Doctor ‘removed post-operation staples herself’ after clinic shut in lockdown

A brave doctor who worked 10-hour shifts at the beginning of the coronavirus pandemic has been told she could have just nine months to live.

However, the medic, who removed her post-operation staples herself after most clinics shut during lockdown, says: "I'm not done yet. I don't feel like I'm going to die this year or that was my last Christmas."

Jessi Tucker, 40, was diagnosed with stage three melanoma skin cancer early last year when she started working on the frontline.

Throughout the year during the coronavirus crisis, the cancer has spread across her body to her lungs and turned into a more serious stage four tumour.

The UK lockdown has made the process even more difficult for her as she has not been able to see family and friends, reports Bristol Live.

She had to tell her diagnosis to her parents over a video call, and was unable to see friends when she was told the devastating news that without treatment she could have just nine months to live.

But Jessi, from Bristol, says she is not a victim, and intends to fight the cancer every step of the way.

Five minutes before her GP called Jessi to tell her the lump on the top of her thigh was cancer, she had been on the phone to HR attempting to increase her hours so she could work more throughout the pandemic.

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Within a week, Jessi was rushed in for emergency surgery because her consultant was shutting his clinics down.

After the procedure she had to remove her post-op staples by herself as most clinics had shut throughout lockdown.

Due to her symptoms, her consultant took her off the treatment with the hope the surgery had removed her tumour.

But within weeks another lump appeared on her leg, and scans confirmed it was melanoma.

Further tests showed the cancer had spread to her lungs, and without trying immunotherapy again, doctors said she could have up to nine months to live.

"It could make me very poorly," said Jessi. "It's likely I will end up unwell from this treatment but I don't have any alternative. I don't want to die – I'm not ready for that.

"I feel hopeful, I don't see myself as a victim. I'm not done yet. I don't feel like I've going to die this year or that was my last Christmas."

Jessi's NHS sick pay has ran out, and she is now reliant on money from a charity to help her through this period.

But her close friend, Caroline Walker, has also set up a Gofundme, to help Jessi while she is too sick to return to the wards. To donate, click here.

Jessi has also started a blog, called cancer in the time of Covid, which you can read here.

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