Sharon was working in our South Woodford shop in London when she was diagnosed with endometrial (or womb) cancer. The experience has been tough, but she’s found being a media volunteer a positive way to help others facing similar fears. She tells us her story.
Sharon started having symptoms in 2007 and said, “I was diagnosed after visiting the GP when I realised the bleeding I was experiencing was not normal. I had presumed it was the menopause but when it became daily I knew I had to seek help.
“After an MRI and a week of worry the consultant diagnosed endometrial (or womb) cancer. I was not surprised and felt quite calm. The consultant assured me that the outcome was likely to be good, his attitude gave me hope and positivity. I saw the consultant on Friday and had a total hysterectomy on Tuesday. After 6 weeks of recovery I began a course of 28 radiotherapy sessions and then 2 sessions of brachytherapy. It was tough. I was nauseous from day one, which got worse as the treatment continued."
Getting through the hard times
“Some days I refused to go but my family would get me dressed and make me go. I am glad they did. The staff at St Bart’s hospital were always available and said ‘we will get you through this’. “The hardest things were the extreme fatigue and sickness together with the commute each day to the hospital. The positive things were talking to other patients and sharing tips on how to get through the treatment...it was a bit like a large family.
“I was Cancer Research UK Shop Manager at South Woodford, London when I was diagnosed. The shop team is very much an extended family and they helped me get through it. We share much laughter and sometimes tears. Christmas is a joyous time at the shop but it's also tinged with sadness. This year, a volunteer of 10 years died from bowel cancer. It was three weeks from diagnosis to death, so this year we will remember him and have a drink in his honour."
Becoming a Media Volunteer
“Being a Media Volunteer has enabled me to get my story across to many and I hope it may persuade just one woman to go to the GP. I have also been on TV, radio and the news which has been a fabulous experience. I am a survivor and I want to show other women you can get through it.”
Share your story
Applying to be a media volunteer will take about 30 minutes. Before you start, please have details of your cancer experience, diagnosis, and treatments (as applicable) on hand.