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“The point is that I was coming to you with symptoms and they matched the disease”, Young woman says doctors dismissed her symptoms as heartburn from drinking too much until she was diagnosed with incurable cancer

The young woman says doctors told her that she was suffering from heartburn because she was ‘drinking too much’. Unfortunately, she was later diagnosed with cancer. Doctors later told her that the deadly disease had also spread to her lungs, liver, lymph nodes and bones and that it was incurable. The law student is urging anyone dissatisfied with a doctor to push for answers. She says she’ll always wonder if her disease was caught sooner, whether her prognosis might be different. “No matter what a doctor or any healthcare professional says you know your body better than anybody else. If you think that something’s wrong and if you don’t feel that what they’re saying is right, like you deserve a scan or something more, you need to push and push.” the unfortunate woman said.

The 20-year-old woman, Georgia Ford, says that she visited doctors in April 2021 after developing a choking cough and sickness. Doctors reportedly told her that she had heartburn and reportedly gave her stomach-lining tablets for excessive drinking, the Daily Mail reports.

Unfortunately, just few months later, her health deteriorated and her symptoms worsened. The 20-year-old student began to lose weight and suffer from back pain.

After multiple trips to the hospital, the aspiring lawyer was diagnosed with a kidney cancer called papillary renal cell carcinoma. But, that was not the end of her problems.

Doctors later told her that the deadly disease had also spread to her lungs, liver, lymph nodes and bones and that it was incurable.

The unfortunate woman reportedly started receiving treatments immediately to shrink and stop the cancer from spreading.

Now, she is urging anyone dissatisfied with a doctor to push for answers. Ford says she’ll always wonder if her disease was caught sooner, whether her prognosis might be different.

Georgia Ford reportedly told Daily Mail: “Originally the doctor said the sickness was acid reflux from the amount that I was drinking because I was a student. They were like ‘do you drink a lot?’ and I was like ‘yeah, obviously I do’ so they put me on these stomach lining protection tablets.

You believe what the doctor says and I thought ‘I do drink a lot, and alcohol’s poison isn’t it, maybe it is just bothering my stomach a lot.’

But then I came home where I’m not a big drinker and it still carried on, so I was slightly miffed as to why it wasn’t just stopping. The tablets didn’t work and then it got put down to various other things.

There was a time that they thought it was maybe an anxiety thing and it was more of a psychological symptom than actually a physical problem. When they said anxiety could be a contributing factor I was like ‘I don’t consider myself to be an anxious person, to begin with and also how can this all be psychological?’

They basically said that this was all in my head and I wasn’t ill at all. I said ‘I fail to believe that I’m having this many severe symptoms and it’s all in my head’. I’m five months on from starting my treatment now, but I could be further along if I’d been diagnosed earlier.

I don’t know how much more ill I became in that time and whether if it had been caught a little bit earlier, my story might be a little bit different. It’s one of those questions that I’ll never know, but always wonder.”

The young student also said that her cough got worse to the point it stopped her from being able to do things like walking or running as far as usual. Even climbing stairs became a struggle for her.

She reportedly lost 22 pounds in weight in just few months. Ford told the Mirror that she experienced back pain in August 2020 and was told in hospital she was experiencing muscle spasms.

The young woman also told Daily Mail: “The cough was my main symptom at first and I went to my doctor about it a number of times and got told different things. Every time we’d try something new and it wouldn’t work and I’d go back and we’d try something else.

It was quite a choking cough, it would literally take my breath away. It wasn’t chesty or dry, it was unlike anything I’d had before really. I’d been at university going out and had been around loads of people, and then when you come home and you’re all run down you just do generally do get a bit unwell. So I hadn’t really thought anything of it when I came home because I thought it was just my body reacting to burning the candle at both ends for such a long time. 

Then I went back to university [last September] and it just didn’t go away. I’d coughed so much that I’d end up being sick. That’s when I started to lose weight because I wasn’t holding onto food very well. My lower back pain got really bad again last October, which obviously in hindsight was my kidneys. It started to hurt quite a lot when I was lying flat, it wasn’t very comfortable.

I put my back pain down to bad posture or sleeping positions. I’ve always slumped and sat funny. I was always sat at my desk and didn’t have a great setup or the nicest chair in a student house, it’s usually some rubbish kitchen or cheap office chair. You just don’t think these things are bigger than they are, you just think ‘oh well, it’s part of what it is’.”

Unfortunately, in August 2021, the 20-year-old student started coughing up blood. The doctors did an X-ray and cloudy patches were detected on her lungs. Ford claims the doctors told her that it wasn’t cancer or anything life-threatening.

Ford then booked a private appointment and was finally diagnosed with papillary renal cell carcinoma, a type of kidney cancer.

Georgia Ford reportedly said:  “There’s very few times in my life where I’ve been speechless and I was sat there and words just completely evaded me, I didn’t know what to say. I was just so shocked. Just any hope I had of it maybe being something else, it was just the most sinking feeling to be told basically the worst-case scenario and I was just so disappointed in everything.

Honestly it’s not been the same since that, that one moment has literally changed my life. They later said ‘look, it started in your kidney and it’s in your lungs, liver, lymph nodes and bones’. I remember thinking ‘ok, it’s already spread quite far away from its original site’.

That’s when they also told me that it was incurable. It’s just like this overwhelming sadness that just fills you at the time. I’ve come a long way since and I’m on my way to accepting and just learning to live with it and doing what I can within the constraints of my life now. But at the time I’d gone from being a full university student within a few weeks to being in hospital as a cancer patient. It was just unbelievable. It’s literally turned my life upside down.”

Ford said that she started immunotherapy and uses portable oxygen tanks to help her breathe comfortably. The main goal of her treatment is to reportedly reduce the cancer to the point where she can live normally and she hopes to return to her studies when she’s feeling well enough.

The young student from UK also said: “No matter what a doctor or any healthcare professional says you know your body better than anybody else. If you think that something’s wrong and if you don’t feel that what they’re saying is right, like you deserve a scan or something more, you need to push and push. You’re better off to have pushed and to know for sure that it’s not cancer than to leave it and to find out that it was.

But I was quietened by the doctors who were like ‘you don’t need an x-ray, you don’t need an x-ray at all’ and I was like ‘oh, ok’ and you feel pushed. Subsequently the doctor who misdiagnosed me has said ‘I’ve never seen anything like this in someone your age, I would never have expected it’.

That was the only excuse they’ve got. I think it’s because I’m young and in my face I still look exactly like I did when I was perfectly well. I appreciate that you don’t expect these rare diseases in people like me but that’s not really the point. The point is that I was coming to you with symptoms and they matched the disease, whether or not you expected it is not the point.”

The young woman has launched a GoFundMe Page.

“I was unfortunately recently diagnosed with stage four Papillary Renal Cell Carcinoma Type 2, which is a rare and aggressive form of kidney cancer. My cancer was unnoticed and misdiagnosed for many months prior to my final diagnosis on the 11th of November 2021. By the time I was diagnosed it had already spread through my kidneys, liver, lungs, lymph nodes and began affecting my bones.” the fundraiser wrote.

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