Chris’ partner, Kirsty, has shared their moving story with us. Even though Chris was devastated by his diagnosis, and everything he has been through, and still must face, he has remained determined to stay upbeat.
Chris was suffering with back pain and visited his GP for the first time in October 2017. Following this he went on to visit his doctor over five times and in January 2018, an appointment was eventually made with a rheumatologist at Hairmyres Hospital, but he had to wait for four months to be seen.
In February 2018, Chris was also referred for an MRI scan at Wishaw General Hospital and nothing suspicious was reported and proved inconclusive.
Chris was told he was someone who had to live with back pain. However, we feared it was something more serious, so we persisted.
During April 2018, Chris attended his appointment with a rheumatologist and a tumour was suspected and Chris was referred for a scan. Following another MRI and blood tests, Chris, two weeks later was referred to Glasgow Royal Infirmary where a 10cm mass was found on his pelvis.
June 2018, Chris was seen at the Beatson and further tests and scans confirmed it was Ewing sarcoma. By the time Chris had received his diagnosis we found out that it had spread to his lungs. Chris was devastated, but he remained determined despite everything he had gone through and what he still had face.
We feel medical staff looked at the wrong area of his body and did not focus on locating the source.
Chris has undergone 14 chemotherapy sessions and a course of 35 radiotherapy sessions. He has been treated by a fantastic sarcoma team at the Beatson in Glasgow.
Chris and I feel more must be invested in training of GPs and hospital specialists to allow them to diagnose and treat bone cancers earlier. Anyone with cancer should not have to spend seven months seeking a diagnosis.
We have met many other people whose bone cancers were not diagnosed when they should have been. We really do urge others with suspicious and persistent pains or lumps to ask their GPs and anyone they are referred to, to check for cancers.
Chris’ career as a maths teacher is now on hold and I have gone part-time from my role as a midwife to support him throughout.