A mum-of-two who put off her cervical screening appointments for 13 years, because she was ‘too busy’, has been diagnosed with incurable cancer.
Esther Hodges – who works as an accounts supervisor and cleaner – has shared her regret after letting her busy lifestyle get in the way of the check-ups.
The 49-year-old is now heartbroken knowing she won’t be able to see her children, 29-year-old Charlotte and 19-year-old Keyona, and grandchildren grow up
Esther, from Barnet, North London, noticed something was wrong when she experienced a haemorrhage in a club toilet while on a night out in late 2021.
An ambulance was called and Esther was rushed to hospital, where doctors diagnosed her with stage two cervical cancer – which was bordering on stage three.
But sadly, in September 2022, the mum-of-two found out it had also spread to her lungs.
With her cancer being treatable but not curable, the mum is now undergoing rounds of chemotherapy and radiotherapy. She’s also been placed on a trial drug.
She said: ‘I felt so horrible I just asked if they could take my lung out but that is not an option.
‘I am having chemo and a trial drug. The chemo was only six sessions – I have my last one the end of this month.
‘I will have the trial drug every three weeks for two years.
‘I asked my consultant what the survival rate is and she said half her patients are still here within the two years and sadly half have passed. It’s all about how my body reacts to treatment.
‘I know it’s never going to go and at some point, will kill me.
‘But they are trying to contain it and stop it spreading anywhere else.’
Esther is now making the most of the time she has left with her family and is sharing her story to highlight how crucial it is to attend a short routine smear test.
She added: ‘I hate myself for missing my appointments and have to live with that now – for however long I have left.
‘How I wish I took that 20 minutes out of my day to go to my appointment.
‘It might have been picked up earlier and I wouldn’t be in this situation now.
‘I had not had one since 2009 unfortunately – I just kept putting it off.
‘I would get the odd letter from my GP and I would think about going soon but I just never did.
‘It breaks my heart seeing so much hurt in my family and friends faces over this.
‘I feel like I’ve done it to myself and can’t help but think if I only I went to my appointment they might have spotted it sooner.’
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