Reeling from the news that her mother had breast cancer and it had spread throughout her body, Ash Spinks said it was beyond doubt the worst moment of our lives. While her Mum, Jo, is now responding well to an alternative treatment, the family is still on tenterhooks but hoping that her energy and quality of life will continue for as long as possible.

The problems they have had to deal with were made even worse by the fact that Jo was diagnosed on what should have been a straightforward trip abroad.
Mum has always been into natural health and alternative remedies. Apparently she had known about the lump for years but felt OK and was sure it was not going to be a major problem.

She wanted to just have it removed and have plastic surgery so did some research and arranged a trip to Bulgaria for that to be done all in one operation.
The family arrived at a hotel in Bulgaria and visited the clinic but what happened next has completely changed all of their lives.
The doctor said it was not a case of simply removing a lump and doing reconstruction. They carried out tests, which showed that the cancer had spread through her lymph system and reached her liver. That was at the end of August last year. As you can imagine, it was absolutely devastating.

A mastectomy was carried out but what should have been a simple trip lasting a few days turned into weeks of shock and worry while the family stayed in the hotel room until Jo was well enough to travel home. We were told that she couldnt have chemotherapy because her liver was too badly affected. I had left my two-year-old daughter, Chloe, for the first time ever and thought it was just for a couple of days but it turned into weeks. The whole thing pushed us to the limit.

Ash believes her mothers unwillingness to be checked out sooner was a combination of denial and believing that her otherwise healthy lifestyle could counteract any illness. Mum is feeling great and we all have a lot of faith in the treatment she is having. You cant get it through the normal health system. Its called GcMAF and is cutting-edge stuff but there is no doubt she looks really good and is getting on with her life. Its a completely natural blood enzyme and Mum has no doubt that its working.

Her mother was told that she had just weeks to live when the diagnosis was first made: But that was last October and here we are in the summer and she looks great. The family has a strong history of breast cancer, with Ashs gran and great-gran both suffering from the disease. Obviously it means I am really aware of the situation but Im really more concerned about Chloe because the last thing you want is for your children to become ill.

She hopes that, by the time Chloe is an adult, treatment and research will have reduced, if not removed, the risk of her getting breast cancer. Her awareness and concern prompted Ash to organise a team entry and speak out about the need to get checked early.

No one should ever have to deal with the shock and trauma of being told that someone they love is riddled with cancer, let alone the person themselves having to face that diagnosis. Our quality of life has improved tenfold because something like this makes you realise what life is really all about. It has made us reassess everything. That is not to say it has been easy, but we need to stay positive. Nine months ago, we thought that was it, but now at least we have hope.

Ash Spinks is doing the Sunset Walk to raise awareness of breast cancer, which her mum is currently battling.

Article courtesy of the Guernsey Press and Star, picture of Ash Spinks by Steve Sarre

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