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Charlotte's Story

Charlotte's family visited the Cotswolds in August 2023.

In January 2022 I started noticing a very sharp pain in the right side of my lower abdomen. I went to my university doctors and they gave me antibiotics, telling me it was just a UTI without doing any actual tests.

A month or so went by and the pain was still there so I returned, only to be dismissed again.

After a few more months of doctors telling me it was nothing to worry about, the pain got very severe to the point where I'd spend my days in bed clutching my side in tears.

My mum took me to A&E at that point but they just said "the ultrasound machine is closed at the moment so there's nothing we can do".

Then I noticed a large lump in my side, just above where I felt the pain and went back to the doctors. After being asked "are you sure its not just an underlying rib?" They finally booked me in for an emergency ultrasound which revealed that the lump was actually my liver protruding from my body.

They sent me for an emergency CT scan to see what was going on and that's where they found a 24cm tumour in my abdomen. So on the 8th September, the day before my own dad's funeral, I was diagnosed with cancer.

A few days later we were sent up to Bristol Haematology and Oncology unit for a biopsy, where we found out that the tumour was a Ewings sarcoma and that it had spread to my lungs.

I started chemotherapy on the 23rd September, and for the next 9 months my life was traveling from yeovil to Bristol every other week to stay in hospital for 5 days at a time. The treatment was long and horrible and affected my blood count a lot so I had to have regular blood transfusions to stop me from fainting when I walked anywhere.

On 13th March, towards the end of my chemo, I started radiotherapy which involved daily treatment for 6 weeks. I finished treatment on the 15th May and the next day me and my sister flew to disneyland to celebrate!

May not have been the smartest idea, but we needed it! May 24th i had my end of treatment CT scan which showed that the tumour had reduced to a 3rd of its size. Unfortunately they cant perform surgery as its too close to my spine and may cause irreversible damage. So now I'm still recovering and every 3 months I go for a CT scan to keep an eye on the tumour and make sure it doesn't grow or spread again.

Hoping to return to university in September after having to take a year out.

Thank you for this much needed break.

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