A&E doctor given nine months to live after cancer diagnosis

Dr Jessi Tucker credit Bristol Live
The 40-year-old says she is "not done yet". Credit: Jessi Tucker / Bristol Live

A doctor who has been helping in the fight against coronavirus has been told she may have just nine months to live after being diagnosed with skin cancer.

Dr Jessi Tucker was diagnosed with stage three melanoma the day after the first national lockdown was announced in March 2020.

The A&E doctor said the aggressive cancer has now spread to her lungs and turned into a more serious stage four tumour.

The 40-year-old says she is "not done yet".

Jessi had to tell her parents about the diagnosis over a video call, and was unable to see friends when she was given the news that without treatment she could have just nine months to live.Five minutes before her GP called to say the lump on the top of her thigh was cancer, Dr Tucker had been on the phone to HR at her hospital in a bid to increase her hours so she could work more throughout the pandemic.

Within a week, Dr Tucker 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.

essi had to tell her parents about the diagnosis over a video call Credit: Dr Jessi Tucker / Bristol Live

Dr Tucker said: "I have been humbled to have such an amazing team throughout and to be cared for by the NHS."But there is no doubt that coronavirus has made everything a lot more challenging."

Jessi then started immunotherapy, which caused bowels issues, skin irritations and joint pains.Due to her symptoms, her consultant stopped the treatment in the 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.

Credit: Dr Jessi Tucker / Bristol Live

Dr Tucker said: "It could make me very poorly. 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.""None of us know what's going to happen. I could be knocked over by a car tomorrow."Having used up all her NHS sick leave, Dr Tucker is now reliant on money from a charity to help her through this period.Her close friend, Caroline Walker, has set up a fundraising page to help Dr Tucker while she is too sick to return to the wards.

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