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‘My chance eye test led to a cancer diagnosis’



Happily, all went well as Aimee and Aaron’s healthy baby boy, Evan, was delivered in March. She believes that the all-consuming nature of those first, heady weeks of motherhood helped her to cope with her experience. But as feelings of anxiety and fear started to grow, Aimee was grateful to the health visitor who suggested she contact her nearest Maggie’s centre in Swansea. Here, she says, “There’s been that psychological support with people who have medical knowledge, too. It’s been absolutely brilliant for me.” Aimee has found one-to-one sessions with the centre’s cancer support specialist Lucy Aubrey to be particularly beneficial in helping her to manage her feelings around her diag­nosis and treatment happening at a time when all she and Aaron wanted was to prepare to welcome their first child.

At a recent hospital check-up, Aimee learnt the tumour is still not any bigger, “Which is obviously a good sign. My biopsy results also came back with low risk of the cancer spreading elsewhere. So it’s sort of good news,” she says with a note of caution. “But I was also told that it’s too early to start celebrating yet. It’s something I have to learn to live with at the moment.” An episode she found particularly distressing was when a medical error resulted in her placenta”‘probably being disposed of” instead of being sent off for testing, as planned. “So I don’t know if any immediate cancer risk has been passed on to Evan,” she says.

Aimee’s focus is very much on her baby boy, enjoying new motherhood, getting out and about to baby groups and fitting in some gardening, “as it helps to relax me”. A new passion is wild swimming off the South Wales coast: “I swim with a group called the Bluetits. It’s sociable, it makes me feel so good and kind of resets me,” she says.

Meanwhile, Aimee is often reminded of her condition due to “the floaters, stars and lights I see sometimes. And my eye can ache, especially when I’m tired, as there’s a lot of scar tissue there”. However, she feels lucky that the “freckle” was first noticed and would like to stress the importance of attending those routine eye tests, even if they can easily slip off the to-do list. “Lots of ­people don’t go unless they have a problem with their vision,” she says. “But if I hadn’t gone that day, it wouldn’t have been spotted, and I am very grateful for that.”

How Maggie’s supports people like Aimee

Cancer treatment and care is planned by a specialist cancer team and a multidisciplinary team who work together to decide what the best options are for a person’s situation. Treatment choices may be offered at any time following a diagnosis of cancer. The decisions a person might be asked to make include choosing between different treatments or, as in Aimee’s case, whether to start now or delay the treatment.

It can help to talk through various options before coming to a decision. This is just one aspect of the help a Maggie’s cancer support specialist can offer. To find your nearest Maggie’s centre, visit www.maggies.org

How to get involved

Maggie’s is one of four charities supported by this year’s Telegraph Christmas Charity Appeal. The others are Alzheimer’s Society, Dogs Trust and the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award

To donate, visit telegraph.co.uk/2021appeal or call 0151 284 1927


It’s easy to make a donation. Just call 0151 284 1927 or visit telegraph.co.uk/2021appeal



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