16th Jan, 2021

Acocks Green woman continues to chase media dream despite cancer diagnosis

Sarah Mason 12th Jan, 2021

AN ACOCKS Green woman is proving cancer won’t stop her from catching her dreams.

Karen Bucknall was in her final year training to be a broadcast journalist at Coventry University in 2019 when she started to get stomach pains and noticed blood in her poo.

Several doctors appointments later the now 50-year-old was told in March 2019 she had stage three bowel cancer and had to undergo major surgery and would need a colostomy bag.

Before her surgery she became one of 12 regional winners to become the next generation of broadcasters with ITV Central News in partnership with Media Trust.

She covered a number of events including the 40th anniversary of Two Tone music and Coventry City of Culture 2021 while keeping up with her radiotherapy appointments at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital.

That November she went for surgery and was told the cancer had spread and couldn’t all be removed.

While recovering at home she became very ill.

Karen said: “On Christmas Day I spent all day in bed, I was hot, couldn’t lift my head off the pillow, coughing, and just wanted to sleep. I managed a few mouthfuls of my Christmas dinner, then brought it up again. I couldn’t taste or smell anything, and even not interested in opening my Christmas presents.

“I had been diagnosed with having a virus, they were debating whether to get me into hospital or not, because of my Cancer and recent surgery.

“The lovely doctor stayed with me in our living room, trying to get my high temperature down and stop the sickness.

“It did eventually improve, but really knocked me about but to this day we aren’t sure what it was, maybe early coronavirus?

“How lucky I am, just recovering from cancer, and wearing a Colostomy bag, to be able to write this today – another precious

gift of life from God.”

She celebrated her 50th birthday at Solihull Hospital’s oncology unit where she said the staff signed a card and sang Happy Birthday to her.

Since getting the all clear Karen vowed to continue with her studies and pursue her media career.

She will be completing a diploma in broadcast journalism and also volunteers as a writer at cancer charities.

Karen has a blog and also speaks on zoom conferences in a bid to reduce the stigma around having cancer, wearing a colostomy bag, and having a hysterectomy, and all before my 50th birthday.

Karen said: “Though not quite out of the woods yet with my cancer journey, I do believe that God and the angels gave me the greatest gift of life: “Let’s recycle Karen” and turn her into a journalist.”

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