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Caroline Guy visited her GP in 2019 with a swollen stomach, only to be told that it was likely down to the menopause. However, in January 2020 she was diagnosed with stage four bowel cancer and given just three to four months left to live as the disease had spread to her liver and ovaries.
Despite her terminal diagnosis, captopril q es the 56-year-old has since been told that she is cancer-free, reports Manchester Evening News.
After undergoing gruelling treatment at Nottingham University Hospitals and surgery for a full hysterectomy, Caroline had part of her bowel removed and has now defied all odds.
The mum-of-two said: “I felt sluggish, I just didn’t feel right. My stomach was swollen, I’d Googled my symptoms and I actually asked him outright if I had bowel cancer, and he said no.”
In January 2020, Caroline visited her husband Adam in Saudi Arabia where she woke up one night in agony as she said she looked “seven months pregnant” and was “violently sick”.
She was rushed to hospital where she had x-rays scans, MRI and blood tests before being given the devastating cancer news.
Caroline asked doctors “am I going to die?” as the surgeon had told her husband it was “very bad”, adding: “You’re looking at three to four months.”
She was told to “steer clear of Google”, and said it was “like something from a Carry On film” as her shocked daughter, Gabriella, required oxygen following the devastating news.
Caroline, classed as inoperable and incurable, started a course of chemotherapy and a targeted drug, Cituximae and returned to the UK in September to see her daughter, Hollie, in Nottingham.
But she immediately caught Covid-19 and had to self-isolate.
She said: “It was scary, the thought of coming back to England, worrying would I still get my treatment, because I’d done so well in Saudi, but I had to come back. I had to see my family”
Later scans showed the tumour had reduced in size and Caroline likely had two more years to live, but she was “heartbroken” as she added: “I didn’t want to hear a timescale, I was doing really well. I continued with the fortnightly chemotherapy and Cituximae.
“I had a pump fitted and I’d go away and have chemotherapy for 48 hours at home.
“It’s been a long, hard process, but I have never had my treatment stopped. And the staff were absolutely marvellous, they were under tremendous pressure.
“Nurses that should’ve finished were still there hours after their shift had ended, because they can’t just walk away when machines are bleeping and patients need attention.”
Following her chemotherapy which shrunk the tumours, she was told by surgeons Alastair Simpson and David Humes that she could have surgery in a “huge operation”, and was later given the news that she was in remission.
She will now be monitored every three months for the next five years.
Caroline said: “The surgeon looked at me and said you’ve got no cancer. I said ‘are you sure?’ I just couldn’t believe it. It’s a miracle.
“It cost £110,000 for my treatment in Saudi, my husband’s retirement fund, because I didn’t have insurance.
“I got all my documents through a week after I was diagnosed with cancer.
“The money it cost for private care – even though it was amazing – it doesn’t touch what I’ve had done here with the NHS, and the NHS gets such a bashing.
“For the surgeons to say ‘we’ve got it all, you’re cancer free’ – how can I thank them?
“How can I thank the NHS? Some of the staff are like family. The amount of people who have been involved with my care, and they have all been wonderful.
“I’ve met the Crown Prince of Bahrain, I’ve met Professor Stephen Hawking before he died, and I’ve met David Jason… and I’ve met Alastair and David – and they are part of my VIP list.”
Husband Adam is now returning to England at the end of the year and the couple plan to buy a house in Nottingham to be near daughters Hollie and Gabrielle.
Caroline said the journey has made her a “stronger person” as she now has a “permanent smile on my face”.
She said: “I don’t fear anything anymore, because nothing can be as bad as being told you have cancer that is incurable and terminal.
“I’m a positive person but of course, I had those thoughts, so when a surgeon says they are going to operate, and not with a view to extending your life, but to go in determined to cure you, it means everything. I owe them everything.”
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