A cancer victim mum has made the brave decision to lose her eyesight and upper teeth to radiotherapy – so she can have more time with her children.
Chef Kerry Borlase, 37, was dismissed by doctors for months after repeatedly complaining of a blocked nose earlier this year.
It wasn’t until she had a biopsy six months later that a large cancerous tumour was spotted behind her nose and eye.
She underwent surgery to remove it last month but there is a 50 per cent chance of the cancer returning unless she has radiotherapy, which slashes the odds to 20 per cent.
However, the powerful treatment will destroy her upper gums and cause the likely loss of sight in her right eye.
But with three children and a loving fiance at home, Kerry decided to go ahead with the six-week treatment to give her a better chance of see her kids grow up.
Kerry said: “I had a full-blown panic attack in the waiting room when I went to get my results of the biopsy, I was an absolute mess.
“The doctor took me into a side room and by the time he told me I had cancer, I was completely hysterical and had lost all capacity.
“They booked me in very quickly to have the tumour removed and the surgeon was really confident that he had managed to remove it completely but there was a 50 per cent chance of the cancer returning.
“It was up to me if I wanted to have the radiotherapy as it would mean losing all my upper teeth and probably the sight in my right eye.
“Hearing it would reduce the chance of the cancer coming back to 20 per cent made the decision for me really.
“I’d rather have half my teeth removed and go blind than leave my children behind to bury me.”
Before her diagnosis, Kerry was a chef at a local restaurant in Tintagel, Cornwall and had just got engaged to her fiance Robert Borlase, 33.
Mechanic Robert popped the question in March this year, much to the delight of Kerry’s children Nathan, 20, Lauren, 15, and Dylan, 14.
She was busy dreaming of wedding plans when she noticed her blocked nose, which started in January, was not clearing despite nasal sprays from the chemist.
Over the next six months Kerry tried repeatedly to get help from doctors to no avail, dismissed with antibiotics despite her being unable to breathe due to the blockage.
Kerry said: “I’d sit up in the morning and pure gunk would just pour out of my nose, I’ve gone through so much toilet roll it’s unbelievable.
“I couldn’t breathe properly and it was causing me to have panic attacks, but I was ringing the doctors crying and they just weren’t listening to me.
“My nose was leaking so much it was making me not want to leave the house, it was embarrassing, and it was just ruining my quality of life but nobody would help me.”
After months of suffering, Kerry was finally given a specialist appointment in August and had an MRI scan and biopsy.
She was told to ‘prepare for the worst’ after the MRI scan indicated it could be cancer, and in October she was diagnosed with stage 2/3 squamous cell carcinoma – the most common form of head and neck cancer.
A large tumour had spread from the bottom of her nose to behind her right eye.
Within two weeks she had undergone surgery to remove the tumour and she will now have six weeks of radiotherapy to reduce the chances of it returning.
Kerry said: “The radiotherapy will destroy my upper gums as it has to be localised to where the cancer had been, so I’m having all of my upper teeth removed next Wednesday.
“As the cancer had spread up to behind my right eye, it felt like I’d been kicked in the eye following the surgery and now I might lose the sight in that eye due to the radiotherapy.
“My partner Rob has been so supportive through it all, and we’ve both had to give up work at the moment because of the cancer, so things are really difficult.
“I’m choosing to have the radiotherapy so I can have more time with my family – they’re my world and I’d rather go blind than leave my kids without a mum.”
Kerry’s friends have set up a Go Fund Me page in the hope of raising money to help cover her travel expenses and other bills.
GoFundMe – https://www.gofundme.com/f/help-support-kerry-and-the-kids-x?utm_source=customer&utm_medium=copy_link&utm_campaign=p_cp+share-sheet&fbclid=IwAR1pCNaE9fLgxvRvVh1yY0uFx7by5j7IPkJMPK7gDxWmjOg1-lOHZYrLgM0