Sue Lawrence lost nearly two stones after developing cancer of the womb (endometrial cancer). The 55-year-old, from Margate, had been suffering from heavy bleeding and back pain which became so bad, she could barely sit down.
A biopsy and scan revealed endometrial cancer. The tumour in Sue’s wombs was pressing on to her spine and causing back pain. Surgeons performed an emergency hysterectomy removing Sue’s womb, ovaries, appendix and lymph nodes.
Sue said: “After the first surgery I had been trying to eat, but I started to get really bad pains. My stomach swelled and I looked like I was nine months pregnant. I kept vomiting, became really dehydrated and was rushed into hospital. My bowel had twisted and I had developed an abscess too.”
Sue’s weight plummeted from around 10 stones to 8 stones 6lb and Oncology Dietitian Lydia Behan visited her while she was recovering in Birchington Ward at QEQM hospital.
Sue said: “She was so reassuring. I hadn’t eaten in about 10 days and I was in a terrible state, I had two lines in and a saline drip. I was so weak and could barely stand – it took four people to get me up and I had to walk with a Zimmer frame.
“Lydia put a feed line up and started to talk to me about my diet. She encouraged me to graze; eating small meals often, as even after eating a really small amount I felt full. I used to have half a bowl of cornflakes for breakfast and then a jacket potato with cheese and beans and soup in the evening. I also had Fortijuices, which are build-up drinks.
“I was still weak when I went home – the skin was hanging off my face and I had no bum whatsoever! I was panicking it was the cancer, but Lydia reassured me that it would take a while for my metabolism to pick up again. And she was right.”
Taking on the advice, Sue ate when she could and is now halfway through her chemo and weighing a healthy 10 stones 6lb.
“I actually feel like I should lose a bit of weight now! But the good thing is I have some weight in reserve if I am not able to eat as much during chemo. After my second round of chemo, I was too sick to have more and had to wait seven weeks until my next one for my bloods to return to normal. So I know how important it is to keep as fit and well as I can by keeping my weight steady. Lydia and everyone on the Birchington Ward have been fantastic.”