A mother and son are helping each other through a shared medical ordeal after both being diagnosed with the SAME cancer.
Nick Cordwent, 56, was told he had lymphoma first after he found a spot on his arm and a small lump inside his jaw line.
But just four months later while on his way to a chemotherapy session he got a call from his mother Rosemary, 85, who told him she had been struck by the same disease.
Father-of-three Nick, of Crediton, Devon, is now doing well after surgery and six sessions of chemotherapy to tackle the the disease.
His mother, Rosemary, is also currently undergoing chemotherapy and responding well, aided by her son’s support.
Nick said being diagnosed with the condition has enabled him to offer his mother advice on coping and meant they could travel to and support each other during treatment.
He said: “I was extremely lucky that I had no major ill effects throughout.
“My only problems were losing my hair and being more susceptible to injury. I got off lightly.
“Ironically, as I was going to a chemo session, my mother rang me to say that she had just been diagnosed with exactly the same thing.”
“I was most relieved I had been diagnosed first as I could then give her encouragement and support.
“I also helped her through a ‘sticky’ patch mid-term when she spent a few days in hospital due to malnutrition as she wasn’t eating correctly as the food ‘didn’t taste right’.”
Nick has been married to Sarah for 21 years and is dad to Jonathan, 19, Matthew, 17, and Victoria, 13.
He added: “We both have no reason not to be optimistic about our futures.
“I am just glad that I had gone through it first – as mum is two or three steps behind me.”
“This meant if there were any issues I would get to find out how to overcome them and encourage her to overcome them.
“When she was diagnosed I already had my half way scan so I knew it was going the right way for me so my thoughts turned to her recovery more than my own.”
Nick says he was first sought medical help in December 2012 to check out a small lump on the inside of his jaw line.
He had an operation in April 2013 to remove the lumps and was diagnosed with non-Hodgkin lymphoma.
Nick, a farmer and bus driver, has just finished his last top up of chemo and is set to have a check-up in January.
His mother, a retired farmer from Lapford, Devon, who also has a daughter Patience, 59, has three more rounds of chemo after being diagnosed in August 2013 but has responded well.
She said: “It has been a big help having Nick knowing what I was going through – particularly with transport and having treatment at the same time.
“He would come and pick me up and we could go to chemo sessions together.”
“I was diagnosed a couple of years ago when I had a feeling of something in my stomach that should not have been there.
“I felt a lump so went to the GP and was sent for scans. It was more or less the same time as Nick.
“We have both been very lucky with how we have responded to treatment.”
Latest statistics show that non-Hodgkin lymphoma is the sixth most common form of cancer in the UK with around 12,500 new cases and around 4,500 deaths each year.