The brave mother thought she had bitten her tongue, but she had cancer for the fourth time

Lisa Colledge, from Warrington, Cheshire, is bravely battling cancer for the fourth time in her life after going to the doctor for a check-up after a pain in her mouth wouldn’t go away

Lisa Colledge initially thought it might be a mouth ulcer or that she had bitten her tongue when she felt pain in the back of her mouth
Lisa Colledge initially thought it might be a mouth ulcer or that she had bitten her tongue when she felt pain in the back of her mouth

A brave mother battling cancer for the FOURTH time has revealed how she initially thought she had bitten her tongue until doctors found her ulcer was oral cancer.

Lisa Colledge, from Great Sankey in Warrington, Cheshire, first went to her GP in May 2018 with a mouth abscess.

But when it didn’t become clear, she visited an emergency room, where medics referred her for further tests, including an MRI.

Although the tests came back clear, Lisa was still in pain and her doctor decided to do a biopsy, which just a few weeks later revealed she had oral cancer.

Since that first diagnosis, Lisa has battled cancer three more times, Liverpool Echo reports.

Speaking of the 2018 diagnosis, Lisa, now 43, said: “Mothers hat went straight on as I lost my father to cancer 11 years ago and our daughter didn’t find out here and now that’s how the consultant Aintree Hospital was telling me would do for me contact all my appointments.

“I walked out with a smile on my face, told my daughter I was fine, and we went to her eye appointment.

Lisa has already fought cancer three times


Lisa Colledge/Liverpool Echo)

“Then I had to break the news to my husband and our families. How do I tell my family that the C word is back in our family?

“Last time we heard it, we lost my father, well it didn’t take me. I’m not ready yet so the positive pants are tight and I’ll beat it, I’ll be a survivor and hopefully raise awareness.

“A week and a half later my husband and I visited the specialist at Aintree Hospital. He explained percentages and other numbers. I remember asking, ‘Am I okay?’

“I speak plain language, not percentages. Once I knew more and had answers to any questions she might have, we told our daughter everything we knew and I made sure to be honest with her.

“My husband and I were both positive as it was caught early and success rates were high, but she cried a little before embracing our positivity.”

Lisa had surgery in November 2018 and it appeared the cancer had spread to her lymph nodes – three of which had to be removed, along with 3cm of her tongue.

Aintree University Hospital


Liverpool echo)

Despite everything Lisa was going through, she got “wedding fit” and married her partner Simon.

After further tests and biopsies, Lisa found out in January 2019 that she had thyroid cancer, meaning two types of cancer were growing at the same time. She had to have her thyroid and more of her tongue removed.

Lisa suffered from infections and nerve pain, but in November 2019 she was told she was cancer-free. Then, in July 2020, doctors told her the cancer had returned.

She had more scans and surgery to remove the cancer. At one point during this treatment, an artery ruptured in Lisa’s mouth, which she described as “like someone turned on a faucet.”

Lisa said: “Next I’ll have injections to stop the bleeding and my room is full of surgeons, nurses and anesthesiologists.

“They wanted me to sign the form for the surgery and I noticed that they wrote on it that they want a tracheostomy if it’s a matter of life or death.

“Then I got scared of losing my voice and I thought there’s no way I should sign that. They then said to me, ‘It’s about losing you or saving you, we have to do it’. Good point, I’m a mom and I’m not going anywhere yet, so I signed.”

This operation was a success and Lisa was once again cancer-free, but required an MRI scan every three months as medics had noticed “aggressive features”.

In February of this year, Lisa began to suffer from pain in her left jaw again.

Doctors told her it was an infection in her wisdom tooth after tests and an ultrasound. She was given antibiotics and was examined the following week.

During her exam, Lisa’s counselor noticed a “small sore” on the back of her tongue, but the mother thought she “maybe bit into it.”

However, the problem escalated when she began struggling to open her mouth wide enough to eat.

Devastatingly, Lisa was told last month her oral cancer had returned. Lisa said, “I was stunned, how can it be the fourth time?”

She underwent a percutaneous endoscopic gastrostomy [PEG] put on a tube so she can eat and has started chemotherapy.

Lisa’s friend Cathy Beck set up a GoFundMe page to “relieve” the family’s financial woes as Lisa is currently unable to work.

Cathy wrote on the donations page: “Lisa is the kind of girl who will help everyone, no questions asked. So let’s help her now.

“At the moment Lisa is unable to work due to health reasons. That alone can mean massive stress, because no matter how bad you are, bills still have to be paid.

“We want to take the extra stress off her and her family so they can focus on her during treatment.”

To donate the GoFundMe page, click here

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