“To say my post-marital glow was very short-lived is an understatement…. a few days after my honeymoon, I started experiencing spasm pains in my stomach. They turned out to be symptoms of bowel cancer. I’ll never forget how tough it was to get through chemotherapy. The day I was told I was in remission, I cried with happiness and relief.”
Lyndsey McGovern had the honeymoon of everyone’s dreams – her husband Martin had surprised her with a sun-drenched trip to Mexico. But their return to Ireland brought the devastating news that she had cancer, a form of Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma,. She immediately started on a very strong course of chemotherapy.
“At the time, my sister’s child was diagnosed with a tumour on his brain. He was only 3. When I was diagnosed with my cancer, he was halfway through his chemotherapy. So I looked at him and he was my inspiration to get through it. It was a very hard time but I knew I would overcome it.”
Lyndsey had a dangerous reaction to methotrexate, one of the components of her treatment.”One night I remember coughing heavily and having a piercing pain in my lungs. I was in terrible pain. My medical team were worried I had a blood clot. I remember them ringing alarms and people coming running. I realised then that I could die here, that this could be it.”
Lyndsey now enjoys life to the full. While aware that she is still at-risk of developing another cancer, she emphasizes the importance of living in the present. “I was given a second chance at life and I need to appreciate it. It helps you focus on the positive things.”
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