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UK Cancer nurse overwhelmed after cheerleading pals wave her off to EVERY chemo session

·5-min read

A cancer nurse was overwhelmed with kindness when her cheerleading pals lined the streets outside her home to wave her off to EVERY chemo session.

Bex Turley, 38, was diagnosed with breast cancer in January 2021 and was forced to go to chemotherapy sessions alone due to restrictions during the pandemic.

Her friends were determined to show their support and lined the streets with placards every week to sing and dance as they waved her off to chemotherapy.

They kept it up every week - even adding choregraphed dance routines - and ended with a huge Dolly Parton themed finale in tribute to Bex's favourite song 'Nine to Five'.

And after 17 weeks, the treatment appears to be working and mum-of-two Bex is on her way to being declared cancer free.

Senior staff nurse Bex said: "Getting surprised by them every week just made everything that little bit easier. They were amazing!

"Seeing the costumes and the dance routines that they'd spent hours rehearsing made me laugh so much during what was such a difficult time.

"I couldn't believe how many people got involved! People were travelling for hours just to come to do this for me and I couldn't be more grateful!"

After finding a lump in her breast on December 27 last year, Bex went to her GP, followed by a private hospital for a mammogram.

Five biopsies and an ultrasound scan later, Bex's was diagnosed with grade three invasive breast cancer.

Bex, who cares for young people with cancer, said: "I'd just finished a night shift looking after kids with cancer and all of their lovely families and I was enjoying a luxurious bath at home.

"I just brushed past my boob and felt a lump by my armpit. I freaked out - I knew in my heart and bones, I just knew.

"The biopsies were like being tarpooned with a staple gun taking chunks out. It was so painful and I was all on my own, thanks to covid."

Restrictions in place in January 2021 meant Bex had to go to chemotherapy sessions alone.

Bex said: "Obviously there are nurses at the sessions so you're not totally on your own but in normal times you can have people there to support you.

"My friends and family felt helpless - they wanted to help me get through this and ordinarily they would have taken it in turns coming to sit with me at my sessions."

Bex's sisters Rachel and Sophie, and her brother-in-law Richard surprised the mum of two before her first chemotherapy session on January 22. 

Standing outside Bex's home in Rodborough, Stroud, they waved Bex off to hospital holding a huge homemade sign which read 'We love Turley Tits' - the Instagram account Bex set up to document her cancer journey.

Bex said: "I was really scared and then we got in the car to go and suddenly there were my sisters and brother-in-law stood at the end of the street.

"It really took me by surprise and made me laugh.

"I'd been thinking about the chemotherapy for days and this helped take my mind off of it all for just a moment which I really needed."

Chemotherapy session number two saw the sisters dressed as giant bananas and on week three they performed Torvill and Dean's iconic 1984 Olympics 'Bolero' routine.

Bex had to search for the sisters dressed as 'Where's Wally?' before she could head to week four of her chemo sessions.

Each week, more and more friends, neighbours and family members joined, with the send offs becoming more elaborate.

Week seven saw people twirling with umbrellas for a 'Singing in the Rain' performance while week eight took Bex back to the eighties with a routine from Flashdance.

On week nine her godmother Sue Humphries, appeared in full sequins and a silver lycra jumpsuit to perform 'Dancing Queen' as the group accompanied on keyboard and guitar.

And more than 50 people waved Bex off to her final gruelling chemotherapy session on May 21.

Blocking the street with decorations, the huge gathering were dressed in full country style costumes with cowboy hats flying away in the wind.

Her best friend, Laura Gale, burst from the crowd dressed as Dolly Parton herself having travelled all the way from Reading for the final send off.

The chemotherapy sessions have now incredibly eradicated the cancer and with radiotherapy next on the cards, Bex has been overwhelmed by the kindness from her loved ones throughout her journey.

Bex said: "They all made going through this so much easier and I'm so grateful.

"Christmas to New Year when I first got my diagnosis, I felt so alone. I knew nobody with two kids who had cancer and I felt like I was going through it all on my own.

"I would obviously dread the chemotherapy sessions but they made it so much better.

"Rather than thinking about the chemotherapy ahead when I woke up Friday morning, I'd just be thinking about them and what they'd be surprising me with that day.

"I'd arrive at the hospital and all the staff would be asking me what they'd done that morning! I'd make myself late showing them all the videos!

"To be laughing and smiling when I turned up for chemotherapy was just not what I expected at the start of this but it's because of my friends and family that I was.

"I started my Instagram to raise awareness, to connect with other cancer sufferers and show the truth of what it's like going through this cancer journey, and I hope my videos have made others smile during this difficult time in their lives."

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