Stephanie Wilkinson who has been diagnosed with terminal cancer (Image: Newcastle Chronicle)

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After being told she could have only months to live, a mum fears her youngest child does not understand she could be gone.

The mum-of-four is still struggling to come to terms with her terminal diagnosis after what started as just a small lump in her tummy turned out to be stomach cancer, Chronicle Live reports.

Stephanie Wilkinson, 39, says she was initially told there was nothing to worry about when she visited her GP last year.

But her symptoms worsened over the following months, and last month she was diagnosed with stomach cancer and told the devastating news that it was terminal.

Stephanie Wilkinson (left) with partner Daniel Couley and children L-R Paige (17), Megan (14), Paul (12) and Reece (21)
(Image: Newcastle Chronicle)

Stephanie, from Gateshead, Tyne and Wear, is reeling from the shock prognosis.

And today she has told the Chronicle of her family's devastation.

She said: "I think I'm blocking it out. It hasn't sunk in and I haven't come to terms with it. My youngest son just thinks a miracle is going to happen and I'm going to get better."

Stephanie first realised she was not well over the Christmas period in 2019.

"Every time I ate I had a lump on my stomach and my stomach swelled up," she explained.

"I couldn't eat because I was in pain, and it was making us really tired. At first I didn't think anything of it, it was just a little lump."

Stephanie Wilkinson undergoing chemotherapy treatment
(Image: Newcastle Chronicle)

After her symptoms worsened Stephanie booked a doctor's appointment.

She says she was examined and prescribed acid tablets, but told there was nothing seriously wrong.

But Stephanie became more and more unwell.

When she returned to her doctors she was eventually sent to the Queen Elizabeth Hospital for an MRI scan.

Stephanie's youngest child still doesn't understand she could be gone
(Image: Newcastle Chronicle)

And on May 14 she was told she had stomach cancer, and that the cancer had spread.

"My stomach has collapsed now," she said. "It's went into my lungs, my heart, my liver and my kidneys," she said. "It's totally spread and there's nothing they can do for me now."

Stephanie has now started a course of fortnightly chemotherapy sessions.

Medics have told her that if the treatment works she will have around six months left to live, she said.

Stephanie Wilkinson (left) and her best friend Claire McTaff
(Image: Newcastle Chronicle)

But this is something Stephanie is struggling to accept.

She said: "I thought it may have just been a blockage, but then to be told I had terminal cancer was devastating. I never thought it was anything that serious."

And Stephanie also has to deal with the heartbreak her diagnosis has brought her children; Reece, 21, Paige, 17, Megan, 14 and 12-year-old Paul.

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"The children know what's going on," she said.

"Megan won't talk about it and Reece is just really angry and upset. Paul just thinks a miracle is going to happen and I'm going to get better."

Stephanie is tortured by the thought of what might have been if her cancer had been discovered and treated sooner.

"I just feel so angry," she said. "If they had just sent us to be checked out it wouldn't have spread."