A mom diagnosed with 17 brain tumors just months after giving birth is now hoping to see her son grow up following lifesaving CyberKnife Radiation Treatment.
Lisa Preston said she was told the tumors may have been there for seven months and that it’s possible she had the cancer while pregnant.
Although the battle with the disease isn’t over yet, she has made amazing progress after undergoing CyberKnife Radiotherapy and taking chemotherapy tablets.
The mother from Hixon, Staffordshire, had originally gone under the knife in 2014 when a mole on her back turned out to be melanoma.
After being given the all-clear, she was looking forward to starting a family with husband Graham, who had himself survived cancer more than a decade earlier.
But just as they celebrated the arrival of little Oliver last April, they had no idea that Lisa’s cancer had started to return and was soon spreading to her brain and liver.
The 33-year-old nurse said: “I started to have symptoms in September, with lots of headaches, and was told it had come back in November.”
“My son was seven months old at the time.”
“They said the tumors could have been there for seven months and it’s possible I had the cancer when I was pregnant.”
But with support from family and friends, she braved the treatment and even risked paralysis so she could have the four-hour surgery at Royal Stoke University Hospital to remove two tumors.
Following ‘CyberKnife’ Radiotherapy to blast the other tumors – and a daily round of chemotherapy tablets – she has now made great progress.
Earlier this week, Lisa even took part in the Race for Life at Trentham Gardens so she could help raise more than £4,100 for Cancer Research UK.
She said: “There were 14 of us doing it together. I’ve still got cancer, but I wanted to prove to myself that I could do it.”
“I wanted to give something back for all the help I’ve had.”
The biggest gift for her has been spending more time with Oliver, who’s now 14 months old.
“It’s been hard,” she said. “In a way, I’m lucky with him being the age he is. He doesn’t understand what’s gone on.”
“The lowest point was after my operation. I didn’t want them to bring my son to the hospital.”
Tiredness has been one of the side effects of her medication and having to stay up at night to soothe her baby’s teething has added to the strain.
But husband Graham took three months off work to be by her side through the treatment and relatives have helped with childcare.
Lisa, who is moving to Trentham in Staffordshire to be nearer her family, said: “I’ll be on tablets for as long as they keep working.”
“My last MRI scan couldn’t detect any remaining abnormal tissue in my brain. And the lesion in my liver has halved. It all looks positive.”
Her mum Janet Grocott, who joined her at Race for Life, described Lisa as inspirational.
The 65-year-old said: “The way she’s coped, she’s been brilliant. I had just had a heart attack weeks before she was diagnosed with cancer. I’ve had to stay calm.”
“But everyone – her sisters and brother, aunts and cousins – has been amazing.”
“It’s been a hard time for us all, not knowing what the outcome would be for Lisa.”
“The worst and longest day of my life was when she had the brain operation.”
Graham, 35, added: “It’s a massive relief that the treatment has been working. After everything she’s been through and what she’s achieved, I’m massively proud of her.”
CyberKnife Radiation Therapy is highly successful at treating Brain Tumors. Talk to our experts at the CyberKnife Center of Miami to learn more: 305-279-2900