A mum and daughter struck down by cancer just five years apart have been left devastated after a third generation is now suffering with the SAME disease.
Joanne Moss was diagnosed with blood cancer Non-Hodgkin Lymphoma in May 2010, aged 42, but after more than six years of treatment received the all-clear.
Tragically just months after Joanne’s final check-up, her daughter Jessica discovered a lump in her neck was Hodgkin’s Lymphoma – a variation of the same cancer,
Thankfully after an operation to remove the tumour and a course of intense chemotherapy, Jessica’s cancer has gone.
The student, who is studying to be an optician in Birmingham, was forced to defer for a year to undergo the gruelling therapy.
However, in a cruel twist of fate, Joanne’s mum Pat Boughen, 83, from Hatfield, south Yorks., was diagnosed with Hodgkin’s Lymphoma in September last year.
The family say they could not understand their bad luck when they had to go through the trauma a second time but for three generations to be diagnosed is ‘unbelievable’.
Amazingly, they say there is no sign of any genetic cause and ‘it’s like some kind of cruel lottery’.
The family has vowed not to beaten and are now spearheading Cancer Research UK’s ‘Right Now’ campaign.
Joanne, now 49, who lives in Washingborough, Lincs., said: “Mum had a lump in her neck that came and went. She had an ultrasound scan but it didn’t show anything.
“Mum had other symptoms which they thought might be a condition called Sjogren’s Syndrome. We were expecting that to be diagnosed.
“At the back of my mind I thought, could it be that, could it be cancer? I had these doubts but you just hope it’s not.
“When Jessica was diagnosed I went into practical mode, that took over and I kept focused on what she needed, what appointments were coming up and looking after her.
“If I look back on when I was diagnosed, it feels surreal, as if it all happened to someone else. I am a practical person so just got on with things, you have to.”
But Joanne says she found it really ‘really unsettling and very emotional’ when sher was told her mum had cancer.
“When they told me I started shaking, I was in a state of shock. I just broke down,” she added.
“It took me a few weeks to really get my head around things and to realise what we were facing and that this really was happening to us again.
“We still can’t believe it. Just as we were getting life back to normal, cancer strikes again.
“To be unlucky twice is ridiculous but three times is unbelievable.”
Jessica, now 21, was with her grandmother at the hospital appointment when she was diagnosed with Hodgkin’s Lymphoma – which affects around 2,100 people in the UK each year.
The university student caught sight of the notes before they had spoken to the consultant and saw the diagnosis in black and white.
“I think somehow I knew what it would be but it was still a real shock. I took nana’s hand and was very calm,” she added.
“If I hadn’t been through it myself it might have been different, I might have found it scary but I knew what to expect, I knew there was treatment and that you can be diagnosed and come through it.
“They’ve said it’s not genetic, we’ve wondered if we’re predisposed to it or just very unlucky, but no one can say for sure.”
Pat is halfway through her chemotherapy, the lump in her neck has gone and her treatment is expected to finish in March.
She said: “You do think of how unusual this is, how unlucky for three of us in the same family to go through this but it’s brought us closer.”
Both Hodgkin and non-Hodgkin lymphoma are malignancies of a family of white blood cells known as lymphocytes, which help the body fight off infections and other diseases.