I thought my cough & achy body was nothing to worry before I was told the life-changing truth… and it only got worse | The Sun

A WOMAN revealed how she thought her cough and achy body were nothing to worry about before being told the life-changing truth.

Ellie Allman, 42, from Suffolk, was diagnosed with cystic fibrosis (CF) just days before her 30th birthday.

CF is a condition that causes a mucus build-up in the lungs and digestive system, and Ellie said she did not “feel anything initially” when she received her diagnosis.

“I was off work, I was frustrated, I was angry, my body didn’t feel right CF-wise – I had no energy, I couldn’t do what I wanted,” Ellie told PA Real Life.

But Ellie saw major improvements to her quality of life in June 2021 after becoming eligible to take Kaftrio – a medication that aids lung function.

In a tragic twist of events, however, Ellie "randomly" began feeling extremely ill again and was later told life-changing news by her doctors.


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The mum-of-one was informed last July that she had myeloma – an incurable type of blood cancer.

Ellie underwent four months of chemotherapy as well as immunotherapy and a stem cell transplant following the shock diagnosis.

The brave mum lost her hair and recalled feeling "exhausted" and anxious and was even suffering from pain "worse than labour contractions".

But Ellie wasn't alone – and today she says the support of her husband Steve, 44, son Harvey, 13, and all of the doctors, consultants, and charity workers have been priceless on her road to recovery.

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She is now in remission and undergoing maintenance chemotherapy and claims she has a new outlook on life following her life-changing diagnosis.

"I’ve taught myself a whole new script for death; I find it difficult to live with failing health, but I don’t feel afraid of dying anymore,” she said.

“We don’t get a choice, that’s just how it goes, but I think having the right people around you is so important.

“I have to work hard not to lose myself within these diagnoses, and I have to remind myself that I’m still the person I was before my diagnosis.”

Growing up, Ellie revealed that she had whooping cough – a bacterial infection of the lungs and breathing tubes – as well as numerous bouts of flu and chest infections.

She recalled feeling achy and having a constant cough which her mum would attempt to treat with natural medicines.

Ellie claimed she had "coughed her entire life" but was initially "dismissive" of her symptoms.

But after repeated chest infections and speech difficulty, in February 2011 Ellie was finally given the CF diagnosis at age 29.

“You’ve lived your whole life not ill and then suddenly there’s this label,” she said.

The mum then began undergoing treatment in the form of intravenous (IV) antibiotics and physiotherapy sessions and noticed an improvement in her health – but then she started experiencing difficulties with her digestion caused by the build-up of thick mucus. 

The side effects of the antibiotics also mean that Ellie was not able to conceive again which had a "massive" impact on her at the time.

She was then advised to take a medication called Creon with food which was to help with digestion,

But the medicine didn't work for fruits and vegetables, which led Ellie to develop anorexia in 2016.

“I had no control over anything, it was the perfect storm in a way; the perfect circumstances for me to use that as a control mechanism,” she said.

Ellie became weak and fatigued after losing more than four-and-a-half stones but underwent treatment and therapy to regain control of her life.

She was later given the heartbreaking news that she has myeloma after the medication she was on "blistered and ulcerated" her throat until she was put on a feeding tube.

Ellie said the maintenance chemotherapy she is currently undertaking “feels like a breeze in comparison”, and she is continuing to take Kaftrio, meaning the symptoms of her CF have “massively reduced”.

The mum also said she feels "empowered" after handling her CF, anorexia, and myeloma diagnosis as well as all of the exhausting treatments.

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She has applied to become a magistrate and hopes another “miracle drug” becomes available in her lifetime to treat the cancer.

She added: “Even in the most testing of times, every time I have found something positive to focus on or something to hope for and that has kept me going.”

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