Demi Jones has spoken frankly about ‘the anger’ she felt after many of her hospital appointments were delayed due to the pandemic in the lead up to her cancer diagnosis.
Demi – who announced she had been diagnosed with thyroid cancer in May – revealed: ‘I’ve felt scared and angry. I went for a coffee the other day with a friend and said “Why me? I don’t know anyone my age who has got cancer”.’
The Love Island star, 22, also recalled being told by a consultant: ‘It could be thyroid cancer. We need this cut out of you as quickly as possible,’ adding: ‘I called my mum, sobbing down the phone’.
Candid: Demi Jones, 22, has spoken frankly about ‘the anger’ she felt after many of her hospital appointments were delayed due to the pandemic in the lead up to her cancer diagnosis
Speaking to The Sun, Demi bravely explained: ‘Every time an appointment came through for another scan and blood test it was cancelled.’
Speaking of her ‘complete shock’, the TV personality also told the paper that after returning to hospital with her mother for results after having fluid drained from a lump in her neck, she instantly knew she had cancer after seeing a Macmillan cancer nurse sitting in the room.
Demi – who said she wants to raise awareness of thyroid cancer – also touched upon the two-inch scar she now has on her neck, calling it ‘a small price to pay’.
Speaking on Good Morning Britain on Tuesday, Demi candidly discussed how she had to be very persistent to get tested after her appointment was pushed back by seven months because of lockdown.
Brave: Demi – who announced she had been diagnosed with thyroid cancer in May – revealed: ‘I’ve felt scared and angry’ (pictured after having a lump in her neck removed in April)
Demi told told hosts Susanna Reid and Bill Turnbull: ‘It’s been a bit of a hard thing to process, it’s all very new to me and it’s happening very quickly but I’m okay, that’s the main thing.’
The brunette beauty also revealed that her appointment was pushed back from September to April during the pandemic.
She detailed: ‘Every single month it kept getting cancelled, and I was so close to going private and paying because I was so scared.
‘My stepdad’s got cancer so I knew I had to push for appointments.. I was eventually seen in April.
Candid: Speaking on Good Morning Britain Demi discussed how she had to be very persistent to get tested after her appointment was pushed back by seven months because of lockdown
‘When I was seen I had my ultrasound and blood tests and both came back absolutely fine and they went to send me on my way.
‘But I knew because of him that I had to ask for more, anymore scanning or testing you can do. And they offered to drain the fluids and it was that which came back as potentially cancerous.’
Bill then quizzed the reality star: ‘So you had to be really persistent?’
Demi continued: ‘Yes exactly. And I think for my age most people would just accept that fact and be like “ok and go off” which I did at the original scan in 2019.’
And speaking about what would have happened if she did ‘let the appointments slide’, Demi said: ‘Unfortunately I would have had to live with it.
‘And if I hadn’t asked for extra testing I wouldn’t have found out its cancerous ethers they would have literally just sent me on my way.’
The Love Island star told her followers the news of her cancer in an Instagram post earlier in May as she vowed to ‘stay strong’ and ‘bounce back stronger’ after the devastating diagnosis.
Demi has been keeping fans in the loop since having surgery to remove the golf ball sized lump in her thyroid last month.
Alongside a picture of a leaflet on understanding thyroid cancer, she penned: ‘Hi guys, I got my results today and unfortunately I have thyroid cancer. The tumour has been removed but I’m now due to have more surgery to remove the rest of my thyroid.’
WHAT IS THYROID CANCER?
Thyroid cancer is a rare type of cancer that affects the thyroid gland, a small gland at the base of the neck that produces hormones.
Women are two to three times more likely to develop it than men.
Symptoms of thyroid cancer can include:
- a painless lump or swelling in the front of the neck
- swollen glands in the neck
- unexplained hoarseness that doesn’t get better after a few weeks
- a sore throat that doesn’t get better
- difficulty swallowing
Around 9 in every 10 people are alive five years after diagnosis. Many of these are cured and will have a normal lifespan.
Source: NHS Choices
Demi vowed to ‘stay positive’ in the wake of the diagnosis as she told fans she is a ‘strong girl’.
