A Stroud resident has spoken about their experience in surviving pancreatic cancer.

After feeling tired during a gym workout on December 6, 2019, 41-year-old Bryony Thomas – who lives just outside Nailsworth - suddenly felt sick the next day.

A week later, just after her daughter was doing a Christmas dance performance, she headed to hospital.

Bryony Thomas recalled: “In the afternoon of Thursday, December 19 I was asleep in my room. There was a knock at my door and the Doctor, my husband, a nurse in a purple uniform, and another woman walked in.

“I sat up, the doctor pulled up a seat and said: ‘We’ve found a mass in your pancreas, it looks like cancer and we think it might be operable.’

“Christmas happened but in the shadow of my imminent death.

“I asked what my likely prognosis was if I weren’t operable, and was told it was about 12 weeks.“

During the festive period, Bryony went home but didn’t see the sparkle in Christmas.

The gifts seemed meaningless and her heart was heavy.

“Christmas was the most surreal and harrowing experience of my life to date.

“We went for a walk on Christmas Eve, and our daughter mastered riding her bike on her own for the first time.

“It was the last first I thought I would ever see.”

Ms Thomas went into hospital on the evening of January 1.

“I had written letters to my husband and daughter in case I didn’t come home.

She was in theatre for 14 hours before spending three days in intensive care.

Although she is a survivor, Bryony is using her platform to inform people about her experience of pancreatic cancer.

“There’s also no standard follow-up care plan for pancreatic cancer survivors, and as a GP will typically never see a surviving pancreatic cancer patient in a whole career, they simply do not know what to do with us.”

Bryony Thomas wrote the second edition of her book Watertight Marketing whilst going through chemo.

She will be appearing on GB news with Stroud MP Siobhan Baillie tomorrow (January 11) to discuss the impact and injustice of pancreatic cancer, as well as being interviewed on Sky News.

This is part of Less Survivable Cancers' Awareness Day – see more here https://lesssurvivablecancers.org.uk/