A woman who thought she was having a heart attack during a music festival has been shocked just four hours after she was diagnosed with a rare form of cancer.
Irene Shaw, 30, was enjoying Snow Patrol at TRNSMT in Glasgow when she was hit with extreme pain – and asked her husband if she had been stabbed.
She was taken to the Glasgow Royal Infirmary and only four hours later was told she had gray zone lymphoma, a rare form of the disease that affects the immune system.
Erin, from Inchinan, Renfrewshire, had had itchy skin for months before she was diagnosed in September and was told she would not live to see Christmas.
I underwent grueling chemotherapy by email, which consisted of 24 hours of treatment for five days, before being off for one to two weeks.
Dose-modified Bosch chemotherapy is a combination chemotherapy used to treat certain types of non-Hodgkin lymphoma.
This process was repeated five times in just ten days during the eight-month period that Erin was not at Bateson Cancer Center due to the complexity of her treatment.
Erin said: “I was at TRNSMT in Glasgow Green, and we were listening to Snow Patrol, and I actually thought I was having a heart attack.
I turned to my husband, Graeme, and said, ‘Have you been stabbed?’ And he said no, so my mom took us.
She took me straight to Glasgow Royal and within four hours I was diagnosed with cancer.
“I stayed there for three or four nights and then went straight to Beatson – so I didn’t go home after TRNSMT for a month.”
In June of this year, Erin got a call from her cancer nurse to say that her radiology scans were clear and that she was in remission.
Erin said: “My phone rang and it was the Beatsons.
“Every time my phone rang and she said ‘Beatson’ I would always look at who I was and say ‘Bring my bag packed’ because we knew that meant I’d be back.
It was the lymphoma nurse, Michelle, and she said, ‘I can’t wait until your appointment on Monday to tell you this news. We actually had to triple check it because we don’t think your PET scan is clear.
She said that no disease has been detected at the moment.
“As you can imagine this was out of the blue and since last year I was told I wasn’t going to do Christmas until I was told. It was a crazy moment.”
Beatson Cancer Charity is launching the Bauble Appeal this Christmas to ensure more patients and their families are supported.
Since then, Errin has held a ball called the ‘Gingie Ball’ to celebrate being in remission, which has raised £5,375 for the Beatson Cancer Charity.
She also plans to visit the Beatson West of Scotland Cancer Center on Christmas Day to give gifts to patients after the experience of being on the wards last Christmas.
Erin said, “There are no words for Bateson, I wouldn’t be here without them.
“Obviously we’ve raised thousands for the Beatson because being there you feel firsthand how amazing they are, they are massive.
“I can’t speak highly enough of them – from the assistants to the porters to the coffee shop ladies.
“When the bell rings and the whole team cheers, the fundraisers who helped me to the ball – everyone just wants you to do well when you go out there.”
Rachel Mullen, Campaigner for the Beatson Cancer Charity, said: “We are delighted to be launching our Bauble Appeal with the support of some of the patients and family members who have been kind enough to share their story.
“They all have first-hand experience with Beatson and the difference our charitable services make to patients.
“We would be grateful for any support you can give us this Christmas so we can continue to be there for patients and families across the west of Scotland.”