Ra­dioac­tive sis­ters out of dan­ger af­ter weeks in iso­la­tion

Solihull News - - NEWS - ALI­SON STACEY ali­son. stacey@ trin­i­tymir­ror. com

TWO sis­ters who bat­tled can­cer just months apart are in re­mis­sion af­ter be­ing kept iso­lated for weeks as they turned ra­dioac­tive.

Dee Paul, aged 27, and her younger sis­ter Ki­ran Sangha, 24, were both di­ag­nosed with thy­roid can­cer af­ter find­ing lumps on their necks.

Both were given ra­dioac­tive io­dine treat­ment and were kept in iso­la­tion for weeks.

And young mum Dee had to be kept apart from her one- year- old daugh­ter in a pe­riod which she de­scribes as the ‘ long­est days of my life’.

Dee, from Cas­tle Bromwich, first dis­cov­ered a lump on her neck when she was preg­nant with daugh­ter Dhiya.

When the swelling hadn’t gone down af­ter her baby was born, she went to see her GP.

Part of Dee’s thy­roid was re­moved as a pre­cau­tion at Heart­lands Hos­pi­tal, but tests showed the tis­sue was can­cer­ous.

More surgery fol­lowed and, more than a year since she first no­ticed the lump, Dee be­gan treat­ment with ra­dioac­tive io­dine – a process that meant lit­tle Dhiya and hus­band Jatin­der could not go near her.

“Ba­si­cally, I was ra­dioac­tive so Dhiya had to go and stay with my mum,” ex­plains Dee.

“It was re­ally dis­tress­ing – I just cried all the way to the hos­pi­tal.

“For the first two days I was in to­tal iso­la­tion.

“The nurses just pushed a plate of food through the door be­cause I couldn’t have any hu­man con­tact.

“They were the long­est days of my life.”

Dee be­gan feel­ing bet­ter and was look­ing for­ward to her brother’s wed­ding when Ki­ran, then aged 22, be­gan to feel un­well.

Ki­ran had also de­vel­oped a lump in her neck and felt so ill at the wed­ding that she went to the GP im­me­di­ately af­ter­wards.

She was sent straight to hos­pi­tal where she had a biopsy.

“The doc­tor didn’t tell me I had can­cer, he just said, ‘ You’ve got the same as your sis­ter’,’” said Ki­ran.

“My head was spin­ning. They of­fered me tis­sues but I couldn’t cry, I just kept think­ing ‘ How am I go­ing to tell my mum and dad?

“How can this be hap­pen­ing again?’”

Ki­ran, who lives in Penkridge with her par­ents, said the sec­ond di­ag­no­sis hit the whole fam­ily ex­tremely hard.

Both can­cers were dif­fer­ent types, so medics ex­plained that the fact they were both di­ag­nosed was not ge­netic but just a cruel co­in­ci­dence.

Dee added: “I tried to make light of it – Ki­ran al­ways wanted to be like me and here she was copy­ing me again!

“But it was a huge shock to us all, par­tic­u­larly our par­ents.”

Ki­ran un­der­went the io­dine iso­la­tion treat­ment, as well as surgery to re­move her whole thy­roid and some of her lymph nodes, at New Cross Hos­pi­tal, Wolver­hamp­ton.

Luck­ily, both sis­ters were di­ag­nosed early enough for their can­cer to be treated ef­fec­tively and scans show Dee and Ki­ran are now in re­mis­sion.

Ki­ran added: “My big sis­ter re­ally helped me through my treat­ment be­cause she knew ex­actly what I was go­ing through.

“We con­sider our­selves re­ally lucky to have sur­vived and we are so glad to kiss can­cer goodbye.”

Now the sis­ters are back­ing Stand Up To Can­cer, an an­nual fundrais­ing cam­paign from Can­cer Re­search UK and Chan­nel 4.

Since it was launched in the UK in 2012, Stand Up To Can­cer has raised more than £ 38 mil­lion to fund over 40 clin­i­cal tri­als and re­search projects.

Ki­ran said: “Re­search saves lives and we want ev­ery­one to know it.

“That’s why we’re giv­ing our heart­felt sup­port to Stand Up To Can­cer,” she added.

“It raises money to speed up more ef­fec­tive treat­ments for peo­ple, like us, who re­ally need it.”

For more in­for­ma­tion or to re­quest a fundrais­ing pack visit www. standup­to­cancer. org. uk

Sis­ters Ki­ran Sangha and Dee Paul are now in re­mis­sion. Left, Dee in hos­pi­tal

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