A COWDENBEATH woman is hoping to save someone else’s life after she was diagnosed with terminal cancer.

Stacey Cochrane is having to plan her own funeral after being told in September that she has stage four stomach cancer.

She was told the cancer was incurable on November 3, the day before her 37th birthday.

The Russell Street resident was initially thought to have Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS), but after “begging” for a scan, it was heartbreakingly revealed that her condition was far worse than feared.

She has admitted to being “angry” with the NHS and she is sharing her own experience to encourage others experiencing similar issues to persist on being scanned.

Speaking to the Times, she detailed how she had suffered from gastric problems in 2017, with her GP prescribing her with Lansoprazole.

Then, in August last year, she was admitted to A&E in Kirkcaldy.

She was there for up to four hours and was given morphine before being sent home.

“They thought it was my gallbladder or my pancreas,” she said.

“I said, ‘How can you tell me that without a scan?’

“She said, ‘At the end of the day, we’re overrun and we’re busy, so you’ll get a letter out in the post for a scan’.”

She left and was told it was safe to travel to Bulgaria for her honeymoon with her husband, Kenneth, but to avoid dairy products.

During her holiday, she was unable to eat and had stomach problems, knowing something was wrong.

“We had the rest of our holiday and came home; the week after the holiday I went to my GP and he was 100 per cent sure it was IBS,” Stacey said.

Her GP assured her she would be seen by a specialist but again she questioned why she was being given a diagnosis with no scans.

Stacey was then admitted back into A&E on September 21, only more than a month after her first visit.

“I had to wait nine hours to be seen”, she recalled.

“I was in a wheelchair, and I was bringing up pure yellow vomit.

“I explained the situation and I said, ‘My body is telling me there’s something seriously wrong, but I don’t know what’.”

She adamantly requested a CT scan be done that day.

Later that night, she was given the shattering news that what was originally thought to be IBS was in fact two tumours – measuring 22cm and 15cm – on her left ovary.

It was initially believed to be ovarian cancer, but further tests showed a primary tumour measuring 7cm in her stomach.

On November 3, she visited Edinburgh Royal Infirmary where it was confirmed that the cancer was within her stomach walls and it could not be cured.

The experience and diagnosis has been torturous for Stacey and her family, and she is sharing her story now to help someone else get the care they need.

“I’m angry with the NHS,” she said.

“For one, I had to beg to get a CT scan done in the first place.

“And, secondly, if it had been diagnosed earlier – I’m not saying it would have made a difference – it would have been better for me to know because I risked my life to go on holiday, not knowing, because I thought it was IBS.

“I just hope that I can get my story out there to save someone else’s life.

“The amount of people who have messaged me on Facebook over the last few days that they’ve all been diagnosed with IBS.

“They’ll put IBS down to everything and there shouldn’t be an age limit for anything and if you feel physically feel that your body is telling you there is something wrong, then they need to act on it.

“If you do have symptoms, you must persist to get a scan done.

“Don’t take no for an answer. Just keep going, push forward and try and get it done.”

Responding to Stacey’s story and experience, NHS Fife’s director of nursing, Janette Keenan, urged her to contact the health board’s patient relations team.

She said: “Being given a diagnosis of cancer is incredibly distressing news, not just for the individual but for their families and loved ones as well.

“Unfortunately, for reasons of patient confidentiality we are unable to discuss the care of individual people, however, we would urge the person to get in touch with our patient relations team to discuss their care and explore any concerns they may have.”

After sharing her story, Stacey has received tremendous support from the community around her.

Free haircuts have been provided by Carrie Price, and a new bath to help her unwind and relax has been donated by HPP Rosyth and is being fitted for free by Gareth Price from GGP Plumbing and Heating.

She is also fundraising for her own funeral to ease some of the pressure and pain for her family.

"My funeral is my main issue,” she said.

“It’s the main problem that's dwelling on me.

“I want it to be more comfortable for my family so they can say their goodbyes."

If you wish to contribute to Stacey and her family, you can do so via her online fundraising page: https://gofund.me/738928b8

More than £2,000 has been raised so far.