“Weston Park is special. In more ways than one.” - Geraldine’s story
Mum of three and Grandma to five, Geraldine was aged 62 when she was diagnosed with bowel cancer after she completed a routine check-up.
Mum of three and Grandma to five, Geraldine was aged 62 when she was diagnosed with bowel cancer after she completed a routine check-up. After tests, screenings and an operation, Geraldine spent Christmas Day at Weston Park Hospital after feeling unwell during her chemotherapy treatment.
Geraldine hails the nurses as ‘amazing’, ‘wonderful’, and ‘thoughtful’ and remembers her time in hospital as special, despite the sad circumstances.
Geraldine tells us her story
“I remember it all like it was yesterday. I was celebrating my 62nd birthday in February 2022 and I received my routine bowel screening kit through the post. I know how important it is to stay up to date with tests and check-ups, so I did it straight away and sent it off. I didn’t think too much of it, as I had no symptoms and didn’t feel like I had anything to worry about.
“A few days passed by, and I got a call to say the results were inconclusive and that I needed to see a specialist.
“Whilst all of this was going on, my husband Ian was severely unwell and was unable to come with me to any of my appointments, so for the early period, I was facing it all on my own. Which I know my family weren’t happy with me about!
“I would have never predicted the months that followed. I went in for a colonoscopy in June 2022 and I couldn’t believe it. They found a 1.5cm tumour in my bowel. They told me straight away that it was cancer.
“Like I said, I had no symptoms, so I was completely blown away by what the doctor told me. I called my daughter, Emma, when I received the news, and she collected me from the hospital. I did get a telling-off for going by myself!
“I then had an MRI and some blood tests and was booked in for an operation to remove the tumour in August. After my operation, I received chemotherapy at the wonderful Weston Park Hospital as a precautionary measure.
“I was extremely lucky to have my daughter Emma move in with me after my operation so she could help look after me and my husband also had an incredible care team around him.”
Although on the road to recovery, Geraldine started feeling unwell with her chemotherapy treatment and was admitted back to Weston Park Hospital just before Christmas.
She added: “I was not feeling great with the chemotherapy, but I was keeping myself going for my family. I was back in hospital on the 21st December and distinctly remember thinking about how I didn’t want to go in over Christmas.
“I knew my husband’s prognosis wasn’t good and I was devasted that it would be our last Christmas together and the last Christmas my children would have with their dad.
“My family gathered together at home, as it was too much for my husband to come into hospital. They called me on Christmas Day and as hard as it was, I knew I was in the best place, and they were supporting each other.
“I don’t know what I would have done without them, I really feel for people who don’t have that support.”
Although a very hard time for Geraldine, she recalls the touching and special moments made possible thanks to the hospital’s wonderful staff and the generosity of the charity.
Geraldine said: “On Christmas Day everyone on the ward was given a present which was donated by Weston Park Cancer Charity. It was a beautiful, soft blanket that I still have now. Weston Park is special. In more ways than one.
“The nurses made everyone feel so special and it felt different, and it made me feel as though someone was thinking about me. It was so lovely to have that extra support, I can’t tell you what it meant.”
“My husband then sadly passed away in February 2023, so it had it was a hard year for all of us. One that will be hard to get over – but I am very grateful to be here and have all my family around me.
“I now have the all-clear but not everyone is so lucky. Cancer affects 1 in 2 of us, and I was one of the unfortunate ones.
“I’ve three children and five grandsons and I’m so happy to be able to be around for them.
“My message to you would be, don’t delay, don’t wait until it affects you. Keep up to date with your check-ups, go and get yourself checked if something doesn’t seem right or you have any symptoms at all.
“We’ve been supporters of the charity for a long time, and I can’t tell you enough how much of a difference they have made for me over the last couple of years. Every small donation really does go on to make a huge difference.”
For more information on our cancer support services, call 0114 553 3330 or email email@example.com.
In other news...
Long-term Weston Park Cancer Charity fundraiser and Barnsley fan Carl Mellor is gearing up to take part in an impressive 14-mile-long walk from our Cancer Support Centre on Northumberland Road to Oakwell Stadium this Saturday.
We are taking over Oakwell Stadium on Saturday as Barnsley F.C. take on Derby County, as part of our Together At Every Step partnership.
In September 2023, we launched our huge ‘Big Purple Bus’ project which has already helped hundreds of people within our communities to access expert advice around available cancer support.