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Mum poked 'blood blister' with pin on holiday – discovers it's rare cancer

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Helen Notley, 46, used a safety pin to try to hack into the blister during a holiday. However, after a friend suggested she see her GP, Helen was diagnosed with nodular melanoma, a rare type of skin cancer. And the cancer has since spread, reports Leeds Live.

The fitness instructor admitted the diagnosis was a “genuine shock” as she had considered herself to be “very body aware”.

Helen, of Farsley, Leeds, said: “I genuinely thought I was kind of toughening up my skin for when we went abroad in summer, it’s a big regret, I didn’t realise quite how bad sunbeds were.

“I was genuinely shocked to find out it was cancer, I didn’t think anything of it, it was a real eye opener because I consider myself to be very body aware but I just thought it was something of nothing.

“I was literally trying to cure cancer with a bottle of TP (water) and a safety pin.”

The lump was removed but, last year, Helen was devastated to hear the reoccurring melanoma had spread.

Helen, who is a mum of four, has had a series of surgeries to remove the lumps, as more and more appeared, but it was later decided by doctors that it wasn’t working.

Helen is now taking part in a clinical trial for a new drug that is proven to shrink tumours in some people.

Prior to the cancer, the mum was using sunbeds regularly, and she now wants to warn others of the dangers.

Helen is also raising money for Cancer Research, and recently received a qualification to help other cancer patients with their health and fitness.

The fitness instructor said: “Right now it’s stage 3, it’s confined to my arm and I have regular CT scans to maintain it.

“I am now taking part in a clinical trial for a new drug, it’s not a cure but it has proven to shrink tumours in some people.

“There’s a huge grey area with cancer – people think you either live or die but there’s people like me who are living with it and managing it and I don’t think that is spoken about enough.”

 

Helen has recently cycled 300 miles in three days raising £2,000 for Cancer Research in her latest fundraising project.

The mother, who had the first lump removed in 2018, wanted to do her challenge in 24 hours – similar to Joe Wicks – but her treatment can make her tired so she opted to do it over three days.

In total she has raised £6,000 with various fundraising events in an attempt to “give back”.

“I had people saying I shouldn’t be doing it, I should be resting but I’m quite a strong person and quite fit so I knew I could do it,” Helen continued.

“At the minute I feel like a huge strain of resources so it feels great to be able to give back and it helps me immensely to keep motivated and keep going as well.

“The support from people, especially the local community has been amazing.

“It’s been difficult, you’re going to appointments alone and sometimes being told bad news, it’s scary having no emotional support by your side.

“And then of course when you come out you’re having to relay the information to everyone again and again rather than just having them there with you – it’s tough.”

To donate, visit the crowdfunding site.



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