Daughter of Les & Joan Allan and sister to Chris, Katie originated from Belfast and settled in Fradley, Staffordshire with husband, Stuart, and two children, Sam and Sophie.

Katie wrote this blog to share her story, improve awareness and spread inspiration & positivity amongst families, friends and others 'battling cancer - one day at a time'

Katie Scarbrough
04 March 1981 - 02 May 2013

Time Is Not Just a Scale……

Its hard to put into words and explain how much Cancer takes over EVERYTHING!! Not only in me, my family, my friends and even people I don’t know. It’s a S@&T disease and I can say the novelty of having it has well and truly worn off!!

I get up in the morning and its there, I talk to Stuart and its there, I look at the kids and its there, I watch TV and its there and I go to bed and its there. I can hear it in peoples voices and see it in their eyes, there is no way of getting away from it.  The worst thing is looking in the mirror and seeing what it has done to me. I don’t recognise me any more, I look like a typical Cancer patient, skinny, bald and anorexic looking. It’s disgusting!! I’d give anything to go back to the girl I was, even though I didn’t like my appearance much then, its way better than what I am now. It’s the nature of the beast that grows inside of me, of which I have no control!!

This week has been very hard and emotional on everyone. I can’t say that this week is the hardest ever because every week seems to be the hardest ever. Anyway, I went into hospital on Monday as my tummy was soo painful and distended. I hadn’t been able to eat even though I was hungry. The amount of fluid that had built up was so immense that I was struggling to take a deep breath and the smallest amount of food was making me sick. The only way I can describe what it felt like is that all the fluid that has accumulated was causing my other organs to push together and there was no room for my stomach to expand when I ate.

On Tuesday I was given a very strong anti sickness medication which made me very drowsy. When my doctor and nurse came in to the room I saw four people and not two. It was very strange and I didn’t like it as I felt really out of control of my surroundings.  That evening the Bowel Surgeon, a palliative care manager and a St Giles Nurse came into my room. I was a little more with it by now and all I kept thinking is there manor isms were all very morbid. He told me that my Cancer was very aggressive (which we already knew), and that it was causing the fluid to build up on my tummy (again we knew this). Due to how the atmosphere felt in the room and the looks on their faces, I felt I was running out of time to ask questions. I asked about operating and they said that wouldn’t benefit me as it would take 6 weeks to recover from surgery before any other Chemotherapy could be given. I then proceeded to ask the question about time-scales.  He told me in a low morbid voice that it could be weeks if nothing works!! WOW, how am I supposed to take that in, it felt like someone had punched me in the chest and took my heart out. It had all made sense why they were all there and why it felt so morbid. Weeks, weeks, weeks that could mean as little as a week to as long as 52 weeks, but it would have been better if he had said months to be fair.

The next day the Bowel Surgeon came back and inserted a drain into my belly to make it more comfortable. The difference was amazing, within 30 mins I could sit up and take a deep breath and then felt up to actually eat. The drain was kept in overnight and in total I had 6 litres taken off. There is still more that could come off as it’s in pockets, that may be done next week.

On Thursday, we made the journey down to London. As earlier in the week I had received an appointment from the Royal Marsden. We thought it would be best to go on the Thursday night, due to the weather forecast for the Friday morning. I really didn’t go in, with any expectations and I really didn’t think they were going to give me a miracle drug off the shelf. The doctor explained to us about a phase one trial. This basically means a trial which has just been tested on animals and they have no research or evidence to suggest it works, or makes things worse. Nor do they know what the side effects would be and how they would effect humans. I would basically be a guinea pig!! The clinical trial really isn’t worth the risk, but it could be a road we go down if the Cetuximab doesn’t work either. We explained that my own hospital had offered us Cetuximab and they were positive that that is the best thing to try first. As this is a registered drug, and although we don’t know if it will work on my Cancer it has worked on others. I’ve come away glad that I went, and more positive that Cetuximab is what I will do next. As doing nothing is not an option!! The Royal Marsden has left the door open for me and will see me at any point. They are even going to look at my biopsy that I had done in June last year and investigate that further.

The emotional aspects of this week is immense. I’m angry and upset, as I don’t know what I have done to deserve this. I must have done something unforgivable and I would do ANYTHING to make it right. Time is precious and that’s what gets me, not knowing if things like birthdays are reachable. All I want to do is see my kids grow up and grow old with my husband!!



  • Natalie Says

    Katie Beauty is inside of you, and whilst you aren’t seeing that right now when you look in the mirror,to everyone that knows and loves you that beauty still shines through.

    No one deserves what you are having to go through Katie, and it is so cruel that you and others get dealt these cards in life. It’s really not something you’ve done Katie, and I really can’t see there could be a bad bone in your body. It does hurt though when those not so kind and genuine people tend to sail through life so easily, yet the good are the ones given the likes of this to deal with.

