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Cervical cancer survivor Lisa celebrates 10-years clear with the doctors who saved her life

August 8, 2017 5:00 PM
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"If someone gives you an opportunity, you have to take it because you might never get it again," Lisa said

A holiday of a lifetime marked a very special anniversary for Lisa Tomlinson - 10 years since she was told she had beaten cervical cancer.

After a hysterectomy and gruelling chemotherapy and radiotherapy, she was given the all-clear.

And now Lisa, from Billingham, vows to live every day as if it were her last.

“I’m more daring now. It has been about grabbing life and living each day.

“If someone gives you an opportunity, you have to take it because you might never get it again.

“In 10 years I’ve raised over £50,000 for charity because I always said I wanted to pay the people back who helped me.”

To mark being free of cervical cancer for a decade, Lisa went back to visit James Cook University Hospital, in Middlesbrough, and the team that saved her life.

In 2006, she was a normal young woman who worked as a health care assistant at North Tees Hospital.

At the time of her diagnosis, Lisa was told she had a 50% chance of survival.

“I had all the classic symptoms: bleeding, pelvic pain, fatigue,” she explained.

“I was going backwards and forwards to the hospital and I was told it was endometriosis.

“It just gradually got worse - it was as if you had a really bad cold and someone was kicking the hell out of you at the same time.

More scans and tests showed Lisa had a large tumour in her cervix, that could not be removed due to its proximity to her bowel and bladder.

After intensive seven-and-a-half hour surgery, Lisa was told she would have to endure rounds of chemotherapy and radiotherapy.

The tumour was removed, but she still suffers with “brain fog” caused by the chemotherapy.

Lisa, now 41, has found her happy ending in the shape of fiancé Colin Cowie, 45.

“I can’t have children because of my cancer treatment, I can only adopt.

“Freya and I do everything together - we like to go swimming and shopping.

“The way I look at life now is: you make your memories so you’ve got something to look back on.”

Colin proposed to Lisa on their special trip to The Bahamas, 10 years after she was given the all-clear.

“It’s five minutes of your life,” she said, “It is unpleasant but the alternative is so much worse.”


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