Gynaecology Oncology news and patient stories

Cancer survivor Michelle donates copies of new book to team who helped her during treatment

Michelle Camm donated copies of her book to UHDB

A cervical cancer survivor returned to thank staff at who cared for her at Royal Derby Hospital and to donate copies of her new book which documents her treatment journey.

Michelle Camm was given the devastating news that she had stage 3c cervical cancer in July 2020 and underwent courses of chemotherapy, radiotherapy and brachytherapy and was given the all-clear in March 2021.

Now, the mother-of-two from Ilkeston has put pen to paper to document her journey from diagnosis through to receiving the news her cancer had been cured in her book, ‘A Lioness; my story of cancer, courage, love and friendship’.

On a recent visit to Royal Derby Hospital, Michelle donated 26 books to be used by patients and told colleagues she wants the books to become friends to those who read it and hopes it can be used by those going through a similar situation to hers:

“I just had to put my story out there as it’s incredible that I’m here today to even do this. The chapters in the book entail monumental milestones in my journey that were just so special that I had to catalogue them.

“I have had some good feedback about it and people have said it’s emotional and inspiring and that’s exactly what I want it to be. One gentleman reading the book saw me and just gave me a hug and said: ‘I feel like you’re my friend because of this book’”.

Sam Foster, Gynaecology Oncology Clinical Nurse Specialist, cared for Michelle while she was receiving treatment and said: “I’m amazed Michelle has been able to do it all as there is so much to be able to put down in a book. It’s incredible really.”

During her treatment, Michelle kept a detailed diary which she says acted as her counselling, and when she was given the news that she had beaten cancer, she knew she had to put her thoughts to use.

Michelle explained: “When you find out you don’t have cancer, you are almost left with a big hole in your life and this book has helped me to fill that hole.

“When I first started writing, I didn’t know how to type on a computer, but I pushed myself to learn how and the I sat and typed around 54,000 words over the course of a weekend.”

Now, Michelle is selling copies of her book online and at local events, with £3 from every sale being donated to leading UK cancer charities.

Michelle Camm signing copies of her new book She said: “It has been hard work but I just want my story to be able to help people. There are so many people I need to say thank you to who’ve been there throughout my journey, but I just hope it all goes towards raising awareness and I hope it encourages more women to get tested because it is just so important.”

Michelle has now sold more than 200 copies of ‘A Lioness’, raising £627 for cancer charities.

Patients at Royal Derby Hospital and Queen’s Hospital Burton can also request further information about Michelle’s book through the Macmillan Information Centres.

Copies of Michelle’s book can be purchased online here (opens in new window) >

Cervical cancer develops in a woman’s cervix and typically affects sexually active women between the ages of 25 and 65, with a peak between the ages of 30 – 35. Cervical cancer is the most common cancer in women under the age of 35. Cervical screening can detect early changes which can be treated before cancer develops, so it is vital that women continue to attend their screening appointments (often referred to as smear tests) during the pandemic.

Anyone who is worried about cervical cancer symptoms should speak to their GP at the earliest possible opportunity.

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