After being told she might have more precious time with her kids, cancer-stricken mom Stephanie Wilkinson is determined to make lasting memories for her family.
The 39-year-old was devastated when doctors said she had only months to live after what started as a small lump in her abdomen turned out to be terminal cancer.
But the mother of four is now hopeful she could have more time after successfully starting a course of chemotherapy.
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Doctors say she has responded so well to treatment that she now has one to two years to go.
And while the prognosis is still devastating, Stephanie, of Winlaton in Gateshead, is determined to pack as much as she can in the time she has.
She said, “I just want to make as many memories as possible for the kids.”
Stephanie first realized she wasn’t well over the Christmas season in 2019 when a painful lump appeared in her stomach every time she ate.
After her symptoms worsened, Stephanie booked a doctor’s appointment.
Stephanie Wilkinson of Winlaton, who has been diagnosed with terminal cancer (Image: Newcastle Chronicle)
She says she was examined and prescribed acid tablets, but said there was nothing serious going on.
But Stephanie kept getting unwell.
When she returned to her doctors, she was eventually sent to the Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Gateshead for an MRI scan.
And on May 14, she was told she had stomach cancer and that the cancer had spread.
Initially, Stephanie was told she would have only six months to live.
But after she started chemotherapy, doctors told her she could have longer.
“They say a year, or two years if I’m lucky,” she said. “The chemo is working and they’re going to try to increase it to see how I go.”
And the mom is now determined not to waste a second with her kids Reece, 21, Paige, 17, Megan, 14, and 12-year-old Paul.
Stephanie’s friends have set up a JustGiving page with the aim of raising £1,000 to support her.
Stephanie Wilkinson (left) of Winlaton, who has been diagnosed with terminal cancer. Pictured with partner Daniel Couley and children LR Paige (17), Megan (14), Paul (12) and Reece (21) (Image: Newcastle Chronicle)
And she hopes to use the money to pay for one last family vacation.
“I’m going to try and take a break with the kids to make some memories,” she said. “I’ve always wanted to go to Cornwall. I did a project on it when I was in primary school, so that would be nice. I can’t go abroad now, but I just want some normalcy.
“I’m angry all the time. I shouldn’t go through all this. But I have to stay strong for the kids. It’s just hard.”
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