Mum who was told chronic fatigue was due to being a ‘busy mum’ later diagnosed with blood cancer

A blood cancer patient who had holes in her spine was initially misdiagnosed due to 'being a busy mum SWNS

A GP put her symptoms down to being a ‘busy mum’ (Picture: SWNS)

When Donna Hicks, went to her GP with constant fatigue and back pain, her symptoms were put down to the fact that she had three children, including a toddler.

But the 49-year-old actually had myeloma – an incurable form of blood cancer.

While there is no cure for the disease, Donna, from Argyll and Bute, is determined to live life to the full.

She says: ‘Life is never going to be the same again, there’s no doubt about that. The way I see it is there’s a volcano inside me.

‘At the moment it’s dormant but at some point in the future it’s probably going to erupt again.

‘But while it’s dormant I’m going to get on with things and do as much as I possibly can.’

Donna Hicks with her husband Aaron and children Ollie, Conor and Emily (Picture: Donna Hicks / SWNS)

When Donna began experiencing extreme tiredness, she knew something wasn’t right.

She said: ‘I had this chronic fatigue that I couldn’t shake. It wouldn’t lift and I had really bad back pain that had constantly been put down to having babies.

‘I eventually went to the GP because it was getting me down and the fatigue was really impacting my life.’

But the GP was dismissive. Donna, who is mum to two boys, Ollie, then nine, and Conor, seven, and a one-year-old daughter, Emily, said: ‘He looked at his watch a couple of times and eventually said, “You’re over 40, you work full-time, you’ve got three children including a baby and you’re wondering why you’re tired?”, and basically sent me packing.

‘I sat in the car in the car park crying for ages because I knew something was not right. I didn’t feel like myself and it was getting worse. It was awful.’

Donna decide to get a second opinion from another GP who suspected something was seriously wrong, and ordered a blood test.

The myeloma diagnosis came in September 2014, a fortnight after Donna’s mum discovered she had lung cancer, and died 10 weeks later.

Donna said: ‘I was stuck in this situation of having a really young family and having lost my mum.

‘I just felt really desperate. It was really difficult to see beyond that place of darkness to begin with because I was so frightened. I just felt that life as I knew it had stopped.’

She also had to give up her job as a social work manager, a decision she found devastating.

“My job was really important to me,’ says Donna. ‘It was much more than a just a job to me. It’s the loss of identity.’

Myeloma is the third most common form of blood cancer, but more than half of patients wait over five months for a diagnosis and around a third of cases are only picked up at a late stage in A&E.

Common symptoms including back pain, easily broken bones, fatigue and recurring infections …read more

Source:: Metro


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