“I have a rare form of cancer, Carcinoid cancer and related neuroendocrine tumors (NETs). These are small, slow growing tumours found mostly in the gastrointestinal system, but they can occur in other parts of the body such as the pancreas or lungs. Since they grow very slowly, compared to other cancers, it usually takes many years before they become sizable or cause symptoms. Carcinoid tumors and other NETs usually originate in hormone-producing cells that line the small intestine or other cells of the digestive tract.
After my diagnosis in June 2011, I had major surgery on my bowel and liver and was advised recovery would take a long time. I was in intensive care for one day and remained in hospital for only one week. My motto is ‘I may have cancer but cancer does not have me!’
After my diagnosis in June 2011, I had major surgery on my bowel, followed 10 months later with over a third of my liver being removed. I was advised recovery from this surgery would take a long time. I was in intensive care for one day and remained in hospital for only one week as my motto is: ‘I may have Cancer but Cancer does not have me.’
For those who may not be aware the zebra is the symbol for the NET (neuroendocrine/carcinoid) cancer community. Zebra is used as a medical term for an unusual medical diagnosis. NET Cancers are rare cancers and thought of as zebras. A NET group exists in Northern Ireland, which is how I first heard about Charis and the services that are offered at the centre. The Charis centre is amazing. It’s located in the most beautiful setting and the staff always greet you with a smile. Everyone remembers your name and the services are really beneficial!”
Karen’s husband William adds:
“I lost my first wife to cancer and I was married to Karen eight years when she was diagnosed. For us as a family, Charis has played a critical role in our journey. It presents an uplifting environment”.
KAREN BURNETT, BALLYMENA
Karen Burnett is pictured with her husband William.