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A normal day that turned out to be a real life-changer

By Burton Mail  |  Posted: July 25, 2012

Rebecca Collyer and daughter Emily

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IT started out as just an ordinary day for Rebecca Collyer.

She was putting her hair up ready for work when she swallowed and noticed a lump move in her neck.

“I knew it wasn’t normal so I went to my doctor who sent me to the hospital to have it checked out,” recalls the 34-yearold.

“I had a biopsy and was told it probably wouldn’t be anything to worry about.” The lump was removed at Burton’s Queen’s Hospital, but four months later she got the news that was to turn her life upside down.

She was diagnosed with thyroid cancer.

Rebecca, of Wyggeston Street, Burton, said: “I had the lump taken out in July last year but in November, when I went for a check-up, the doctor said it was cancer and I needed to have my thyroid gland taken out. It came as a massive shock.”

She needed a second operation on December 1 and, as a result, was put on a special diet over Christmas to prepare for radioactive iodine treatment in January at the Royal Derby Hospital.

She said: “I couldn’t eat chocolate, have any caffeine, alcohol or dairy products.

“The treatment itself was very strange. I had to take one radioactive tablet and afterwards I had to spend three days in isolation away from my husband and two young daughters.

“When I came home I was not allowed within six feet of anybody for a week. It was so hard listening to my three-yearold crying downstairs saying she wanted to see her mummy and knowing I couldn’t go to her.”

Rebecca, a junior school teacher, described the feeling of first seeing her children after her treatment as “amazing”.

She added: “When I picked my five-year-old daughter Emily up from school she said to me ‘is it safe now mummy?’ It was an incredible feeling.”

Now, Rebecca is gearing up to have her second dose of radioactive treatment in September, which will mean spending at least two days apart from her family again.

But first, she will be embrace every second she gets to spend with her daughter Emily as they take part in Cancer Research’s Race for Life together.

She is viewing the 5K race, at Darley Park on Sunday, August 19, as a special day she gets to spend with her family.

She said: “We are gearing up for being apart from each other in September, so we are going to have a good six weeks’ holiday as a family and Race for Life will be one of those days.” Rebecca will be taking part with her eldest daughter Emily, her sister-in-la

w and two other friends.

Women can enter by visiting the website www.raceforlife.org or calling 0871 641 1111.

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  • Burton Mail  |  August 13 2012, 7:58PM

    Has brought tears to my eyes. You keep strong! All will be good.