Woman, 37, diagnosed with cancer for the fifth time says her body ‘feels 100 years old’
Stace Obrien suffers from a genetic condition increasing her chances of getting the disease and has battled cancer in her breasts, bones, and lymph nodes over the past decade
A woman is battling cancer for the fifth time at the age of 37 due to a genetic condition.
Stace Obrien says her body feels 100-years-old after she battled cancer in her breasts, bones, and lymph nodes over the past decade.
Intensive treatments to fight the disease have left Stace infertile, temporarily blind, numb in her limbs and struggling to swallow but she has refused to give up during her fifth fight and is determined to beat cancer once again.
Stace, from Glasgow, suffers from Li-Fraumeni syndrome, a genetic condition which has increased her chances of getting cancer.
She told the Daily Record : “I’m in agony still and trying to get treatment which will hopefully stop cancer from returning.
“I feel so broken. I don’t know anyone else who has survived cancer five times but I’m hoping I will.
“I’ve developed a fear of hospitals and needles.
“Treatment has been very traumatic. I went through months of chemotherapy and opted to use a cold cap to keep my hair.
“I’m only 37 but my body feels 100 years old with broken parts that don’t work and chronic fatigue. I usually try to hide how sick I am.
“I’m just hoping I can beat it once and for all and will give anything to do so.”
Stace was first diagnosed with osteosarcoma bone cancer almost 10 years ago after suffering a burning pain in her hip.
She put off going to the doctors for six months before a tumour was discovered in January 2012 and she was forced to endure gruelling chemotherapy which caused her hair to fall out and left her immune system compromised for a year.
Stace passed health check-ups for five years and thought she was in remission until she found a lump in her breast while trying on a new bra for Valentine’s Day.
She was diagnosed with breast cancer at the end of February in 2019.
Stace was so terrified of losing her hair again that she tried to use a cold cap in a bid to save it but this proved to be too painful.
She also underwent a double mastectomy and reconstruction surgery.
In December 2019 she was diagnosed with lymph node cancer.
Later in February 2021, Stace was diagnosed with Sarcoma in her leg and underwent four surgeries to battle the disease.
Then last month she was diagnosed with the cruel illness for the fifth time after doctors found her breast cancer had spread to her chest wall, behind her heart and liver.
Stace is being cared for at The Beatson Cancer Centre in Glasgow, The New Royal Victoria in Edinburgh, and the Queen Elizabeth Cromwell Hospital in London.
Stace says her cancer battle has left her exhausted and suffering from long-term symptoms.
She said: “I’ve been totally devastated by the treatments for my cancer.
“The treatments have made me go temporarily blind, lose my hair, not be able to swallow food and suffer a horrible time.
“The effects of treatment can start to compromise my life so badly.
“I can’t hear out of my left ear now and have really bad tinnitus.
“I couldn’t hear or taste because of the chemo, and my hands and feet went numb from neuropathy.
“The feeling slowly came back but it’s not fully returned.
“I’m also infertile.
“I’ve now found out that this time they cannot operate which was devastating news.
“Doctors have offered me chemo again and said there may be hope of controlling it, but with past experiences I’m not feeling positive about that.”
Stace is hopeful she will be able to receive private care and loved ones are desperate to pay for specialist treatments.
The warrior hopes to go to London for stem cell treatment but it could cost up to £30,000.
She said: “I’m so touched by my friends doing all this and wanting me to live.
“I’m actually desperate for the doctors to stop this pain no matter what it takes.”
Stace added: “If we get more money from the fundraising then I will use it to start a support centre to help young newly diagnosed women learn how to cope with it.
“I really missed a place like this and think there is a real need for it.”