A SINGLE mum-of-four who has recently been given a heartbreaking terminal cancer diagnosis is determined to make memories with her children in the run-up to Christmas - before the ‘inevitable’ happens.
Betty Hamilton, 50, started to feel exhausted and ‘nothing like herself’ last year - but never in her worst nightmares did she think she’d receive the news she did last month.
Betty is the mum of 17-year-old Amy, 15-year-old Alicia, Aaron, 13, and nine-year-old Alana - but she doesn’t have any other family members, only her closest friends.
She told the Chronicle: “Since November last year I’ve not been feeling right, I’ve just not been myself.
“I went to my GP who did a blood test and then four hours later I got a call from the hospital to say that my blood results were poor.
“They said I needed to go urgently for a blood transfusion - I went the next day where the doctor told me I needed an iron IV drip.
“I told him to do whatever they thought was best.
“I had some biopsies where they found quite a lot of lumps - I had to have a radical hysterectomy.
“They took everything on Easter Sunday - I recovered after but I still didn’t feel great.”
A hysterectomy is a surgical procedure to remove the womb and those who undergo the operation will no longer be able to get pregnant.
After being involved in an altercation through no fault of her own, Betty went to hospital where she found she had broken some ribs.
“Out of the blue I got a phone call from Barnsley Hospital who said they found some anomalies on the x-ray,” she said.
“I didn’t know what it was all about but they found nodules in my lungs.
“I got referred to the respiratory clinic who said they were deeply concerned.
“I had a CT scan and went for my results with Amy, that’s where they diagnosed me with kidney cancer.
“I was urgently referred to neurology and I went last week on ward 38 where they said I had a 10.8cm by 8.8cm kidney cancer - and that they were referring me to Weston Park as it was too big to deal with.”
Having been told her cancer was grade four and therefore terminal, she said she was ‘mortified’.
“I broke down in tears and banged my head on the desk,” she added.
“Amy thought I’d been shot - I was just mortified.
“I feel as though my whole world has ended and I’m just waiting for it to end.
“I’m just exhausted - the only thing getting me out of pain is the morphine which makes me more tired.
“I’m a single mum of four kids, there’s no dad around or grandparents - I just want them to stay together.”
One of her friends, 33-year-old Kelly Schofield, has set up a fundraiser to help the four kids have a start in life once their mum dies.
She said: “I’ve known Betty for five years and she’s my best friend.
“It’s such a shock with her diagnosis - it’s her kids that I feel for.
“She’s a single mum with no family - she just has her friends and children, that’s who I’ve done this for.
“I want to raise as much money as possible so they can have a go in life.
“So far £1,000 has been raised but I’m hoping to raise even more.”