Raising money for Cancer Research UK

Monday 28th September 2020

𝘔𝘦𝘴𝘴𝘢𝘨𝘦 𝘧𝘳𝘰𝘮 𝘤𝘰-𝘧𝘰𝘶𝘯𝘥𝘦𝘳, 𝘉𝘦𝘭𝘭𝘢

Last week we were raising money for Cancer Research UK, an extremely worthy cause and one that is very close to our hearts.  

For the last 7 days, 20% of every sale was donated to Cancer Research UK. 

September is a big month for cancer awareness. Our purpose of this campaign was not only to raise money for cancer research, but also to raise awareness for a cancer that is not often talked about, but is on the rise. Thyroid cancer. 

I was diagnosed with Thyroid cancer myself less than 2 years ago. If you take nothing else from this post, 𝗽𝗹𝗲𝗮𝘀𝗲 check your neck. If you feel a lump, don’t ignore it. Early detection is very important. Most people don’t get any symptoms with Thyroid cancer, so feeling for a lump is the best way for it to be detected. 

This story isn’t one that I’ve spoken openly about until now, but I feel it’s an important one to share. 

In Nov 2018 I was diagnosed with Thyroid cancer.  At the time, I was working my notice at my previous place of work, ready to set sail on a new, exciting journey, the launch of Katie Belle, with my good friend (and ex work colleague), Kate.  My little girl was just 14 months old at the time and at a very needy stage of her development.  My diagnosis was completely unexpected.  Anyone that’s been through this will know that nothing can prepare you for the turmoil that follows. 

I had been referred to an ENT specialist after a series of throat infections and was expecting to be told I needed to have my tonsils removed.  During my appointment I was briefly examined and immediately sent to the radiography department for a scan.  A biopsy was taken that day after discovering several nodules on my thyroid.  Initially I was worried, but after many google searches (we’re all guilty of it!) my mind was put at rest as I read that more than 95% of nodules turn out to be benign.  I was so sure that everything was ok that a couple of weeks later, I turned up to my follow up appointment alone, despite my husband insisting on coming with me.  I just felt it’d be a waste of his time.  So off I went, on my own, without a care in the world.  That was all about to change. 

Just as I was called in for my appointment, my big sister unexpectedly turned up to accompany me, and thank God she did!

Then came the diagnosis.  I couldn’t quite believe what I was hearing.  Fear set in fast and my mind instantly went to my family.  How would my family cope with the news?  What if it’s spread?  What will my baby girl do without me?  So many crazy thoughts ran through my mind. 

The 10 days that followed were the hardest, whilst I waited for further tests to find out if the cancer had spread.  The wait was agonising, but the love and support from my family and friends made it a whole lot easier.  Turns out I was extremely lucky and thanks to the experienced hands of the ENT specialist that examined me, it had been detected early.  I was told that the next step was to remove my thyroid and nearby lymph nodes to find out what type of thyroid cancer I had and what treatment would be needed to stop any potential spread of the disease. 

My operation took place the following month, and some days later the results showed that the cancer had spread to my lymph nodes.  This meant that radioactive iodine treatment was necessary to kill off any potential cancerous cells left in my body.  The treatment took place in Feb 2019, 3 months after my diagnosis.  It was then a 13 month stint of blood tests and scans to monitor the progress. 

For months after my op and treatment I battled with severe tiredness, nausea and dizzy spells, aside from many other unfavourable side effects, but the love from family and friends, combined with the burning desire to make Katie Belle a success, carried me through. 

In March this year, just before lockdown, I was given positive results and told that no further treatment is needed, but will still be under the care of the hospital for a further 10 years to ensure the cancer doesn’t return. 

I’m one of the lucky ones and believe me, I count my blessings every day.  I will be forever thankful for the incredible team at the QE hospital in Birmingham that saved my life. 

Due to Covid-19 vital cancer trials have been delayed, which is why raising money for Cancer Research UK this year is more important than ever.  Thank you to everyone who purchased a piece of Katie Belle last week, you've helped us donate to this extremely worthy cause.

Much love,

Bella xxx

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