After I had Jade the pains kept getting worse. I was on strong painkillers and used to sleep on the wooden slats of my daughter Katie's bed. It got to the point where I was in agony all the time and couldn't look after Jade properly.
One day I was in so much pain lying on the floor in my living room that my sister called the doctor in to see me - I could hardly walk. The doctor called an ambulance straight away and I was taken to hospital. I was given x-rays and told I had disc problems in my back and to go home and do more exercise. I was fuming - I could hardly walk and yet was told to exercise.
My partner at the time couldn't believe they had sent me home in so much pain, so he paid for me to see a private doctor. I went the next day to see someone at The Nuffield Hospital in Tettenhall and within five minutes of him looking at me he said it was nothing to do with my back but seemed more in my hips and pelvis. He got me a bed at The Royal Hospital Wolverhampton and over the next two days I had every x-ray and bone scan he could think of. It turned out I had a tumour in the muscle of my pelvis the size of a satsuma. I was taken to The City Hospital in Birmingham and had a biopsy. A few days later I had a phone call telling me it was Ewing sarcoma. The doctor was trying to give me instructions over the phone about which hospital I had to go to and what would happen. I was in shock and couldn't take in what he was telling me. As it happened my Dad has just come to see me at home so I handed him the phone, so he could understand what was going on. They said it was quite strange because they normally happen in young or old people - I was 27 at the time.
I had chemotherapy which shrank the tumour down within a few months. I was worried about my hair falling out and had nightmares that it wouldn't grow back. My sister shaved it off for me when it started dropping out which was ok actually because I didn't look so bad bald. The chemo knocked me about a bit and I caught colds, got cold sores and infections and needed blood transfusions.
After that I had radiotherapy at The Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Birmingham. I had to travel there every day for 2 weeks. I think they might have given me too much radiotherapy because it started burning me from the inside out. I had serious burns between my legs and my groin area which wasn't nice at all. When it had all settled back down, I was told that the tumour had gone. Hurray.
I had to go for yearly check-ups and x-rays and all seemed well until after about 12 years when my right leg started swelling up. I went to see the doctor and they thought it might be lymphedema, so I had to start wearing a tight stocking to try and keep the swelling down. I was sent to The Royal Orthopaedic Consultant in Birmingham for an x-ray just to make sure it wasn't anything else. It showed up something on my thigh bone which shouldn't have been there. Again I had to have a biopsy and it came back as another cancerous tumour, this time a Mesenchymoma. I was told that I would have my thigh bone removed, taking the tumour out with it and have a metal thigh bone put in its place, then more chemotherapy.
I had the operation and chemo at The Royal Orthopaedic Hospital in Birmingham. During this round of chemo I was on crutches, in pain from the op and then caught C Diff. I was in a total mess and felt so ill. The doctor said he didn't think I could take anymore chemo so sent me home to rest.
I had to go back for a check-up and when I did I was told they couldn't be certain that the chemo had got rid of all the tumour because it was a very aggressive form of cancer if there was even the slightest bit left in me it could spread all through my body. I thought I would have to have more chemo or radiotherapy, but the doctor said my body couldn't take anymore and the only solution was to amputate my whole leg, because of how high up the tumour had been. I literally couldn't breathe - I was in so much shock because it was so unexpected. He gave me two weeks to decide what I wanted to do. What it came down to was possibly live with one leg or die with two, - not much to think about, really.
I had the amputation 4 May 2006, my complete right leg. When I woke up I thought they hadn't done it because it felt like I was lying there with both my knees bent up, I had to look down to make sure. I had to get up out of bed after a few days to learn to hop using at first a Zimmer frame and then crutches. The physio pulled my blanket back for me and I started laughing. She looked at me as if I was mad, but as I said to her I was sitting there trying to move my leg off the bed, the leg that was no longer there - very funny. I was in hospital about 17 days and then came home and had to move in with my parents for them to look after me.
For a long time I had no confidence at all. I didn't want to do anything. if I went out it was in my wheelchair and I put so much weight on.
I eventually decided I needed to start living my life again. I moved into a new house with my daughter Jade. I started going out on my crutches, I went places on my own, went out with friends again, lost some of the weight ;-)
In 2011 I decided I needed to do more so I applied to go to college to do a massage therapy course.
I absolutely loved it, meeting new people, keeping busy and learning to massage people properly passed with a certificate of excellence, student of the year award and a level 3 diploma in massage therapy. I'm still massaging now and still love it.
I think the things that got me through this experience were my family, my friends and I always stayed positive :-) Also my hair always grew back, naturally curly - bonus :-)