Thousands raised for young Bury St Edmunds mother who was told she had just months to live
PUBLISHED: 15:30 12 January 2018 | UPDATED: 18:01 12 January 2018
Thousands of pounds for alternative cancer treatments have been raised after a 33-year-old mum-of-three was told she could have just weeks to live.
Sam Petrie, who lives in Bury St Edmunds with her husband and children, was diagnosed with cervical cancer 15 months ago, and successfully finished her course of radio and chemotherapy last year and had a radical hysterectomy.
Sam said: “When I was first diagnosed, they told me – ‘we aren’t treating this, we are curing it. “There is no reason to suspect you won’t recover fully.’
“I never expected to be told just after Christmas that I would only have weeks left to live. It was a complete shock.”
After experiencing chest-infection like symptoms, a routine x-ray devastatingly revealed an inoperable tumour on Sam’s lung.
“It’s so hard to take in. And I worry so much for my husband and kids.
“They are what’s on your mind.
“At first, I wondered if I should have chemotherapy and go through it all again, because I’ve been told it will only prolong my life.
“I’m not going to recover this time. I thought about getting a second opinion, but that could take three weeks and that might be my time up.
“I decided I’d go for the chemo because you’ve no choice, really.
“You’ve got to do what you can.”
Sam also encourages everyone she knows to keep up to date with their cervical screenings.
“They are so important. I know they’re undignified and can make you feel embarrassed but look at me. If I hadn’t kept going back to the doctors to demand a screening, I might not even have been here this long.”
When Sam was initially diagnosed with cervical cancer, she kept it quiet, preferring to tell only close friends and family, but she says the support of the community since she told friends on December 27 she was terminally ill has been a heartwarming experience.
“I’d encourage anyone going through something like this to tell everyone because the love and support you get is just so incredible.
“It makes you feel so thankful for what you have and it sounds weird, because you’re going through the worst thing in the world, but you can smile about it.
“There is joy and love around you that gives you a boost. It’s been overwhelming, really.”
Sam’s best friend Holly Jay Lewin set up a fundraising page and another friend Wendy Brinkworth organised a disco and auction at the Greengage on Saturday, which raised £5,000.
Holly said: “We have to fight for our friend.
“She is my best friend and we all love her so much.
“My world crashed down when she told me.”
Wendy, who also lives in the town said: “Sam is so young and there are plenty of alternative options to treat cancer - you hear about them all the time.
“You just need funds to get it and the time to look into it and find the right one. “That’s what we’re hoping to do.”
The friends have set up a Facebook page, Sam’s Army, where they will share their upcoming fundraising events.