Credit: GoFundMe/Sod You Cancer!!!! -- This photo shows Wood with her young daughter as she appears to pretend to brush her mother's hair.
(WTXF) - A young mother who believed she was in her final stages of beating cancer was shocked to learn that doctors had treated her for the wrong type of the disease, the Daily Mail reports.
27-year-old Gemma Wood was initially diagnosed with a rare type of cancer after she developed an extremely painful toothache. She then began chemotherapy and radiotherapy immediately.
Four months later, Wood was told that the cancer cells looked to be dying. According to the Daily Mail, she was looking forward to resuming her normal life with 25-year-old husband, Karl, and her children, 7-year-old Mason-Lee and 2-year-old Sophia Louise.
But then, Wood learned that she had been diagnosed with the wrong type of cancer, and would need to undergo a completely different form of chemotherapy.
Also, the cancer had spread to her lungs and become even more difficult to treat.
Now, Wood is undergoing more treatment, but is unsure “if she will have a long or a short life.”
She is fundraising to throw a party to forget about being sick for at least one night.
Wood said, “I'd just started to get my hair back, and with it my confidence.
“I'd just gotten a job and felt content with life, then I was told I had been diagnosed with the wrong type of cancer and would need a different form of chemo.
“It was absolutely heartbreaking. I was back at square one, it was like I was fighting twice.”
She first started experiencing tooth pain in March 2014.
She first went to the dentist, who said that it could be from biting down on her cheek, or possibly an infection.
Over the next few months, the Daily Mail reports that Wood underwent a list of treatments including antibiotics, filing down her teeth, and removing a wisdom tooth. Nothing helped.
Eventually, a lump began to form in her cheek and protruded past her teeth.
She and Karl married in August 2014, but her toothache persisted and she had to leave her own wedding at 11:00 p.m.
The next month, her pain became too much to handle and she was taken to a hospital where they performed a biopsy.
Wood says that she began to think she was dealing with something serious.
“It was just a gut instinct that something was wrong,” she said.
A month later she received the results that she had cancer. Doctors told her that she had a neuroendocrine tumor (NET) in her mouth behind her cheekbone.
“'My head was full of questions I couldn't answer.
“I couldn't look at my babies or husband without thinking about dying and leaving them,” Wood said.
She then began treatment, including chemotherapy and radiotherapy. And after four months in January 2015 she finished her chemotherapy and her hair began to grow back.
She was then told that it looked as if her cancer cells were shrinking.
But in July 2015 she was told that she did not have an NET, but rhabdomyosarcoma, which is an aggressive and extremely rare form of cancer of the body’s soft tissues.
It required a different type of chemo than the one she had received.
“This has destroyed all my faith in doctors,” said Wood. “Whenever we're in the car on the way to hospital, I'll feel really anxious.
“I've even had to have counseling just to help me continue with chemotherapy because I get so scared about going back to hospital now.
“My son has had to have counseling too to help him cope. My daughter is so young that me being bald and poorly is all she's ever known, so we haven't had to explain things to her as much.”
Now, with her future uncertain, Wood is fundraising to create as many good memories as she can.
She has set up a GoFundMe that aims to raise £500 for a special party. Wood says that she wants the party to be a way for 150 of her loved ones to “forget cancer for a night.”
“There's a chance I won't have a very long life. I don't know how long I'll be here for, so I want to make memories with my family while I can,” she said.
“My friends and family have been so supportive, but this is really hard on them.
“It's affected my husband as he's had to care for me, and our children as they're watching me change, seeing me sad and hearing me cry.
“I want to throw a massive party so we can all just forget cancer for a night, and celebrate life, whatever my outcome.”