A Scots mum who was told her weight loss and sore throats were ‘all in her head’ was diagnosed with thyroid cancer after complaining of symptoms for five years.
Kay Richards, 40, claims she was made to believe her symptoms, including body aches, weight loss and a persistent sore throat, were due to severe health anxiety and depression and was referred for counselling by her doctor at the Charleston Surgery in Paisley.
The single mum-of-one, from Paisley, said she knew something was not right in her body for several years and was desperate to get to the bottom of what was making her feel so poorly.
She added: “I knew it wasn’t anxiety. Every day I felt so bad. I couldn’t have possibly been making my symptoms up. I couldn’t get out of bed in the morning until I took my painkillers. I felt awful. My gut feeling was that it was something sinister.
“I just wanted to be taken seriously and to be properly investigated. I didn’t need a counsellor. I needed a thorough scan.”
Kay, who is mum a single mum to little Kai, 2, said doctors told her blood work and a gastroscopy showed no abnormalities.
She added: “I was basically told they had ran all the tests they could and it was all coming from my anxiety. They made me feel like I was going off my head. One doctor even looked at me and said ‘Kay, you don’t have cancer.”
After years of being in pain, Kay couldn’t take it any longer and decided to pay for a private consultation at Glasgow’s BMI Ross Hall Hospital.
She added: “I needed to do something and I felt like this was the last resort. It was £240 but worth every penny. The doctor referred me onto an NHS waiting list for an MRI scan.”
She went for an MRI scan in June and doctors found cancer in her thyroid.
She was diagnosed with Papillary Carcinoma, the most common type of thyroid cancer.
Kay underwent surgery at the Queen Elizabeth University on July 29 to remove her thyroid and had to take a radioactive drink one month later in a bid to kill off any cancer cells that remained after her operation.
Kay added: “For years I was told it was all in my head when really it was in my throat.
“Obviously being told I had cancer was a awful but I also felt relieved to finally know what had been wrong with me for all these years.”
Despite having her thyroid removed and being told my doctors her cancer didn’t appear to have spread to anywhere else in her body, Kay said she is still feeling poorly and has now found a lump in her neck.
She added: “I still feel like something isn’t right. Not all of my symptoms have disappeared and I’ve now got this lump.
“I’m still waiting on my doctors getting back to me about having a follow-up scan. Who knows when that will be.”
Kay’s friend Lucy Niven and her daughter Erin have now set-up a fundraising page to raise money to pay for her to have a full body MRI scan at the cost of £1700.
Kay said: “It’s amazing what they’re doing. I’m so grateful for their help. Having the MRI will let me know exactly what is going on in my body hopefully before it’s too late.”
Lucy and Erin will be walking 204 miles each over a six week period in a bid to boost their fundraising efforts.
To donate click here.
The Charleston Surgery declined to comment when approached by the Daily Record.