A mum-of-three from Southport who helped her son and husband successfully tackle tumours has been diagnosed with cancer after the coronavirus pandemic pushed her scans back a year.
Patricia Kelly, 72, was meant to have a mammogram a year last March but was unable to have it due to the pandemic and by the time she finally had the appointment in April this year it was too late as she had found a lump, reports the Liverpool Echo.
The retired nurse said: “I had a note in my diary to go and have a mammogram in March 2020 and then lockdown started, and of course, you couldn’t get your mammogram.
“We left it and left and then it got to the New Year, and I went to book it saying, ‘I’m a year overdue’ and they couldn’t book me into to April. In that time, we found a lump.
“When I found the lump, it was so big they told me that they need to shrink first through chemotherapy.
“They told me that they only do surgery on tumours that are 3cm or smaller, mine is 6-7cm. That has grown because I couldn’t get my mammogram last March.
“I have to shrink it with the chemo, which is horrible, probably have a mastectomy, then have some radiotherapy so they’re through the book at me. But that’s just how it goes, I’m not the only victim of this. We can’t change it; it is what it is but I think I could have got away with a lumpectomy and just had it removed and that would have been the end of it.”
This isn’t the first time that the Kelly family have suffered with cancer as in the past three years, Patricia is the third to be diagnosed.
First, Patricia’s youngest son, Richard, 33, was diagnosed with testicular cancer and last year her husband, Chris, was given the all clear after having his kidney removed due to it having numerous tumours.
The volunteer at Queenscourt Hospice said: “My youngest son, Richard, moved to Melbourne and has settled down with somebody now, but he got testicular cancer three years ago. We flew to Melbourne for five months whilst he had chemotherapy and surgery. That was harrowing, having to watch your son go through that. He got over it and was given the all clear.
“Last year my husband called me, he had fresh blood in his urine. He had several cancer tumours in his kidney within five weeks he was diagnosed and had his kidney removed.
“This time last year I was nursing my husband. When the oncologist rang him, they said we have it all contained and won’t need to give you chemo. Well, we opened a bottle of champagne that night and I told him ‘You’ve dodged a bullet, that is absolutely wonderful’.
“Here we are, a year later, and it’s my turn. Richard got over it, Chris got over it and now hopefully I will get over it.”
Patricia has tried to use her diagnosis for good and with her losing her hair because of chemotherapy, she decided to have it all shaved off by her son Andrew, a barber, in order to raise £1,000 for Queenscourt Hospice.
She is now urging people over the age of 70 to get regular mammograms.
Patricia said: “As a result of this happening to me, eight of my friends have gone and booked their mammograms.
“A lot of women won’t like mammograms. They squash you, they squeeze you, they push you and they pull you, it’s not nice, but it lasts seconds. It’s momentarily. It’s so important, they really are. I’m a victim of Covid as to why my tumour was able to get so big.”