A MUM-of-two put her vomiting down to her son's sickness bug – but days later was hit with the news she had terminal cancer.
Stacy Watkins had no other symptoms, but after a routine blood test for other conditions, was told to get to A&E right away.
She had a call from her GP at about 5am insisting she get checked out immediately as "something's wrong".
After more tests she was stunned to find out she had a very aggressive cervical cancer, with more probes revealing it had spread to her liver and spine.
In another tragic blow, her partner was then diagnosed with a large mass at the top of his spine just a week later.
Over a year earlier, Daniel Price had woken up unable to move his neck.
He said: "I felt like I couldn't move my neck at all. It felt like I was in a neck brace.
"At the time we were shielding because of the pandemic so I put off going to my doctor for as long as possible and then mid December I went to the doctor – they said it was in severe spasm, it was diagnosed as frozen shoulder."
He was told to have physio and acupuncture, and prescribed medication to help ease the problem.
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But eventually, after an MRI, a large tumour was found pushing against his brain stem.
He is now waiting for an operation to have it removed and biopsied before it causes more damage.
The dad from Reading explained: "I've got quite a weakness on my left hand side. It's constant pain, as this tumour is pushing against the nerves. It's quite painful a lot of the time.
"It was shocking because it was the same sort of time Stacy got diagnosed, and we've been in a whirlwind ever since."
Stacy, 38, who also suffers from lupus, fibromyalgia and rheumatoid arthritis, had not noticed any other cervical cancer symptoms.
When it was found by chance during a blood test in October, it had already spread to other parts of her body.
Daniel, 41, told the Sun Online: "She was being sick quite a lot, but our son had a sickness bug at the same time so we thought it was probably that at first.
"She went for routine bloods before her lupus infusion.
"She had that and then the doctor called – around 5am I think – and said you need to get up to A&E now as something's wrong.
"Unfortunately they were doing tests and they told her that you've got cervical cancer, about a week before I got diagnosed.
"She has very aggressive stage four cancer – without treatment she would have weeks, possibly months, but with the treatment it's looking like months."
He added: "That's why we are looking so frantically, looking for treatment not on the NHS – we want her here as long as possible.
"There's a lot going on so my way of dealing with it is just putting her first and just care for her as best as possible."
The family are trying to raise £90,000 for private treatment which could prolong her life.
Daniel, a builder, said: “We have found different types of chemotherapy and also immunotherapy, but they’re not available on the NHS.
“Just a half an hour consultation can cost anything between £250 and £450 and initial indications are that the treatment needed will be in the region of £90,000.
“We would appreciate any donation, however large or small.”
Cervical cancer symptoms:
There are no obvious symptoms during the early stages of cervical cancer – that's why it's best to keep up with your smears when reminded by your GP.
However, vaginal bleeding can often be a tell-tale sign, especially if it occurs after sex, in between periods or after the menopause.
That said, abnormal bleeding is not a definite sign of the condition, just a possible indicator.
Nevertheless, it should be investigated by your GP as soon as possible.
Other warning signs include:
- pain and discomfort during sex
- unusual or unpleasant vaginal discharge
- pain in your lower back or pelvis
And if it spreads to other organs, the signs can include:
- pain in your lower back or pelvis
- severe pain in your side or back caused by your kidneys
- peeing or pooing more than usual
- losing control of your bladder or bowels
- blood in your pee
- swelling in one or both legs
- severe vaginal bleeding
Their son, Hayden, 18, has had four pacemakers since he was born and Tia, 15, who featured in The Sun back in 2011, had a heart transplant at the age of four.
Daniel said: “It’s been a whirlwind to be honest and what we’re going through is unheard of.
“Stacy’s dad also has incurable cancer, so together they’re supporting one another.
“I’ve not been able to work for four months due to this tumour and the operation to remove it has been cancelled twice due to Covid.
“It’s been a really hard time for all of us.”
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