Woman returns home after once in a lifetime vacation with double cancer diagnosis
A woman who thought time off work would help her feel better after suffering from difficulty breathing and gaining weight was given a heartbreaking diagnosis after returning home.
Abby Younis, who lives in Litherland with her husband, started to feel “uncomfortable” in January 2020.
However, she believed that a break from her role as a financial crime consultant and a sunny getaway would bring her back to her energetic old self.
Abby told ECHO Liverpool: “I was working really hard, had migraines and felt tired.
“I just wanted to take some time to get back in shape because normally I am very energetic and in good shape, but I had gained weight and could not breathe properly.”
Taking time off, she reunited with family and friends and booked a unique vacation in Tanzania.
However, after returning from vacation, she still felt unwell and needed to pee constantly.
She said, “I was out of breath all the time. I had a lot of pain in my abdomen – sometimes it was quite crippling, I couldn’t move.
“After dismissing it as something I had eaten or as a time of the month, I thought it was time to go to the doctor.”
After a visit to her GP, it was suggested that her problem may have been with the bladder and she was sent to Royal Liverpool University Hospital for tests.
Expecting hospital staff to tell her everything was fine, Abby was shocked to learn that scans had revealed a lump in her stomach.
They were unsure whether the lump came from her ovaries or intestines, so Abby was sent for further testing at Liverpool Women’s Hospital and Clatterbridge Center.
The first results of a CT scan revealed that she had pulmonary embolism – a blockage in one of the arteries in her lung that was the reason for her shortness of breath.
The results of other blood tests revealed more sinister news, as doctors told Abby they suspected the lump in her stomach was cancer.
Abby said: “It got pretty aggressive at this point. They said my lump was too big to have a biopsy.
“The only way to know if it was cancer was to have surgery.”
In the wake of the new shock, doctors expedited his appointment for surgery as quickly as possible as services began to close due to the pandemic.
Abby said: “Before I left my home for the hospital, I left it in a way that I wouldn’t return. Normally I’m such a positive person, but because of where we were at. the time.
“I thought I might have cancer, I know I have an embolism, and there’s Covid there. I thought if my lungs or my cancer didn’t catch me, then Covid would. . I couldn’t see past that moment in time. “
Three weeks after the operation to remove two masses in her stomach, Abby’s consultant called her to the hospital.
She said: “The consultant said he found something that we expected and something that he did not expect.
“They had found two separate cancers that were growing at different rates.
“The most advanced was ovarian cancer, which had spread to my intestines. Luckily, they scratched the cancer and didn’t have to remove part of my intestine.
“And separately, I had growing endometrial cancer, which is cancer of the uterus.”
After Abby’s successful operation to remove the tumors, she was offered chemotherapy which she declined unless they reappear in the future.
However, Abby’s surgery caused what is called surgical menopause.
She said: “They tell you all the side effects before you have surgery and one of them is menopause – surgical menopause for people like me who have hormonal cancers.
“But you don’t know what that means, because I’ve never heard anyone talk about it.
“It’s more of a crash bang than a calming of menopause.
“I had a lot of sleepless nights, I was in great pain from the operation.
“I had terrible brain fog and hot flashes which were a complete nightmare. It was like someone was throwing a bucket of boiling water at me.”
Because Abby’s cancers were linked to hormones, she was not allowed to undergo hormone replacement therapy (HRT) to relieve her symptoms, as it could lead to another cancer.
To help other women who are going through menopause but cannot receive HRT, Abby is raising funds to purchase equipment at Liverpool Women’s Hospital to provide a new laser treatment that alleviates some of the symptoms of menopause. .
Treatment is currently only available in private and Abby is trying to raise as much money as possible to make the treatment available on the NHS.
So far, she has received the support of celebrities like Davina McCall, who sent Abby a personal video to support her campaign.