A mother has been left devastated after being diagnosed with terminal cancer – while waiting for IVF treatment.
Judie Quibell-Barr had been planning to expand her family with husband Peter Quibell-Barr and had been placed on the fertility treatment waiting list – scheduled to begin last September.
However, the couple’s dreams were dashed when a trip to the doctors with a bloated stomach last June was eventually revealed to be cancer.
Mrs Quibell-Barr, who shares 12-year-old daughter, Megan Barr with Peter, said the family had been forced to forget about expanding their brood.
The 36-year-old said: “Peter and I were all set for IVF last September. But all that went out of the window when I was told I had cancer and it was terminal.
“We’ve been forced to forget about babies.
“Now the focus is on enjoying what we have and making the most of the time I have left.”
As the family from Hull, East Yorks., arrange a trip to Norway to see the Northern Lights – one of the many sights Mrs Quibell-Barr wants to enjoy before she dies – she said she’s determined to “make some memories”.
She said: “I am not the type to go into a corner and wait to die. Our family is going to get out there and enjoy ourselves.
“We’re going to make some memories.”
Charity worker Mrs Quibell-Barr said her diagnosis came as a bolt out of the blue.
She said: “I have always attended every smear test I’ve been invited to. Last May I went to my GP with a bloated stomach and I was told it was probably irritable bowel syndrome.”
However, when symptoms worsened, Mrs Quibell-Barr was referred to hospital for an ultrasound, which showed what appeared to be cysts on her ovaries.
“A doctor subsequently told me it was cancer. At t this point I looked eight months’ pregnant. The doctors drained six-and-a-half litres of fluid from my belly.”
Altogether, she has endured seven rounds of chemotherapy and, earlier this month, Mrs Quibell-Barr underwent surgery in a bid to remove the cancer.
However, there was worse news to come.
“They couldn’t remove it all, so they decided not to remove any.”
Mrs Quibell-Barr has not been told how long she has left to live.
“Once I was properly diagnosed, the medical care has been utterly fantastic.
“I cannot give the team at Castle Hill enough praise.”
Mrs Quibell-Barr said both her and her husband have vowed not to hide any details of her illness from their daughter.
She said: “From day one, we took the line that we would be 100 per cent honest with Megan.
“If we decided not to be, and she find out the truth, and she would find out the truth from somewhere, she would never be able to trust anything we said again.
“We make sure Megan is the first person we tell any news to.”