I was diagnosed in 2016 with diabetes and high blood pressure so decided to lose weight and eat healthy. By the beginning of 2020 I had lost almost 6 stone and my diabetes was in remission and my blood pressure normal.
In March 2020 at the beginning of the COVID lockdown I started using a treadmill every day , only walking but managing about 3km in about 30 minutes I thought I was a fit and healthy 67 year old .
In late May 2020 I found a lump on the right side of my abdomen which felt like a mango fruit I had no symptoms,no pain, no bloating or bowel problems on the 26th May I saw my GP who didn’t think it was anything nasty as she thought it was too big but she referred me to have an echo scan.
On the 9th June 2020 I had a scan at the Hallamshire hospital in Sheffield and before 9am on the 10th June 2020 my GP phoned me to say she was very sorry to have to tell me over the phone but the scan had shown a mass on my ovaries and she was going to do a 2 week fast track referral to gynaecology department at the Jessops hospital.
A week later on the 16th June I had a CT scan followed by a consultant appointment the following day 17th June.
I was told it was suspected Ovarian Cancer and I was booked for a hysterectomy on the 17th July 2020.
The operation went ahead and on attending my post op appointment two and half weeks later on August 3rd 2020, I was told the tumour was not ovarian cancer but a 16cm GIST and I would have to be referred to Weston Park Hospital to be monitored as there was a high chance that it would return.
On August 10th 2020 I had an appointment to see the sarcoma specialist and he told me that that my histology result showed I was at high risk of reoccurrence and that part of my tumour had been sent to Birmingham for further tests but he would like me to start on Imatinib straight away.
I started my medication on the 13th August 2020 and will initially be on it for 3 years. I also have regular blood tests (every 3 months currently) and CT scans every 6 months.
In 11 weeks from seeing my GP I had a cancer diagnosis, an hysterectomy and a GIST removed 2 histology reports and a consultation with my oncologist who prescribed medication for 3 years, all in a COVID pandemic, I can’t praise the NHS enough for their wonderful service.
>> Read More: GIST Patient Stories