    I will be keeping everything well and truly crossed that this Cetuximab works for you Katie you so deserve it.

    Love to you, Stuart and you lovely family
    X x x

  • Emma Hadley Says

    Katie, words fail me – i want to find you the ultimate cure, to click my fingers and make it all better for you xx my family & i send our heartfelt sympathy, love & thoughts to you, stuart, sam, sophie and your family and we pray things turn around xxxxxxxxxx

  • fiona Says

    I wish I knew what to say or that I could wave a magic wand and make everything OK. Def nothing that you’ve done and please try not to beat yourself up by thinking that.It’s just so cruel that for some arbritary reason you’ve drawn this s**t illness. I don’t know you, but from what I’ve heard from others and read on your blogs you’re an amazing lady.Lots and lots of love and positive thoughts winging their way to you. xxx

  • naomi cooper Says

    i dont really know what to say katie but i just wanted you to know my positive vibes are well and truly with you i am sat here in tears as i write this i wish i could come over there and get rid of it for you you are so strong you are AMAZING xxxxxxxxxxxxxx

  • Anna Wellings Says

    Katie you are a very brave & beautiful lady, you have such strength..Thinking of you, Stuart and yr lovely children. Sending lots of positive thoughts your way…The Wellings family xx

  • Win Says

    Katie, sorry to hear that the Marsden couldn’t offer you anything better. I haven’t been brave enough to update my blog for 5 months. I so understand and feel what you write because I too stand in those shoes. Have done 8 Cetuximab now. If you ever wonder about the side effects and want to ask, please feel free to get in touch. I wish I would have had someone to talk through who went through it.
    I hope you are painfree now! That’s very important to keep going …
    I wish you all the best and hope that the Cetuximab treatment is kind to you …
    Lots of love to you & your family xxxx

  • susan gilmour Says

    Katie–You seem to us to be such a wonderful lady that we know 100% that you have done nothing to deserve this–we have several friends who are also fighting the battle as you are and they are the most lovely genuine kind people–Life isnt easy and it can be very unfair–We are so sorry to hear about what you and your family are going through–Make as many memories as you can—Big Hugs–Susan and David xxx

  • Brian & Gaynor Says

    Katie, I have been keeping an eye on you updates as you fight the fight. I have sent Stuart a few messages to say we are praying for you all. I’m truly at a loss for words.

    This illness has effected so many families in the most horrible of ways. We continue to pray for you and a cure. Keep your chin up and keep the strength!

    “Keep Believing” – Marvin Andrews

    Brian & Gaynor

  • Paula Young Says

    Katie – no-one deserves what you’re going through, least of all an amazing lady like you!
    The fact that you can express your thoughts so eloquently at such a difficult time shows incredible strength which I hope will keep you moving forward. Life is so utterly unfair. I spend much of my life talking to cancer patients and not one of them deserves the cards dealt them. Your blog makes me realise more than ever how important research is and I know scientists are working flat out to find the answers people like you desperately need. I work for Cancer Research UK and every now and then we do come across people who defy all the odds. You deserve to be one of those people. xxx

  • Pam King Says

    Hello Katie – I just want to tell you that you haven’t done anything to deserve having cancer. My husband decided he was bad and that is why he had it. I told him not to talk such rubbish and I probably swore at him!
    He smoked and it is rare to have small cell lung cancer if you don’t smoke!
    Today you have done a good thing for me because doing this has given me a focus for this evening.
    I remember thinking, walking round Beacon Park with our dogs that if we ask ourselves why us we also have to say why not us?
    Cancer is such a vile disease!
    I am trekking in October to raise money for St Giles. I have a grandson named after his Mr King, George, and I have our daughters but I needed a different focus so I chose to fund raise.
    I am sure there is much love surrounding you as there was us, as there still is sustaining me.
    I hope your days are as positive as they can be and that love sustains you on your journey.
    I don’t know who said this but I have often thought of it through my life, “Life is what happens to us while we are planning other things.”
    It is true for me, so I can only say live each day to the full in whatever way that may be.
    And may there always be love for you.

  • Janice Taylor Says

    Keeping everything crossed for you xx (Natalie’s mom)

  • To all,

    Thank you to all of you for taking the time to right a comment on here. It really means a lot and I find so much strength from each and everyone. I do read them all and I didn’t want you thinking I didn’t.
    Thanks again

    Katie xxx

  • Pamela Ardis Says

    Thank you for sharing your blog and life has dealt you a raw deal…. You must be assured that you did nothing to deserve this awful illness but I hope it helps a little bit to know that you are very precious to your family & you must stay positive for them!! Sincerely praying for you Stuart & your beautiful children! Lots of love xxxx

  • susan gilmour Says

    Katie–thank you for posting on the messages–we follow you daily, wishing that we could help–we are looking for a charity to raise funds and awareness for–a personal charity where all the money raised goes to the cause..if we can help, please get in touch..we may only be able to help in a small way but in our eyes everything helps..please look at facebook haveaheartdesigns love and hugs xxx

  • Mervyn Says

    Hi Katie,
    remember mixing those Cocktails in my house. Never tasted anything like it now or since. Can you remember what you gave me?
    Would love to have another one with you.
    Mervyn and Bernie.

