My mum was diagnosed with lung cancer type 3 six months ago. The doctors explained the cancer was terminal but manageable. Mum flew through chemo like a superhero. The radiotherapy however was not the same. Side effects took hold weeks after the intense course of treatment. Mum suffered with breathing problems, which got worse fast. Doctors explained it was chest infections and prescribed anti biotics but nothing worked. Eventually the hospital agreed to installing oxygen into my mums home and hurried through her scan.
Sadly it was to late, the day after mums scan was the day our mum fell asleep forever.
We as a family believed that the cancer must have spread. However when we got the scan results back, we discovered that the cancer had shrunk significantly but there was a shadow covering the entire left lung. The doctors explained that this was a side effect named radiotherapy pneumonitis.
In our case it was the treatment that took our loved one not the illness.
I wanted to write this post to make people aware of this condition. I wish we had known more two months ago. Instead we assumed it was just radiotherapy taking its toll a little and that mum would recover.
If you are displaying symptoms of breathlessness and wheezing please contact your doctor immediately.
I know my mum would want to help others and for her passing to not be in vein.
Its to late for us but i am now spending my life trying to honour my mum by raising awareness of this condition.
My reason for this post is to let people know the dangers of radiotherapy pneumonitis. Although it is not common to die from, my mum is proof of this possibility. Please dont hesitate to contact your doctor if you have any symptoms no matter how insignificant they might seem.
I would give anything to have my mum back. Rest in peace Tina Wilson, aged 56.