Stacey McCarthy - Cancer Treatment

Update from Stacey’s family June 2018

As many of you know, Stacey was suddenly taken from us by an infection on 6 June 2018. This came at a time when she was surrounded by her fiancé John, her children and family and had been planning her best summer yet just a few days before. Although this has come as a terrible shock to all, we are grateful that she went while still enjoying planning her life and looking forward to the future she was building for her, John and the children.

We would like to thank everyone for all their support and efforts over the last 18 months. Since being told she had just 12 weeks in November 2016, your support, optimism and generosity helped Stacey prove the doctors wrong and gave her many extra precious memories and amazing times with the people she loved the most.

The fundraising will continue to help support her children over the coming months. The funeral arrangements (June) to say goodbye will be shared via her sisters facebook page and then we will be holding a community fundraiser to remind us of the laughs, love and fun that Stacey brought to all her met her. This will be taking place on 29 July in Hurst Cross (details to be shared as set) and we hope you can all join us in making this a day to remember.

Any donations will be shared between her three children and used towards helping deliver on Stacey’s wishes that they have as much fun as possible to remember her, take holidays and to plan the biggest Christmas they have ever seen. Honouring Stacey’s love of celebrations, family, friends and fun.

After experiencing just a few weeks of symptoms our beautiful, crazy, happy, strong and fierce friend had the most devastating news given to her and her young family in December 2016. Stacey found herself sat in a hospital room being told the tests had confirmed stage 4 stomach cancer which had already spread to her ovaries and pelvis. The clinical team told her to go home and spend time with her family as she had months to live and no treatment would be available. 

At 36 years old, Stacey was having one of the best years of her life - she had met the man of her dreams in March, found a job she loved and, most importantly, her three children (Kendal 15 yrs, Brodie, 12 yrs and Riley 9 yrs) were happy, healthy and loving life. Anyone who knows Stacey will tell you about a woman who fills a room with her laugh, wants to hear (and solve) all your problems, dances like nobody is watching and is always there for others. She has always been a fighter - fiercely protecting her family and making the most out of everything life throws at her. And now she has found herself facing the biggest fight of her life.


In January, we were ecstatic when Christies offered palliative care - reversing the previous position of no treatment. Despite the results, and a previous board decision to not offer treatment, the clinicians took into account how fit (5 days a week in the gym and constantly on the go before the cancer struck) and strong minded Stacey is. Recognising how much she has to live for but also because, even at the first appointment, her consultant could see she is a stubborn, loving and passionate lady. 

So why are we here? In the weeks since the diagnosis we have been busy trying to find out everything we can on cancer, treatment options, alternative therapies and miracle cures. We know the prognosis for Stage 4 stomach cancer is just a 4% survival rate at 5 years. We know the reality of how aggressive Staceys cancer is. We know the statistics that the doctors have. But we also know Stacey, and we know if there is a woman who can kick cancers ass then it will be her but we need help to do it.

In March we had the worst and best month so far, Stacey was admitted to the Christies after feeling very unwell for a few weeks. We initially thought it was just the affects of the chemo and 'to be expected' but tests confirmed that the chemo she had been put on was actually doing more damage than her body could handle and continuing would almost certainly mean we would lose her quicker to the 'cure' than the cancer. In the first week of being in hospital Stacey also had her first scans to see if the cancer had progressed or if the chemo had managed to delay the spread. We were amazed to find that it had not only stopped the spread but had also reduced her secondary tumours by 1.5cm. We hadnt thought any reduction was possible but this left us dealing with the reality that this chemo can't continue even though it had been working. 

After almost three weeks in hospital, Stacey was discharged and we have been told a new type of chemo will be offered from 4 April. This new chemo will mean three more sessions over the coming three months and chemo tablets for life. We are keeping everything crossed that the success of the first chemo continues with the new treatment but we will have to wait for another three months and the next round of scans to be sure. 

We read with excitement the results of immunotherapy and particularly the possibility of treatment at the but this comes at a high financial cost and the consultants at Christies have said there is no evidence this is effective for gastro cancer. In March we also found out this can't be done at the same time as the chemo offered at Christies so while we  have evidence that chemo has worked we need to stick with it until the next scans. In the meantime, we are planning to combine Staceys medical treatment with other methods including special diets, herbs and vitamins and holistic therapies that won't interfere with the chemo but have been successful in other survivor stories we have read. 

Like most of us, Stacey didnt have life insurance or vast savings in the event of this happening. Stacey had to give up work to focus on her treatment and the costs of the complementary therapies, daily living and creating memories with the children are going to be an ongoing issue for her and her family. The fund raising we do will help make sure Stacey has access to the highest quality therapies, doesnt need to worry about the cost of ticking off the list of things that the kids want to have a chance to do with her in the months ahead, help to start preparing us for the possibility of needing to make the trip to the Hallwang Clinic and just make sure we give her and her beautiful children the very best support we can. 


So this may be just the first step on the path to giving Stacey the best chance at proving that statistics are just numbers and its people, positivity and hope that really matters. Stacey gives everyone so much every single day and we are hoping you can help us to grab every chance we can at beating the odds, regaining the future with her beautiful family that cancer is trying to steal and making as many happy memories as possible. 



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Kim Forrester 
Ashton-Under-Lyne, North West England, United Kingdom
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