THE MUM FIGHTING CANCER FOR THE FIFTH TIME
Lisa’s latest diagnosis is devastating
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.
Lisa Clayton, from Chepstow, has been diagnosed g with cancer for the fififth fifth time
Lisa with her brother Paul Clayton