A NEWPORT mum with terminal cancer has shared her story to highlight how cancer can affect anyone and to raise money for charity.

Tracy Lockley, 45, was diagnosed with oesophageal cancer on May 12. “I was a fit, healthy woman, who doesn’t smoke and only drinks socially,” said the mum-of-three.

After having trouble swallowing, she went to the doctors thinking it was acid reflux or an allergy. “It was a massive shock when they said I had a tumour. My doctor said this type of cancer is rare in women my age, it normally affects men who smoke regularly.

“The cancer is very aggressive. It was five centimetres in size when diagnosed and after six weeks of scans it was around 12-15 centimetres. I couldn’t swallow food, drink or even my own spit and had to have a tube fitted for feeding.”

Ms Lockley’s chemotherapy treatment began during the summer holidays – something that was not only hard on her, but on her six-year-old son Roman too.

“Treatment through the summer was tough, especially having a six-year-old. He saw a lot of things he probably shouldn’t have had to see – including all my hair falling out and my head shave.”

She details her journey on a Facebook page called Tracy’s Cancer Journey where she described the treatment as running for 24 hours every two weeks and then scans after eight weeks to see if her body was responding to the treatment.

Unfortunately for Ms Lockley, the cancer spread to the lymph nodes on both sides of her chest and her lungs and is inoperable. Ms Lockley’s treatment continues with the aim of prolonging her life.

Ms Lockley, who works in a nursery and is on a phased return to her job, has also spoken about the things cancer can impact outside of the treatment itself and including on her mental health.


“I’ve gone from working 40 hours a week to having to receive benefits. This means a lot of adjusting lifestyles to fit with the lower income. I was privately renting but now I’m having to get help from the council to find somewhere new as I can’t afford to continue with the rents.

“There’s a lot of forms to fill in and a lot of evidence to send to back them up, and add that to travelling to Velindre Cancer Centre at least twice a week – daily during treatment – and the side effects of the treatment. It’s a lot of stress.

“I have struggled with my mental health and have had to process what I have been told and seeing everybody around me have to deal with it as well.

“I have three children and its also affecting them. Roman is still young so doesn’t fully understand but Danielle (26) and Megan (24) are older and know what cancer means and understand the severity of the situation.

“People have said to me from outside that I look physically well and fit apart from having no hair on my head but I have done so much to get back to some sort of fitness but what people on the outside is not what is going on inside.

“I have a disabled badge and when I park at the supermarket, people look at me as if to say what’s her disability because they don’t see anything especially when I’m wearing my wig.”

Ms Lockley, who also has three grandchildren, has raised £4,525 at the time of writing for Cancer Research UK along with a group of friends, colleagues and family. They are completing the Shine A Light for Cancer Research walk in Cardiff on Saturday, October 9.

“The walk was originally going to be me and a couple of close friends. But as we started fundraising and the word spread, more people wanted to join. Now some of my childhood friends, colleagues, my manager, mum and friends are all walking, there’s 20 of us. It should be a lot of fun.

“The type of cancer I have is so rare for women my age and fitness. I am doing the walk and sharing my journey to highlight that it is there.

“As women, we’re used to being told to check our breasts and that breast and ovarian cancer are the most common types of cancer for us. But I want women to listen to their bodies and if something doesn’t feel right, get it checked out.

“I did that because something didn’t feel right for me.

“I want to raise money for Cancer Research because so much has changed in recent years because of their work. Hopefully if this diagnosis is given to someone else down the line, there could be a cure and the money raised could contribute to that.”

A series of fundraising events are also being held at the Coach and Horses pub in Castleton during the October half term.

You can follow Ms Lockley’s journey here https://www.facebook.com/tracyfightscancer/?ref=page_internal

To donate towards the team’s fundraiser, visit https://fundraise.cancerresearchuk.org/team/tracys-cancer-journey