Woman with stage 4 cancer 'angry' treatment was stopped

Woman, 54, whose stage 4 cancer progressed after her treatment was stopped when she got Covid-19 says she’s ‘angry’ for patients who lost ‘vital services’ during lockdown

  • Mary Huckle, 54,  London, has metastatic stage four secondary breast cancer 
  • Contracted coronavirus at start of lockdown and was forced to stop treatment
  • Told her cancer has ‘progressed’ in the four weeks she was not having treatment
  • Says she feels ‘angry’ for other patients who have missed out due to pandemic  

A woman whose cancer treatment was stopped for four weeks after contracting coronavirus says she is ‘angry and disgruntled’ her illness has progressed and spread. 

Mary Huckle, 54, from London, has metastatic secondary stage four breast cancer and was forced to completed stop chemotherapy at the beginning of lockdown after contracting Covid-19. 

The personal trainer explained on Lorraine this morning that she isn’t in a ‘good situation’ after having her ‘lifeline’ taken away, and is ‘devastated’ for other patients who may have had their treatment stopped despite not contracting the virus. 

She appeared alongside Jen Cronje, 41, who also has advanced metastatic stage four breast cancer, and had to fight for her treatment to continue, telling her oncology team that as a stage four patient, she ‘couldn’t afford’ for it to be stopped. 

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Mary Huckle, 54, from London, (pictured during treatment) has metastatic secondary stage four breast cancer and was forced to completed stop chemotherapy at the beginning of lockdown after contracting coronavirus

The personal trainer explained on Lorraine this morning that she isn’t in a ‘good situation’ after her illness has progressed and spread during the four-week break 

Speaking in a pre-recorded video ahead of her interview, Mary said: ‘I didn’t have my treatment for about four weeks and it was a very scary time. Why would you stop cancer services? 

‘The cancer had progressed and spread as well, so I felt angry. I feel so disgruntled at the fact those vital services were stopped throughout those crucial months.’

Mary admitted she was left weighing up whether she was more frightened of her cancer or Covid-19, but feels angry for other cancer patients who ‘didn’t have the choice’ to continue treatment, even though it was safe to do so. 

‘It was a case of, am I more frightened of having Covid and the repercussions of that or actually having cancer? It was really scary, it was a very scary time for myself and my family. 

Mary admitted she was battling her fear of her cancer with the repercussions of Covid-19, but feels angry for other cancer patients who ‘didn’t have the choice’ to continue treatment

She appeared alongside Jen Cronje, 41, (pictured) who also has advanced metastatic stage four breast cancer, and had to fight for her treatment to continue

‘The irony of it was I could have actually carried on having my treatment, but it was suspended because I had Covid. It was too dangerous for me to continue with the chemotherapy at the time, it was taken out of my hands, I had no choice.’ 

She went on: ‘But for people who had that choice and weren’t given that choice, it’s devastating. 

‘Being off treatment is not the best thing when you’re a stage four cancer patient, the treatment is your lifeline, you don’t want to be off that treatment.’ 

During the break from her treatment, Mary’s cancer spread and progressed, meaning she’s now had to switch to another form of chemotherapy.

‘When the treatment stopped’, she explained, ‘I was off it for four weeks for the duration of my symptoms basically and I had progression in those four weeks. 

Mary told she is ‘devastated’ for other patients who may have had their treatment stopped despite not contracting the virus

During the break from her treatment, Mary’s cancer spread and progressed, meaning she’s now had to switch to another form of chemotherapy

‘Subsequently I had to change treatment, so i’m on another IV chemotherapy at the moment it’s not good, not a good situation. I’m just hoping the one I’m on continues to work for me.’ 

Meanwhile Jen, from London, revealed how she had to demand her treatment continued, after her oncology team told her they wanted to stop, but settled on having reduced chemotherapy at home. 

‘It hasn’t been easy,’ said Jen. ‘I literally didn’t leave my house from the eighth of March and the first thing I did was speak to my oncology team because I was hearing that treatment was stopping. 

Meanwhile Jen, from London, revealed how she had to demand her treatment continued, after her oncology team told her wanted to stop her treatment

‘They wanted to stop my treatment and I said to them “That’s not an option”. As a stage four patient you can’t afford for my treatment to be stopped.

‘We came to the agreement that my chemotherapy dosage would be reduced and it meant I wouldn’t have to go to hospital and have scans and blood tests.

‘At the time I was more afraid about getting Covid and although it wasn’t ideal, I thought at least I don’t have to go into the hot spot. But yeah it’s been a crazy few months.’ 

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