Kerry visited her GP over 12 times before being referred for further tests and has kindly shared her story with us and why awareness is so important.
Early 2014 I started getting back pain and I was told it was a trapped nerve and the pain went after a few weeks, so I didn't think anything else of it. It was now early 2015 and the back pain was back. I thought it could be stress as only 6 months previous my Dad passed away and also during this time I was planning my wedding.
My back pain got worse, so I went to my GP and was prescribed pain killers. They didn't work, the pain was getting worse and now my legs also hurt. The pain was so bad I went back to my GP and was prescribed different painkillers and was told it was more than likely muscle pain.
I had an ultra sound scan on my legs, which the doctor thought there was something there, but he wasn't sure! I then had an X-ray on my back and I was told "It showed wear & tear to my spine which was normal."
Over the next 5 months I went to A&E twice and my GP 12 times and still I was prescribed different pain killers. At this point I could barely walk as it hurt too much. I couldn't sleep as it was uncomfortable and painful.
The 12th time I went to my GP, they decided I needed an urgent MRI scan. I had my MRI scan a week or two later. The day after my scan I was phoned my GP to be told “We've found a growth in your lower back and you need to go to A&E urgently."
After being admitted into hospital for more scans I was transferred to a different hospital for a biopsy as it was now a tumour.
The biopsy confirmed our worst thoughts. It was cancer. I had been diagnosed with Ewing sarcoma at the age of 26 and 3 weeks before my wedding.
Our wedding went ahead as planned.
I had 11 rounds of chemo at Queen Elizabeh Hospital in Birmingham. I also spent 8 weeks in Jacksonville, Florida, USA where I had proton beam therapy. I had 30 proton sessions over 6 weeks.
I have been in remission since May 2016 but having cancer has completely changed my life. I've had to give up work, use a walking stick daily and I still use a wheelchair sometimes.
My advice to others is to never give up. There's going to be good times and bad times, but you just need to be strong.
Awareness is so important because early diagnosis can save lives. I've met other sarcoma patients with late diagnosis and they are sadly no longer with us.