Hi, my name is Rachel Crowther and I’m 35 years old. I live with my partner Rick and my daughter Jayde.
In 2012 I visited my GP at the beginning of the year and asked to be referred for squint surgery to my right eye. My brother was getting married in August 2013 and shortly afterwards my sister announced that she was getting married too in the September so I thought this was a good enough reason to have the operation!
In September 2012, the squint operation took place and I had asked that they remove some dark pigmentation on the white of my eye at the same time. As routine this was sent for a biopsy. A few weeks after the operation I received an appointment to attend the Royal Liverpool hospital to get the results, they weren’t good, I was diagnosed with Conjunctiva Melanoma, a rare form of eye cancer. I had to start chemotherapy in the form of eye drops. Unfortunately I had a severe reaction to the drops and this made my eye and part of my face swell, I managed to finish the chemotherapy though. I returned to work after the treatment had finished in April 2013.
Summer soon came round and I went to my GP in July concerned over a mole which had appeared on my leg. The mole was removed and the biopsy confirmed a malignant melanoma. I was referred to The Christie and a wider local excision was performed to see if the cancer had spread. Luckily the results confirmed it hadn’t but as some cells were left behind I would need a different chemo..
I felt very isolated as ConjunctivaI Melanoma is so rare but I have learnt to deal with this thanks to Beechwood and my confidence has improved enormously. I learnt to relax and enjoyed having complementary therapies, especially Reflexology. Everyone is so caring, staff, volunteers and the Macmillan advisors were an enormous help. I met some amazing people and will never forget the support they gave myself and my family. Thank you to everyone at Beechwood.