Leah Herrington is now 18 weeks into chemotherapy and receiving daily radiotherapy at the Royal Stoke University Hospital – after suffering from abnormal bleeding for 12 months
A mum-of-one with a clear smear test has been diagnosed with cervical cancer – after battling with her GP to get a biopsy.
Leah Herrington is now 18 weeks into chemotherapy and receiving daily radiotherapy at the Royal Stoke University Hospital.
The 32-year-old, from Newcastle-under-Lyme, had been having abnormal bleeding for 12 months before her June diagnosis, reports StokeonTrent Live.
She said: “I had been going to my GP numerous times but because of my age and the fact that I had a clear smear they said I didn’t have cervical cancer. They kept sending me for sexual health checks which were coming back clear.
“In April this year I was rushed to hospital and developed sepsis from a pelvic infection and at that point I was saying I was experiencing these symptoms and I believed that I had cervical cancer.
“The doctor still didn’t believe I had it but agreed to do a biopsy and 10 weeks later I found out I had cancer.
“It really upset me because I had suspicions I had cervical cancer, I was getting symptoms. I was quite angry it hadn’t been detected earlier.
“Although it’s a shock to hear I wasn’t shocked because I kind of knew. I was relieved because finally they had found out I had got it.”
Since being diagnosed with cancer Leah – who also has Crohn’s disease – has been documenting her journey on her Instagram page where she keeps her followers informed on how she is doing.
She added: “My life is really different. It’s monopolised by hospital appointments, lots of scans and waiting around. My life is on hold waiting to see what is going to happen and how I’m going to respond to the treatment.
“I was working before the diagnosis. I have always worked so it’s been difficult for my emotional well-being not being in work or having that routine. Due to the treatment I wouldn’t be able to do my usual job.
“At the moment I know they are treating me to hopefully cure me but it depends how well I respond to the treatment.
“To the initial chemo my tumour did shrink but it’s still there. At the moment it’s unknown.”
It was on her social media where she was approached by a group of men who wanted to raise money for her and another woman who has cervical cancer.
Friends James Walker, Daniel Ellams, Connor Flynn and Rob Box are taking part in a triathlon on Saturday (Dec 11) to help raise money for both women.
Their JustGiving appeal has already raised over £2,000.
Leah added: “I was approached on my Instagram page because I document what’s going on and raise awareness of cervical cancer. They asked about wanting to do something. I didn’t know at first. He really wanted to do it.
“I was shocked and blown away by it that anyone would want to do that for us. I was taken aback and it’s really lovely.
“I love the comments and the messages I have received from people. It’s been amazing. It gets me through and brings me so much positivity knowing that there are so many people out there rooting for me.
“The money will cover bills and general expenses. It’s not cheap when you are not at work. I’m not going to be buying a new car or anything, it will go towards the day-to-day living costs and will be a massive help for my family.
“I’m blown away by the kindness. Thank you to everyone for your generosity.”
George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.