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Warning to women from husband whose wife's cancer was missed; "Go to the doctor and be bloody bolshy" is the advice from grieving widower.

Byline: hinckleytimes

Go to the doctor and be bolshy when you get there is the advice to women everywhere from a man whose wife's cancer diagnosis came too late.

Valerie Coslett died in January this year of ovarian cancer. The retired nurse was just 65. She left behind husband the Rev Tony Coslett, a daughter and a nine-year-old grandson. The Hinckley couple had just moved into their first house after years living in tied accommodation when the diagnosis came.

When keen kick boxer Valerie first realised something was wrong she sought advice from doctors. But she was told she was overweight or had gall stones.

By the time she was correctly diagnosed her cancer was so far advanced it was difficult to treat successfully.

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Rev Coslett said: "Women who have any changes in the lower trunk area should go to their doctor and be bloody bolshy when they get there.

"Ovarian cancer is very difficult to detect. The only time it shows its presence is when it's too late.

"She was told by doctors she needed to lose weight. Her stomach was not only swollen but very taut which isn't what happens when people are overweight. She was 65 and she looked as if she was pregnant with twins. She wasn't eating very much so she could hardly have been overweight.

"Her symptoms were not recognised.

"It doesn't just affect older women and the only time it gets diagnosed early is when a woman has to go into hospital for something else and it gets picked up then.

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"Valerie was a wife, a mother, a grandparent and a friend and that's a lot of grief. There is a lot of grief with any death and this death was avoidable. I would urge women and the men who are around them not to ignore the symptoms."

Valerie was a keen kick boxer training with her husband at Vital Martial Arts in Kings Street, Barwell. The club has bought two state of the art aqua punch bags in her memory.

Her husband believes the fitness gained from her regular training sessions helped her survive longer than doctors expected her to. Her fitness also helped her deal with courses of chemotherapy treatment. After one course an oncologist was amazed to see her walk into his consulting room when he expected the treatment to have confined her to a wheelchair.

During the later stages of the disease she was cared for Leicester's LOROS Hospice. Thanks to the hospice's doctor in charge of pain management she was able to spend Christmas 2017 at home with her family. She died soon afterwards.

The Rev Coslett paid tribute to her as someone who was creative, outgoing, talented and generous. He remembers her as someone who fought injustice and stood up to bullies even when it took a toll on her own mental health.

Among those at her funeral were soldiers from a general to private soldiers the couple had befriended during the Rev Coslett's time as an army chaplain.

CAPTION(S):

Valerie Coslett who died early in 2018 of ovarian cancer and her family

Valerie Coslett at kick boxing training during her illness with an oxygen pack on her back

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Publication:Hinckley Times (Hinckley, Leicestershire, England)
Date:Jun 21, 2018
Words:546
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