THE MUM FIGHT­ING CAN­CER FOR THE FIFTH TIME

Lisa’s lat­est di­ag­no­sis is dev­as­tat­ing

Wales On Sunday - - FRONT PAGE - BRONTE HOWARD Re­porter bronte.howard@waleson­line.co.uk

MUM-OF-FIVE Lisa Clay­ton has been di­ag­nosed with can­cer for the FIFTH time. Lisa, from Chep­stow, was first di­ag­nosed with can­cer eight years ago when she found a lump in her breast.

But af­ter beat­ing the dis­ease four times and go­ing through a whirl­wind of re­mis­sion and re-di­ag­no­sis, she’s been dealt the crush­ing blow that the can­cer has re­turned. And this time, it is in­op­er­a­ble.

Lisa was given the heart­break­ing news that she had soft tis­sue sar­coma – a group of rare can­cers that af­fect the tis­sue that con­nects, sup­ports and sur­rounds the or­gans – in 2010.

“This is where the jour­ney be­gan,” said the 48-year-old. “Af­ter two op­er­a­tions and six weeks of ra­dio­ther­apy I re­ceived the good news that I was in re­mis­sion. I could move on and en­joy life with my fam­ily.”

Lisa made reg­u­lar vis­its to the Velin­dre Can­cer Cen­tre in Cardiff, hav­ing scans and X-rays to make sure the can­cer hadn’t re­turned.

For a while, she was the given the all clear, but in Novem­ber 2015, doc­tors found two tu­mours on her left lung.

Again, the mum, who has worked as a nurs­ery nurse, man­aged to beat the dis­ease and both tu­mours were suc­cess­fully re­moved.

“I was back on my feet en­joy­ing life in no time,” she said. “We went on hol­i­day, we made un­for­get­table mem­o­ries and we were lov­ing life. But this was short lived.”

For the third time, Ms Clay­ton was told the can­cer was back. This time, it had spread to her chest but again, the can­cer was suc­cess­fully re­moved.

“It’s al­ways hard,” she said. “It takes a while to get your head around it, but you just need to get on with it. Noth­ing was go­ing to knock me down.

“But in Oc­to­ber 2017, it all crum­bled again.

“I was di­ag­nosed with can­cer in the same lymph node that it had been re­moved from, and they could also see lit­tle spots on my lungs.

“This time I was told that they were un­able to op­er­ate and I was go­ing to have to go through seven weeks of in­tense ra­dio­ther­apy, which I had al­ready ear­lier this year.

“This round of ra­dio­ther­apy was dif­fi­cult. It was in­tense and re­ally took its toll on me.

“I was weaker than I had ever been be­fore and it took a few months to feel nor­mal again.

“In Au­gust this year, I had my first CT scan fol­low­ing the ra­dio­ther­apy and was happy to hear the news that the tu­mour had changed, but un­for­tu­nately it was not all pos­i­tive news.

“The lit­tle spots on my lungs had also changed and were now mea­sur­able. They con­firmed this was a sec­ondary can­cer in my lung and it was not op­er­a­ble due to their lo­ca­tions.”

Now, Lisa is pre­par­ing to un­dergo chemo­ther­apy for the first time. The gru­elling four to six-month course of treat­ment works by try­ing to stop the can­cer cells from grow­ing and spread­ing to other parts of the body.

Un­like ra­dio­ther­apy, which had suc­cess­fully treated Lisa’s can­cer in the past, chemo­ther­apy can cause hair loss.

But not one to sit back and let can­cer take over her life, Ms Clay­ton has taken the brave move to take her hair loss into her own hands. She plans to shave her head while rais­ing money for Macmil­lan Can­cer Sup­port.

She said: “They’ve done a lot for me and for my fam­ily. I could never re­pay them.

“I wanted to take charge and be in con­trol of the ef­fects of chemo­ther­apy and my hair loss.

“Macmil­lan has al­ways sup­ported my fam­ily and I through­out my can­cer jour­ney and I wanted to give some­thing back to them.

“My fam­ily and friends have al­ways been there for me through­out my jour­ney and this time is no dif­fer­ent.

“When I was told it was back, I couldn’t re­ally take it in for the first week. It was hard, es­pe­cially be­cause I was told I would need chemo­ther­apy.

“I know it’s go­ing to be tough and it will take its toll, but I need to turn a neg­a­tive into some sort of pos­i­tive. I want the de­ci­sion to lose my hair to be mine.”

Along with two of her sons, Steven and Kris Mor­gan, and her brother Paul Clay­ton, Lisa will “Brave the Shave” with lo­cal bar­ber Luke Venn, and hair­dressers Cather­ine Mun­day and So­phie Guest shav­ing off their hair.

“Ev­ery­body prob­a­bly knows some­one who has been af­fected by this hor­ri­ble dis­ease,” she con­tin­ued.

“I want to raise £1,000 for Macmil­lan be­fore the chemo­ther­apy takes over me. I know I’m go­ing to be tired and un­well but it will only take a few ses­sions be­fore I lose my hair, so we need to do it be­fore then.”

Lisa and her fam­ily will shave their heads on Fri­day at 7.30pm, at the Burnt Barn So­cial Club, Bul­wark.

PIC­TURES: MARK LEWIS

Lisa Clay­ton, from Chep­stow, has been di­ag­nosed g with can­cer for the fi­fifth fifth time

Lisa with her brother Paul Clay­ton

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