Like Jo

It took almost a year for Jo to be diagnosed with lung cancer after her symptoms first started. She can't help but wonder if this could have had a serious impact on her treatment options...

"My symptoms first started with a dry cough. That was probably in February and March time. To be honest, I didn't think much of it. I just presumed it would go. But when it still hadn't months later, I decided I should go and check everything was OK.

My GP said it was asthma and sent me away with an inhaler. Several months later, it was still there. It hadn't got any better. That's when I was sent for a chest x-ray and things went from there.

"I always thought, if I was ever going to get cancer, it would be breast or ovarian cancer"
Jo was diagnosed with incurable lung cancer aged 45

I always thought, if I was ever going to get cancer, it would be breast or ovarian cancer because my mum had both. I hadn't every really thought about lung cancer having never smoked.

I had just started to come to terms with my diagnosis when my dad was also diagnosed with lung cancer, also incurable. But the speed he went downhill. It was terrifying.

Originally, the oncologist said he could potentially have chemo. But, having gone through it myself, I was really worried he wouldn't cope with it. I had been quite fit and strong when I went through my chemo and it really knocked me for six.

Jo is living with incurable lung cancer
Jo on the set of the LikeMe photoshoot

Dad decided not to have chemo. Instead, he chose to go home. In a month, he was a shadow of his former self. He was always quite a strong person and had been quite active.

It brought home what's likely going to happen to me and what my loved ones are going to have to witness. That's ones of my greatest fears, of my loved ones having to see me like that.

But I do try to be quite positive. I've given up work now, not because of my health but to enjoy life and do what I want to do."

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