In December 2005 we took our daughter ice skating and I had a really bad fall. It was 5 months before I went to the doctors with chronic back pain. She sent me for an x-ray which showed nothing. She then sent me for physio, which was about July/August. My physiotherapist couldn’t do anything for me, so she discharged me.
I think it was October 2006 that I couldn’t stand the pain any longer and went on sick leave.
In December 2006 I was sent for an emergency MRI scan, which showed I had a tumour on my spine and when I fell my back had broken. For nearly one year, I had been walking about with a broken back and out of that had worked in a factory for 8 months!
They took me straight to the Royal Hallamshire hospital at Sheffield and my amazing neurosurgeon made some titanium scaffolding for my spine. He actually removed the bone with the tumour. I was also becoming paralysed because my spinal cord was trapped in the broken bone.
After that I had 12 weeks of high doses of radiation to kill off any more of the tumour.
One Year Later
A year later, I didn’t feel any better and told my consultants. They decided to treat me as a new patient and to forget what had gone before. I had a bone marrow biopsy, MRI scan and more blood tests. When I went back for the results I was told that my plasmacytoma had now turned into multiple myeloma and that I was terminally ill.
I was devastated. I was on my own and I just wept. All I could think about was who would look after my daughter the same as me. I decided I would be positive and just get on with it. I’ve had a stem cell transplant and they took two lots because according to them I was relatively young to have this disease.
I’m in quite a lot of pain from my operation and now I have trouble with my feet from using thalidomide, which they treated me with. They took me because they said I could end up in a wheel chair for the rest of my life. They’re keeping an eye on me and I appreciate everything everyone has done for me.
PS. I found this photo. It was obviously just as my hair was growing back. It’s longer still now, but still short if you know what I mean!