Voodou were proud to support the Baldy Birds for Lisa campaign after hearing Lisa William’s story…
“In February 2011 I attended an appointment at Wirral Breast Care Unit for the examination of a breast lump. A fine needle aspiration test confirmed that the lump was indeed breast cancer, the results of the biopsy taken would identify the type once returned from the laboratory. I was only 32 and a single mother of my son David, then aged 2, my world fell apart. Obviously I told my Mum and close family and friends but had to come to terms with the news. I picked myself up and realised that I had to just get on with it, pretty much my attitude to life, so was soon back to my normal self (as normal as I could be). My test results came back that the cancer was Oestrogen positive and Herceptin negative – this would determine my course of treatment.
In March 2011 I had a mastectomy and my lymph nodes removed. The further tests on my lymph nodes revealed that some of them also were infected, therefore, I would require Chemotherapy. I commenced chemotherapy in April 2011, I opted to use the scalp cooling system to prevent hair loss. Although my hair thinned and I had to wear a wig I did not lose all of my hair. Throughout this time I experienced some severe side effects and found every day life difficult, including being a Mum to David, had it not been for my amazing family and friends I would not have got through this time.
I started radio therapy in July 2011 and completed this in September 2011, I was given the ‘all clear’ in October 2011 – this was the end of a hard journey and the start of a new life or so I thought. I applied for a promotion at a new school and successfully got the position to start in January 2012. I was able to be a mum again and enjoy myself without feeling sick or tired.
In May 2012, my partner Shaun Holl moved in with me and David (now aged 4), again, a great development in my life. In June 2012 due to pain and fatigue I went back to Clatterbridge Hospital and saw my oncologist, I was referred for scans. The wait for the scan results was a very anxious one and both myself and my family and friends remained positive in the hope that it was nothing.
In July 2012, I went to get the results of my scans, myself and Shaun were devastated to hear that the cancer had metasized, not only to my bones but also to my liver and lungs, this was incurable and any care or treatment would only be pallative. I didn’t know what to do, all I could think about was David, he is only 4. I went home very upset and again had to break the news to close friends and family, this was so hard. David does not know the full extent of my illness, just that mummy is not very well and won’t get better. I started hormone therapy to try to control the cancer, however, a recent follow up scan revealed that this had been unsuccessful. I have also been given radiotherapy to a number of areas to reduce bone pain. I then started weekly chemotherapy in October 2012 and am still on this treatment. My employers – Connah’s Quay High School have been very supportive, I am very committed to my job as a teacher and did not want to not work, their outstanding support has allowed me to continue to work when possible between treatments. I have always been a’ get up and go’, ‘make the most of life’ person and I try to live my life as if there is nothing wrong with me (when I can), I am ‘living’ with metastatic cancer, I will not let it take over my life.
The chemotherapy drug used causes hair loss and this started to happen after 3 treatments, as a result of my hair slowly thinning I wanted to take control and decided that I was going to shave my head before all of my hair fell out, this would not be as distressing – so my friend Leeann came to the rescue and shaved both my head and my partner Shaun’s. I simply posted on Facebook that I was going to shave my head and my from that my fantastic family and friends started the ‘Baldy Birds for Lisa Williams’ fundraising.
I am totally overwhelmed by the selfless act shown by Jill, Steph, Sarah and Jo, it takes a lot of courage as a woman to shave your head and a lot of time for your hair to grow back. Some of my male friends have also volunteered to be waxed – ouch!!! They will also get sponsorship for this.
The support shown so far has been unbelievable, people have been so supportive and generous. I had always dreamt that I would take my little boy to Disney but never thought there would be a time limit on it, my fantastic family and friends are working so hard to ensure that my dream becomes a reality while I am still well enough to take him. I do not know what the future holds for me or how long I have but I do know that this opportunity will create magical memories and photographs for David as he grows up as well as for Shaun.
My partner Shaun has been amazing throughout all of this, he is my carer and does everything possible to help both me and David. He has spent hours at Chemotherapy and other appointments with me, he never complains, he had become an expert househusband and even does the ironing!!!!
I can not thank everybody who is involved and has generously donated money, help or time enough. Every time I see a new message or post on the Facebook page or the donations page I get emotional and have to fight back the tears and clear the lump from my throat, everybody has been amazing. It has also given me something massive to look forward to.”
On Saturday 1st December Voodou helped the Baldy Birds shave their hair to raise money for Lisa and her family. Thank you so much to everyone who donated to this amazing cause! To give a donation please email firstname.lastname@example.org and for more information check out the campaign’s Facebook page.