A SUPERFIT mum told how a stubborn belly she couldn’t shift turned out to be cancer.
Paula Devaney, 46, was climbing mountains and running up to four times a week when she noticed she couldn’t get rid of her tummy.
Paula Devaney struggled to shift her stubborn belly fat[/caption]
The superfit mum discovered she has a rare cancer[/caption]
Even rigorous workouts in the gym didn’t make any difference and when she started getting pains she thought it was a hernia.
But the last thing she expected was when docs eventually revealed she had a rare cancer that had spread throughout her body.
Paula, from Lennoxtown, Dunbartonshire, said: “The tummy just wouldn’t go down.
“It had been growing for a while and I was pretty fat. I just put it down to a hormone imbalance.
“I was really fit at the time. It didn’t cross my mind for a minute that it would be anything serious, let alone cancer.
“My world collapsed around me when I was diagnosed. It was pretty horrendous.”
Mum-of-three Paula was always on the move and running a cleaning business when her stomach began to grow.
Her toilet habits changed but she didn’t think anything of it until she was rushed to hospital in agony last September.
Medics were forced to perform an emergency hysterectomy when they found huge cysts on her ovaries that had grown to the size of melons
She spent more than eight hours in surgery and was left with 46 staples on her belly.
Paula said: “When I look back I had cancer symptoms but didn’t realise it at the time.
“When they told me I couldn’t cope with knowing timescales. I don’t want to die and I didn’t want to know.”
Paula was told she had stage four colon cancer that had spread to her ovaries, uterus and fatty tissue.
Docs revealed she also had peritoneal cancer and that her condition was treatable but incurable.
She underwent chemo at the Beatson Centre in Glasgow that lasted until January this year.
But as soon as it stopped she was back in the Miss Fit gym in Kirkintilloch, Dunbartonshire, working out.
Paula gets support from her kids Antony Oliver, 21, Sean-Paul Oliver, 18 and Erin Oliver, 16. And she’s determined to beat the disease and be around long enough to see them start their own lives.
She said: “My kids are trying to stay positive but they’re worried something is going to happen to their mum.
“I want to see them grow. I want to see them having families of their own. I don’t want to go now. I’m far too young.
“I cry daily. I have my moment and then I get myself together and go to the gym.”
Paula is keen to meet others who have been diagnosed with the same form of cancer as her.
She is also desperate to tell her story and encourage people to get themselves looked at as soon as possible if they think something might be up.
Paula added: “Be aware of your body. Even the slightest change. Go and get it checked. It could be a matter of life and death.
“I don’t know if I’m going to be here or not. Don’t end up in this situation. There is nothing to be embarrassed about.”
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