Our BTC Ladies FC brilliant left back Claire (Danger) Dangerfield has been hit by the very disease she and the team help us fight.
Our Danger wanted us to share her story to help others and raise awareness of her cancer.
Unfortunately as she is unable to play until treatment is over she has joined the teams coaching staff.
Please take a moment to read her story……..
So here I am a victim to the scum bag of an illness, Cancer!! Synovial Sarcoma to be exact, don’t worry if you’ve not heard of it, I hadn’t until the 9th October 2018.
I’ll give you a bit of back ground story for those read it this who don’t know me from Adam.
I’m Claire ‘Danger’ Dangerfield, 29 I would say am fit-ish and not overly unhealthy, I could be a bit fitter and weigh a little less but couldn’t everyone? I play for a Sunday league football team, which I didn’t realise how much I loved it until I was told that I needed to pack it in for the season with only 2 games being played – WOUNDED! I have the most supporting boyfriend who has stood by my side through every step, a wicked family who support me in everything I do and a brilliant circle of friends around me. So I would call myself normal (Some who know me will disagree but I’m still sticking with normal)
So where did it all start.
A lump of all places on the back of my right elbow, yep that’s it now I know that the lump is cancer?? On my elbow??? Strange isn’t it.
Because this lump on my elbow was just a lump on a weird place I’ve learnt to live with it for roughly 6 months! Seems mental when I say it out loud. The only reason I went to the doctors to get it looked into was because it’s resting on my nerve that runs down my arm so any slight knock fecking killed!
Firstly I was told that it’s likely to be bursitis and to take anti-inflammatories and that should sort it. Two weeks later no change. Back to the doctors again.
At this appointment I was sent for an ultra sound, results advises nothing untoward, then I get referred for an MRI.
My MRI report comes back and that’s the first mention of Sarcoma, which is a form of cancer – WHAT THE ACTUAL F !!!
From my MRI report I get referred to the Royal Orthopaedic in Birmingham who have been nothing but brilliant!!! Not just myself but my other half who had has his own questions that needed to be answered. People forgot about the person/ people who are stood by your side watching their loved ones suffer.
The Royal Orthopaedic requested that I have a biopsy and that will give me a defined answer as to what this lump is.
On the 2nd October 2018 I get a call that completely knocked me sideways !!!
Hi Claire is Anita (one of the nurses) here calling from the Royal Orthopaedic we have had your results back from your biopsy. I’m sorry to advice but results have confirmed it is cancer. The conversation went on but I can’t really remember what got said.
That was it ! Months of thinking it’s just swollen it will go down to it won’t be cancer I feel fine it’s definitely not cancer was changed in a call that lasted roughly 5 minutes !
Now the call lasted 5 minutes because I had no questions for The remainder of the call I couldn’t stop thinking that regardless of what happens now I had to some how also let my boyfriend, my mom and dad, my sister’s and brother in law know.
Right then no point running from it now I just need to stay positive and let them know I may have cancer but I am going to be okay !!! It’s not beating me, no chance of that !!!!
How do you deal with the person you love staring you in the eyes and saying my results have come back and it’s cancer. The truth is I don’t know because I’m the person telling people around me that’s it’s me affected. It’s a scary word Cancer and people don’t know who to deal with being told and rightly so who would prepare themselves for that?
So from the 2nd October I get booked in for a CT scan & MRI on that Friday the 5th and from there my appointment with Mr Scott Evans on the 9th October at 16.20 (longest day of my LIFE)
I’m sat in the waiting room with Russell to my right and a woman to my left who I think is there for appointment as she is as white as a sheet. That moment there I thought regardless of what Mr Scott Evans is going to say to me I am going to be okay. This will hinder me for a little bit but not for long because of where it is and mainly because I won’t let it ! I will still be able to live a fairly normal life. The woman directly to my left my not be able to. Yea it’s not ideal but there is someone out there who is worse off than me.
I sat in Mr Evans consultation room and just said it is what is it, what happens now?
First thing he said ‘It’s not spread’
I didn’t even think I was worried about that but I felt a weight lift so I must have been.
Mr Evans confirmed the road I have to follow which will be radiotherapy which my radiographer will confirm for how long.
My nurse Emma, who is ace advised it’s likely to be 6 weeks.
So potentially 6 weeks radio therapy the shrink it the lump down 6 week break and then my operation.
The reason I need radiotherapy is purely because I’m special! Or unlucky but I’m happy to stick with special !
This lump has decided to grow leaning against my bone, nerve, ligaments and tendons as well as my muscle !!! As I said special !
So my radio will shrink it down so when they operate on me will limit the risks of lasting effects.
I raised the question of how had this come about because I don’t understand with my consultant.
Mr Scott Evans confirmed that only 2 in every 100,000 people are diagnosed with the type of cancer I have got. It’s name: Synovial sarcoma and yes the brutal truth of it is that if I had left it, it would have undoubtedly spread and likely to have seen the end of me.
After surgery I will be back for scans and an appointment 1 every 3 months for the first 2 years. After 2 years I have to go back for scans and appointments every 6 months until year 5 and after that until the 10th year once a year. Mr Scott Evans did advise we would become good friends thought this process after all.
I know that I’m a bit unlucky but I could have been told worse news.
The moral of this story is cancer doesn’t have a type of person it choses to affect. Lumps aren’t supposed to be there!
I’ve learnt my lesson if it’s there go and get it checked out. Yes is scary but ultimately asking the doctors What is this? Can save your life.
I’m not too proud to admit that if this lump on my elbow had not have been resting on my nerve I would have left it because ‘its probably nothing’ mentality. It could have killed me !!
I will be okay, too many people aren’t.
Please don’t be an ostrich and stick your head in the sand go and if there’s a lump get it checked out !!!!
While I have the moment to tell my story I want to thank my work for being really supportive of me, my friends who I will never be able to truly express how much all your support for both myself & Russell means to me, my football family you’ll all be deaf by the end of season for me screaming from the side lines, my family from my mom and dad to my sister’s and brother in law as well as my crazy in laws for standing by and being even more supportive than normal and lastly but by no means least Russell Bradbury you are my everything and I could not have stayed this positive as I have if you were not by my side!
So there you have it my story so far, this is not about seeking attention but solely to raise awareness.
Cancer does not discriminate against any being.