Mother’s journal may help sufferers
A MOTHER whose son is battling against a rare form of cancer has kept a journal of her experiences to help others fighting the disease. Miquela Giles hopes that her son s story may even help early diagnosis. Seventeen-year-old Bradley Mills was diagnosed
A MOTHER whose son is battling against a rare form of cancer has kept a journal of her experiences to help others fighting the disease.
Miquela Giles hopes that her son's story may even help early diagnosis.
Seventeen-year-old Bradley Mills was diagnosed with Ewing's Sarcoma only when he complained of pain, thought to be a sporting injury.
Bradley, who lives with his mum Miquela in Station Road, Abbots Ripton, began an intensive chemotherapy course in 2006 to save his life.
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Miquela, 37, said: "Ewing's is a particularly rare condition that mostly affects young men. The first we knew of it was in October last year when Bradley woke up in the night with an intense pain in his leg.
"We thought it was where he had been hit by a cricket balls but after a series of X-rays and scans it emerged that there was a malignant growth."
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Medical treatment began almost immediately and Bradley began an intensive chemotherapy course in November 2006 - but the threat of losing his leg remained.
Bradley said: "The worst thing about the treatment was constantly feeling exhausted - and the first few times I was throwing up a lot.
"It was horrible but I felt like I was getting the cancer out of my body so I knew it was for the best.
Miquela, who gave up work for a year to look after her son, added: "After four days of chemotherapy Bradley had lost one and a half stone in weight but we could already see the growth beginning to reduce in size."
As the chemotherapy course progressed, Bradley began to lose his hair and was particularly vulnerable to infection, forcing him to be effectively quarantined in his bedroom.
"I was so bored lying in bed all day but I just had no energy," Bradley said. "I got pretty good at computer games."
The former St Peter's School pupil added: "Some of my mates found it difficult to cope with but visiting the cancer centres for chemotherapy gave me the chance to mix with others going through the same thing."
Bradley was supported throughout his battle by his sister Rhiannon, 13, and father Richard, who lives in Kent.
One unusual side effect of the chemotherapy saw Bradley able to withstand extremely hot curries - but despise the taste of toothpaste.
It was during Bradley's struggle that Miquela began her journal. She said: "It started with just a diary jotting down the dates of all the different hospital appointments and check-ups but soon became a place to describe what I, and Bradley, were feeling.
"I found support on the internet from parents who had been through the same thing - at times it was difficult to cope with but sharing experiences helped us through."
After completing his chemotherapy in July, and undergoing several complex surgery sessions, Bradley re-started the course in motor mechanics at Huntingdonshire Regional College he had begun when the cancer was discovered.
Though his injured leg will never allow him to play rugby again, Bradley is determined to stay with the sport and take coaching and refereeing qualifications.
He was named clubman of the year by St Ives Rugby Club.
Bradley enjoyed a trip to the Rugby World Cup in Paris last month to watch England play Tonga thanks to the Starlight Foundation, which aims to grant wishes to seriously ill children.
Miquela added: "It has been a long and painful fight for Bradley but it seems we have come through it and he can begin to get back to something like a normal life.
"I hope that our experience might be able to help others and raise awareness about Ewing's Sarcoma."
INFORMATION: Anyone who might be able to offer advice for Miquela to help her publish her journal should contact The Hunts Post newsdesk on 01480 411481.