Cleveleys mum-of-three Julie Gyi’s life changed forever last year.
The former teacher was diagnosed with sarcoma and has set up a personal and emotional blog about her experiences, to spread the word about the lesser-known form of the disease and to help others.
Here Julie – who owns therapy centre Ceragem, in Preston – shares her story:
“It was in Chorley Hospital on January 12, 2016 my life changed forever. ‘We can confirm the lump is sarcoma. The type you have is leiomyosarcoma, a soft tissue sarcoma.’ Cancer. Diagnosis. Tumour. Hospice. Treatment. Wow, it was really happening.
“I was suddenly surrounded by negative thoughts. When did it start this highly charged emotional response to the hint, to the sniff of, to the word, cancer? We fear it, we dread it. It strikes at the very primeval core of us. Everywhere you turn cancer images and words are there. The marketing is prolific. Images of wastage. Images of my father. We all have at least one image of our own.
“Then I decided the fight was on. I’ve always been feisty. Ask my three gorgeous boys. Ask my mum. Ask the students at Cardinal Allen I taught for over eight years. The C word wasn’t going to stop me.
“The months that followed were relentless. Following the surgery to remove the tumour from my calf, I’d never felt better. I worked hard to regain my mobility, my independence and my freedom. I changed my entire life and schedule. No longer was I up at 6am to get to my business, Ceragem, before most people’s alarms went off, I needed to focus on me. I turned into the juicing queen and changed my lifestyle to heal my body.
“Cleveleys beach was a real healer for me. It was my place to scream, it was my place to wonder and it was my place to tell my most private of secrets and fears.
“Fast forward 10 months and those worst fears came true. It’s back. It’s angry. And it has spread. There’s nothing the NHS can do, but there is ground-breaking immunotherapy cancer treatment in Europe. It has yielded incredible results, but it’s incredibly expensive. My three sons, Matt, Dan and Mike have become my absolute dream team; researching oncologists across the world to understand what options are out there and starting a fundraising campaign to make it happen.
“I’m so focused on surviving and for the opportunity to inspire and help others. I’d love for someone to look at me and say because of you I kept on going.
“The fight won’t be easy but I’m determined. I told you I was feisty. I’ll be cataloguing it all in a blog. I’ve never blogged before and I’m feeling nervous about opening up and sharing my private thoughts; revealing my deep hidden fragility and vulnerability. I always like to feel strong, in control, able to help others, but I’ve felt a million miles from home over the last year. Join me on my journey through Facebook @Juliescancerfund and watch me challenge the big C.”
• To read more, see www.simplysarcoma.wordpress.com