She continued: ‘I’m staying very positive and I’m a strong girl so I’ll be fine, thank you for your love and support always. I’ll bounce back stronger.’
Demi previously revealed that she had to push to get her lump operated on after an initial scan told her everything was ‘fine’.
However, her father previously battled cancer as a result of a misdiagnosed lump, which urged her to ask for more tests to be done.
Demi told The Sun last week: ‘When I went back for my scan and they scanned me, they said it all looks good. But unfortunately my dad’s got cancer and that came through a lump that was misdiagnosed. So I knew to push.
‘I asked if there was anymore they could do, any other scanning and they were like “we could drain some fluid for you and see what that comes back like.”’
Demi first noticed the lump in January 2019 but put off getting it checked as she was in her final year of university.
The following year she entered Love Island and told Metro that it ‘all happened so quickly’ but she noticed the lump had grown bigger over the past year.
She had an initial scan days before entering the Love Island villa in January 2020 which gave her the all-clear, but pushed for another check this year after noticing the lump had grown.
Last month, Demi told fans doctors feared the lump in her neck could be cancerous and she would be undergoing surgery to remove it.
After the revelation she thanked fans and said she was ‘overwhelmed with support’ and said she had received ‘thousands of kind messages’.
She penned: ‘I’m so overwhelmed with support. I had thousands of kind messages yesterday.’
Signing off her post on a happy note, Demi added: ‘I feel positive today. Thank you.’
A day earlier, Demi emotionally shared the news with her followers on her Instagram Stories after receiving some test results.
Tough: The Love Island star told her followers the news of her cancer diagnosis in an Instagram post on Thursday as she vowed to ‘stay strong’ and ‘bounce back stronger’ after the diagnosis
Demi wiped away tears as she revealed she would have the lump removed in the next few weeks so that medics could determine whether it is cancerous.
Sat in her car after receiving the results, Demi told fans: ‘I went to get my results today for my lump. And they think it could be cancerous so I have to have it operated on and removed in the next couple of weeks.
‘Nothing is for certain but I’m really worried. I’m sure it’ll be fine. It’s a shock because you don’t think, I was sat there in this waiting room and it was full of old people and I was the only young one there. I thought I’m so young for god’s sake.
Famous face: Demi found fame in January 2020 when she entered the Love Island villa as a bombshell, initially embarking on a romance with Nas Majeed
‘I know loads of women go through this, I’ll be fine. It might not even be cancer but they’ve got to cut it out to find out. I’m shocked at the moment.
‘I’ll be ok, when I get it removed it’ll be fine.’
Demi then shared a post which encouraged her followers to get any lumps checked if they are worried.
She wrote: ‘Please don’t put off getting lumps checked, if appointments keep getting cancelled then you need to chase it up. I was supposed to have this appointment six months ago.
‘At my scan they said “everything looks fine” and went to send me on my way. I challenged it and asked if they could do more, in which they said “oh well we can test the fluid if you want us to?”
Update: Alongside a picture of a leaflet on understanding thyroid cancer, she revealed: ‘the tumour has been removed but I’m now due to have more surgery’
‘Thank god I asked as it was the fluid that can be potentially cancerous. Always push!’
‘When I came round I read through all my messages, honestly it made me cry because so many people had messaged, saying if it wasn’t for me they wouldn’t have made their doctor’s appointment. I was so emotional.
‘I had so many young girls approaching me saying they’ve found lumps and they don’t know what to do and I’ve even had fellow celebrities reach out to me and say they’ve found lumps and they’re nervous.
‘I really hope its raised awareness for people to check their lumps regardless of their age and push for appointments because unfortunately you have to do that due to the pandemic and NHS being under pressure.’
If you have any questions or concerns about cancer, the Macmillan Support Line is open every day from 8am-8pm on 0808 808 00 00.
Further information and support is available online at macmillan.org.uk including peer-to-peer support on the Online Community.
‘I’m going to stay positive’: Demi recently said that, although she wasn’t looking forward to more surgery, she would still have lots of fun and look forward to her birthday in July