdiagnosed as vertigo for 3 months (due to my age). But things didn't feel quite right and the doctors kept telling me nothing was serious and my vertigo would go after 2 weeks. I kept going back to
the doctors saying it's not going away and is getting worse.

 

In December, I started to get headaches but again was told there was nothing serious to worry about. After returning to work, my headaches increased and, after two trips to A&E (one in an ambulance), I still struggled to get them to take my bloods and do a scan, even though I was lying on the ambulance bed in so much pain I couldn't stand up.

Thanks to my Mum and Dad being there, they eventually scanned me and found a lump. I was then sent to The Walton Centre and operated on the next day.

 

When in hospital, I found out the tumour was secondary and after scans my primary was found to be in the lung. From the tumour they took out, they discovered I had stage 4 lung cancer, specifically ALK positive.

In February, I had 5 rounds of radiotherapy for my head and in early March I started taking Alectinib. So far, my 3 monthly scans have shown all clear on my head and I am stable on my lungs. Most of this year has been me mainly recovering from the brain surgery and getting back into family life. I have a lovely husband and two children aged 4 and 6.  I watched my youngest start school this September and my oldest start year 2.  I hope to go back to work part-time next year in January, and start to get more of my life back. I have even started the gym (I am a gym virgin)!

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