Mum's fear after rare 2kg tumour removed
SIMONE Boulton may have survived a one-in-a-million cancer that had surgeons removing a 2kg tumour, but she and her family still face life in limbo.
The Buderim mum of two was first diagnosed in February with Adrenocortical carcinoma, a cancer that affects only one in a million people.
Mrs Boulton had her kidney, part of her liver, her adrenal gland and gallbladder removed earlier this year, but her trials are far from over, with six chemotherapy tablets a day, regular blood tests, CT scans every six months and more doctor and surgeon check-ups to catch the cancer if it returns.
"I think the worst thing is the unknown," Mrs Boulton said.
"They don't know if it's going to come back, they don't know where it's going to come back.
"It could come back in the bones, or the lungs, or whatever, they're not sure."
Mrs Boulton worked as much as she could at the Maroochydore Newsagency during the treatment process, but medical costs have eaten away the Buderim family's savings.
"We're lucky we had money saved," she said.
The family has put off their home renovations for fear the cancer will return, bringing with it expensive medical bills.
Mrs Boulton said she only realised something was wrong when she became dizzy and ill over a weekend, and mentioned it to her doctor the next week during an appointment for her daughter.
An ultrasound came back clear, but a further CT scan revealed a black mass on her side.
Doctors first believed the mass was an abscess, but an MRI scan finally revealed the truth.
"This beautiful surgeon at the private hospital sat me down," Mrs Boulton said.
"She just looked at me and she held my hand, and she just said, 'I have got some bad news.'"
Mrs Boulton had a massive tumour growing in her adrenal gland, a major artery and encroaching into her liver and kidneys, the doctor told her.
"She said, 'We need to get it out, quick-smart,'" Mrs Boulton said.
After working the following week, Mrs Boulton went straight into major surgery.
The surgery left her with a "train track" scar and an ongoing radiotherapy and chemotherapy schedule.
Radiation alone cost $1500 every week for five weeks.
Mrs Boulton said she was determined to see the treatment though, for her daughters.
"It's very daunting for a two-year-old and a five-year-old to see their mum like that," she said.
Mrs Boulton's sister Claire Glasson will face her own fear in a skydive this Saturday at Mount Coolum to help raise awareness and funds for the Boulton family.
Ms Glasson has set up a GoFundMe page for donations.