  • Katie Hubbard Says

    Katie I have read all your blogs thank you for sharing your thoughts and feelings. I have everything crossed for you, stay strong. My thoughts are with you and the family. Lots of love and hugs xxxxxxx

  • fiona Says

    Just to let you know that you and your family are often in my thoughts. I hope the last week or so has been kinder to you all. xx

  • Tom Says

    Hi Katie

    I just wanted to say that I read your comment in the Daily Mail today qand felt compelled to look at your blog….All I can say is that I genuinely wish you the very best in your fight and I hope that only good things come to you in time.

    I have read about certain treatments that can be tried and I don’t know if you have ever heard of them, but there is evidence to suggest that something called B-17 therapy has had some success in treating different types of cancer….The very last thing I would want to do is get your hopes up but if you would like to know more about it, I would be happy to send you any information that I have, just email me (I have added you on FB also).

    Please take care of yourself and try to be as positive as you can Katie – you are truly beautiful, inside and out and you have a fighting spirit….That is a good part of the battle already won 🙂

    God Bless you

    Tom xxxx

  • BellaButcher Says

    Oh Katie, what a courageous lady you are! I can’t even begin to imagine what you are going through right now. I understand how you feel with wishing the doctors had said months rather than weeks- but I think they may have done that so your family are prepared. I say this because my mum was given 6-12 months at her terminal diagnosis, but she lasted only 6 days. I so hope your doctors are mistaken and you outlast their expectations immensely- not only for you, but for your family and so you can grow old with your husband. Stay strong xx

    • BellaButcher, I’m so sorry to read about your mum, it must have been such a horrible thing to go through. Thank you for your kind words of inspiration, as this is what gives me the strength and hope together with my kids and husband. Take Care and stay strong too xx

  • zaheer iqbal Says

    Katie I was very touched reading your blog be brave remain positive and fight it all the way :zaheer

  • Kathy Watters Says

    Hi Katie
    I have tried to a few times to leave a message on your blog without luck, but just to let you know that your relations in South Africa are thinking of you often.
    As I read your blog I wonder about the meaning of my email address which is watterslife which feels like a dreadful pun…
    love Kathy

  • Davina robertson Says

    Hello. I found your blog via twitter. I just wanted to send you a hug. Woman to woman. Mother to mother. X Davina

    • Thank you Davina for taking the time to read my blog, it really means a lot. It’s the kind words of inspiration that make me stronger and gives me the hope to fight this horrible disease. PS Thank you for the hug 🙂 xx

  • You so eloquently describe not only the emotional, but the physical challenges you are facing with such brave candor. Wishing you success with the medication you are on, and including you and your family in my prayers. Keep fighting your way back to health – we are all in your corner.

  • Steve Lewis Says

    Katie i have been following your blog over the last few days, your story has touched me deeply. I do know Scott as we are both entertainers in Blackpool, and this is how i found out about you. Your a very strong person, and i love the way your sharing your thoughts and feelings to help others understand, what a very special kind thing to do. Your illness must be a hard thing to go through on its own, yet you find the time and energy to share how you feel with others to help us understand its remarkable, your a very special person thoughts and best wishes to you and your family at this difficult time. I hope you feel better soon with your treatment God bless you Katie, stay strong and keep your mind positive xx Steve Lewis xx

    • Steve, Thank you for your kind words. This blog page is all down to Scott as he set it up for back when I was diagnosed last year. It is the best thing that has come out of having Cancer as it keeps me motivated. Spreading awareness of such a horrible disease, especially in younger people is so important. Thank yu for taking the time to read my blog and commenting. It means a lot!! xxx 🙂

  • Paris Says

    Katie, i recently lost my nana from cancer and yes it is a horrible disease but i would just like to take the time to tell you that what you are doing is incredible, i would have loved if my nana had some this or something similar just so everyday or every week i could go back and remember all the little things i would’ve have remembered without her.
    Stay strong and I hope you get the best treatment, cancer is a horrible, horrible thing.

    Paris Collett, 18.

    • Paris,

      Sorry for the late reply. Hello to you in Malaysia!! 🙂 Sorry to hear about your story about your Nana. Cancer is a horrible disease. Thank you for your kind words they really mean a lot. You stay strong too #cancersucks!

      Katie xx

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