Essex woman faces losing shoulder to 'avocado-sized tumour'

Started by LifeOfPi, Jun 18, 2024, 05:00 PM

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Essex woman faces losing shoulder to 'avocado-sized tumour'
21st May
By Elliot Deady
Digital Reporter

A SELF-CONFESSED "it girl" from Essex says she "appreciates life much more" despite facing losing her entire shoulder joint after doctors discovered an avocado-sized tumour.  Cat Holden went from working in London and going on holidays abroad to living back with her parents and needing 24-hour care and says the diagnosis ruined her life.  She experienced her first symptoms a shoulder twinge and weak arms a year before being diagnosed with cancer, initially believing she'd injured herself at the gym.  But after a round of physiotherapy and a misdiagnosis of tendonitis, Cat visited a private health clinic asking for an MRI.  In January, doctors spotted an avocado-sized tumour in her left shoulder and she was told it was cancerous in March.  She's entering her fifth round of chemotherapy and looking at having her shoulder and humerus bone removed and replaced with metal, but Cat says the ordeal has taught her to "appreciate life much more".  The 23-year-old assistant underwriter said: "Getting cancer was a really pivotal point in my life because everything was happy-go-lucky and I was confronted by something I never thought would happen.  It's devastating hearing, at 23, you'll never have full function of your shoulder again.  Being referred to Macmillan and told I'd need six to nine months of chemotherapy it was the darkest day of my life. I still can't get my head around it."

Cat was on a family adventure holiday in Great Yarmouth in March last year when her left shoulder began twinging while rock climbing.  She said the pain continued after she came off the wall, but she wasn't worried enough to go to the GP, thinking she'd slightly injured her muscle.  She noticed "something was really wrong" while on holiday in Sydney, Australia, and saw a shoulder specialist after she returned home to Ingatestone.  After exploratory surgery and a biopsy, Cat was diagnosed with a rare form of cancer and started on chemotherapy straight away.  Cat will also need to have her shoulder removed and replaced with metal in June which will cause her lifelong mobility issues like not being able to raise her arm.  She added: "I'm going to carry the trauma of this with me forever but I'll be appreciating life so much more after this."