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23rd June 2021

Ruthra Spotted the Difference

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Like most young mums, lung cancer was the last thing from Ruthra’s mind. But when she coughed up a little blood, after a series of chest infections, she knew something wasn’t right and took action. Ruthra asked to see a respiratory specialist to get a better look at what was going on and thank goodness she did as that something, she eventually discovered post surgery, was in fact lung cancer.

“I kept getting a recurring infections but, being a mum of a young boy, I initially put it down to my child being in nursery. He would bring home to bugs and I would get it. However, then I spotted that I was getting them more often than my husband and I would also get chest infections in the Summer months. Some of them would be quite bad too so I thought this isn’t right – I’m a young, fit and healthy person. This shouldn’t be happening.

I was just diagnosed with a lung infection and I was given antibiotics to treat myself but over the next couple of days while I was on the antibiotics I coughed up a little bit of blood and went to A&E. Again, they believed it was just an infection.

This didn’t sit right with me so I took myself back to the GP and asked for a respiratory physician for an appointment so they could get a proper look into what had been going on.

Ruthra Coventry

I wasn’t expecting to be told I had lung cancer, even when they spotted a shadow on my lung. I had further tests but they all came back inconclusive. The doctors said we could watch and wait and see what happens, but we have always been quite a cautious family so I opted for surgery and thank goodness I did because, after my surgery, they biopsied the part of the lung they’d removed and it was lung cancer – much to my complete surprise.

Because it was caught so early, the surgeon only had to remove the smallest part of my lung. It’s not affected my general lung function that much. I’m back out running. I’ve taken on some of Roy Castle’s virtual runs during lockdown and am looking forward to take part in the Great North Run. I don’t know if I can beat my time from before the surgery and diagnosis, but I’m almost back to 100%.

During the pandemic, I’ve managed to get time back that I missed with my boy after my diagnosis. When I recovering, he unfortunately had to go into full-time nursery because I wasn’t able to look after him. However, a positive to come out of the pandemic was I’ve had to shield at home with him which has been nice to get that special one-on-one bonding time. I’m so very grateful for that.

But this has only been possible because I was caught early so If you have any lingering concerns don’t hesitate to go to your GP and get yourself checked out. Don’t worry about bothering your GP or bothering the medical services, it’s what we’re here for – and I say that as a medic. I’m an anaesthetist so please, if you spot anything, do contact your doctor.