We are very honoured to feature Sarah Shapcott and her mum Sally Spencer as our first story in the patient voices series. Sally has been diagnosed with stage four endometrial cancer and has been wiggling away to raise awareness and funds for womb cancer.
Below are both Sarah and Sally’s stories, in their own words, written for us in September 2020.
After my mum was diagnosed with stage 4 endometrial cancer, I researched so much to see what was happening in the world of womb cancer within the NHS and private sector. After coming to many dead ends I realised there was no real awareness or charities, certainly not enough funding to try and prevent this killer cancer.
I set up a Facebook page Womb Cancer Awareness, with which I initially intended to just sell some facemasks. The awareness fundraising started to spiral…
Mum and I had attended weekly Clubbercise classes, raving in the dark with our glowsticks, up until lockdown. Our family needs to make lots of memories with mum so I decided to organise a Clubbercise fundraising event “Wiggle your Womb for Womb Cancer”! Mum had worked for a local leisure trust for over 20 years (recently retired) and they allowed us to use the pitches outside for free (Covid compliant of course)!
The day was amazing such a buzz and mum even wiggled her womb too. We raved in the sun for 45 minutes, laughed and cried. Local small businesses and people donated amazing prizes for a raffle.
We had 57 prizes and sold 2500 individual tickets! Total raised was just over £800!!!
Mum had the most amazing day as did the other 29 ladies who wiggled too. I just want to do it all again ????????
Hi ladies, I cast my mind back to Christmas of this year giving an envelope to each of my 4 grandchildren containing American dollars for them to spend on our holiday of a lifetime. I’d taken early retirement and decided to take all the family to Florida after drawing my pension. I’d been getting a few niggling pains down below but nothing too alarming. We were due to fly out in May but in about March time the discomfort was becoming more regular. Covid-19 was upon us and going to my doctor was pretty scary. I plucked up the courage and along with the discomfort my tummy was now bloated. After the doctor examined me appointments for scans and biopsies came thick and fast.
I was eventually given the diagnosis stage 4 womb cancer. I have to admit I didn’t take in another word my oncologist said, and to this day I don’t know the full story of what’s happening to my insides. I’m very much what you don’t know won’t hurt you, probably you’re thinking to yourselves “oh my God” I would want to know what’s what, but that’s not me. I had 3 sessions of chemo which I coped with very, very well. I had the usual days of nausea and tiredness but in the grand scheme of things I consider myself very lucky. I had my midway scan which was very positive; pelvic area no change but at least no worse, one node had reduced by two thirds and one completely gone. After session 4, my platelets haven’t recovered enough for number 5. Although platelets are heading in the right direction it’s still too dangerous to have session 5. It looks like I’ll miss session 5 now by two weeks which is really messing with my head, even though I understand the reasons, all I focus on is what’s going on inside me. I will now turn this around. I am doing my best to stay positive. I tell myself that the doctors know what they’re doing and I must put my trust in them. I can’t get over the fact that I had no real symptoms, who in their right mind would book and pay for a lifetime holiday for 10 if they felt ill?
What the future holds…who knows? One thing I do know is that I will fight this with every bit of strength I have. I have two daughters, who I love and adore and am very proud of. They are, and always will be, my world. They have both given me two grandchildren each; two boys and two girls. I love and adore them all I have six good reasons for beating this illness. Stay strong ladies xxx