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Tuesday, 23 September 2014

Ulverston Dad and daughter fought lung cancer

A MUM who fought a brave battle against lung cancer was left facing further tragedy when she discovered her dad had been diagnosed with a terminal case of the same illness.

Mick Turner did not tell his daughter he had been having chemotherapy for Adenocarcinoma lung cancer because she was recovering from having part of her lung removed as treatment for Bronchioloalveolar Carcinoma.

Alissa Law and her dad, both non-smokers, developed coughs in early spring 2010.

Ms Law, 43, of Greenodd, said: “I went to my GP and took several courses of different antibiotics but it wouldn’t go.”

After repeated visits to her doctor, and several x-rays, Ms Law became concerned, remembering how her grandfather died of a lung condition when he was 42.

Doctors found an area of her lung that looked like she had a serious infection, and she was given more antibiotics and two months’ monitoring.

But by mid-September she was showing no improvement, so was referred to a lung specialist at Furness General. At the start of October, after more x-rays, she was called back for a lung tissue biopsy.

Two days later, she was asked to go back again.

Ms Law said: “It was then that they told me I had lung cancer.

“I remember just screaming.

“All I could say was, ‘I’ve got a little boy, he’s only 10, and he needs me’.”

On November 16, Ms Law and her mum went to see a specialist in Blackpool, neither of them knowing her dad had a chest x-ray at FGH that day.

Ms Law was told her cancer had not spread, and surgery was the best option.

She had her operation on November 29, 2010.

She said: “I went in holding a little teddy bear my son had given me. It said, ‘To the Best Mum’.

“When I woke up the first thing I saw was the teddy. The nurses had bandaged him up just like me and placed him next to me.”

After five days in hospital, Ms Law returned home in time for Christmas.

She said: “My dad still had his cough and I kept saying he should go to see the specialist.

“He and my mother knew he had cancer then but didn’t tell me, as I was still recovering.

“I was worried about having chemotherapy after the operation, but the lung specialist nurse told me I didn’t need further treatment. I had no idea she was treating my dad.”

In January, Mr Turner told his daughter he had lung cancer.

It was not operable or curable.

Ms Law said: “He was just 63 years old. He had chemotherapy but, on June 4, his birthday, he was rushed into hospital with breathing difficulties.”

Mr Turner died a week later, on June 12, 2011. A blood clot had travelled to his brain.

Ms Law wants to raise as much awareness about the condition.

Lung cancer symptoms include persistent coughing, unexplained weight loss, shortness of breath, chest pains and blood in phlegm.

Ms Law said: “The sooner your lung cancer is diagnosed and treated, the better your chances of surviving.”

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