TV journalist Helen Fawkes 'has advanced cancer'

 

A television journalist has revealed she may die within six months after being diagnosed with cancer for a third time.

BBC news correspondent Helen Fawkes was diagnosed with an advanced form of the disease on Christmas Eve, 11 years after she was first confirmed to have cancer.

Having fought the disease twice before, Fawkes revealed she may be "dead by the summer".

In an emotional entry to her blog at the weekend, she said: "I have advanced cancer, the kind you can never get rid of.

"All I can do now is try to destroy each tumour every time I get one. I'm not terminally ill but I will die a lot sooner than I ever imagined.

"The crazy thing is that I feel so well and yet I might be dead by the summer."

Fawkes described the moment, during a check-up with medics, how she revealed slight pain near the scars of her previous cancer operations, prompting her consultant to immediately send the journalist for a scan.

She was then called back the day before Christmas to receive the life-changing news that she had ovarian cancer.

"The nursing sister brought round a plate of homemade mince pies but it just made the grim atmosphere seem even worse," she wrote.

"Only the urgent cases were being seen. Why else have an appointment on this day of the year?

"Just as I feared, the cancer had come back. Or maybe it never really went away. The tumour is tiny. Just 9mm. It's so small, I could barely see it when I was shown the scan. Precisely 11 years and one day after being told I first had cancer, I have it again in exactly the same spot."

Fawkes will start chemotherapy later this month. But she added she will aim to continue her life as normally as possible.

"I'm still going to work, and plan to drink the odd cheeky vodka and flirt with unsuitable men," she wrote.

"It's weird having a likely expiration date. I really hope my Best Before is at least 2023. But you know it's not the years in your life that matter; it's the life in your years."

PA

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