While I sat cradling my 5-week-old baby, I was told that I had a few months, maybe a year left to live.
The summer of 2017 seemed so perfect. I had my beautiful 5 year old, and after a long journey I was pregnant with my second daughter. My job was going so well. I was a nail technician, but had landed myself a job as head Educator for a top nail brand. Life was good and just kept getting better.
But something was going on inside. I wasn’t feeling right. I was tired, in pain, having trouble going to the toilet and passing blood. IBS, they said, internal piles, water infection.
But in December 2017, they said I had stage 4 bowel cancer, and that it was far too advanced for them to do anything. While I sat cradling my 5-week-old baby, I was told that I had a few months, maybe a year left to live.
Those weeks that followed were full of the highest of emotions. Devastation, heartbreak, fear. You name it, we felt it. I guess in these situations though, it brings out the real you. The person that you are inside. And I guess here we are, this is me.
I was determined to make the very best of my life, to enjoy it for me, my girls, my family and my friends. This is when something quite amazing happened. We started Lisa’s Army, an idea to fundraise to allow me to give my children some financial support for their future. Never did I envisage how it would turn out.
We raised nearly £96,000 for my girls and their future. £10,000 for Dorothy House Hospice. I wrote a book to help children deal with bereavement. I have been so lucky to have my story shared on social media, television, radio and in magazines. It’s allowed me to help raise awareness of bowel cancer, of being a mum and a normal human being living with cancer.
This year I’ve had 22 rounds of chemotherapy and a major operation – that’s alongside the scans, the blood tests, the illness.
I am proud of where I am today. I am proud of all the things that I have managed to achieve. I hope that I can continue to raise awareness and help others in their journey.
I feel so privileged to have been asked to be part of the ‘We get it’ team. Let’s see what’s next!