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After five years being told by her GP there was nothing wrong with her, a poorly mum paid for a private doctor who told her that the symptoms she had been experiencing for so long were actually signs of cancer.
Kay Richards says she was told her symptoms, including body aches, weight loss and a persistent sore throat, were all due to anxiety and depression.
Kay was referred to a counsellor, but says she never doubted she had a medical problem: ”I knew it wasn't anxiety. Every day I felt so bad. I couldn't have possibly been making my symptoms up.
"I couldn't get out of bed in the morning until I took my painkillers. I felt awful."
"My gut feeling," she told the Daily Record, "was that it was something sinister.
She continued: ”I just wanted to be taken seriously and to be properly investigated. I didn't need a counsellor. I needed a thorough scan."
Eventually Kay, 40, decided to pay for a private consultation at Glasgow's BMI Ross Hall Hospital.
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She said: "I needed to do something and I felt like this was the last resort. It was £240 but worth every penny. The doctor referred me onto an NHS waiting list for an MRI scan."
Kay underwent an MRI scan in June and doctors identified cancer in her thyroid.
She was diagnosed with Papillary Carcinoma, the most common type of thyroid cancer.
Kay underwent surgery at the Queen Elizabeth University on July 29 to remove her thyroid and had to take a radioactive drink one month later in a bid to kill off any cancer cells that remained after her operation.
The single mum added: "For years I was told it was all in my head when really it was in my throat.
"Obviously being told I had cancer was awful but I also felt relieved to finally know what had been wrong with me for all these years.”
Kay has now had an operation to remove her thyroid, and is now awaiting tests on a lump in her neck.
Two of Kay's friends have launched a fundraising page to raise money to pay for her to have a £1700 full body MRI scan to check that the cancer hasn’t spread elsewhere
Kay said: "It's amazing what they're doing. I'm so grateful for their help. Having the MRI will let me know exactly what is going on in my body hopefully before it's too late."
Her pals Lucy and Erin will be walking 204 miles each over a six week period in a bid to boost their fundraising efforts.
To donate click here.
The Charleston Surgery declined to comment when approached by the Daily Record.
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