Mum-of-three told she had ‘trapped nerve’ – now she could have just months to live


A mum-of-three battling stage four cancer could have just months left to live – after doctors told her she was suffering from a trapped nerve. Andrea Fenn first contacted her GP de ella in May 2021 after she began experiencing severe pain in her shoulder and spine.

Despite her concerns, the 52-year-old was told she had frozen shoulder – also known as adhesive capsulitis – a condition that causes stiffness and pain in the shoulder joint.

But, over the course of 2021, Andrea’s condition deteriorated. Although doctors believed the former support worker could also have a trapped nerve, no operation, test or medication could determine the cause of her pain.

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That was until she sought a second opinion from a different GP after being “passed from pillar to post”. Following an MRI scan, medics found a lump on her lung. It was lung cancer.

Following months of agonizing pain, Andrea, from Leigh, Wigan , now believes the cancer could have been caught quicker if she was listened to and her concerns were taken more seriously. “I feel like I’ve been fobbed off,” she told the Manchester Evening News.

“I was on the phone to the doctors regularly, at least once or twice a week. The pain was excruciating and on one particular day in September I was literally on my knees clinging to my boyfriend’s waist saying someone has got to help me.



Andrea with fiancé Alan, 56, son Elliott, 24, Shannon, 22, son Archie, 1,1, Finlay, 11 and daughter Tara, 32

“I was going to bed hoping I wouldn’t wake up. They told me there was nothing else they could prescribe for me painkiller wise. I called up the next morning and insisted on a second opinion.

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“Cancer never crossed my mind; I presumed it was a problem with my shoulder. If someone had listened to me, I possibly wouldn’t have been stage three.”

After undergoing chemotherapy and immunotherapy treatments, the family were hit with another devastating blow when Andrea discovered another lump on her stomach. She visited The Christie the following day where a biopsy was carried out. Tragically, Andrea was diagnosed with secondary cancer in her stomach.

“We were shocked because we were told the lump on my stomach was from injections,” she added. “It’s devastating. I’m trying to keep my chin up and be brave.



Andrea’s family have been left devastated

“My youngest son doesn’t know the extent. He’s only 11 and he just knows mum has cancer but the two older ones obviously know. It’s crushing; it’s awful.

“I’m not the only one – there are millions of people with cancer but it’s literally ruined and taken over my life. I’m just trying to do as much as I can while I can. While I feel like pointing fingers, I just don’t have the energy.”

speaking to the MEN , Andrea’s daughter, Tara Fenn, added: “During the MRI scan they totally missed it. It was the second opinion that allows us to find out it was cancer, but by the time we found out it was stage three.

“Had they seen it on the first MRI scan, maybe it wouldn’t have got this far already.” They’re now putting a plan in place but they think they’re going to offer her chemo again.

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“If she decides not to take treatment, she’s been given six to 12 months to live. It was a shock; it’s not nice for anyone to find out their family member has cancer.

“We were optimistic then we found out what stage it was. We all got our heads around it, then we were told it’s incurable. I get upset whenever I talk about it. She has three children and she hasn’t raised once in front of any of us. She’s so strong.”

A fundraiser has been set up to help Andrea and her family create as many memories as possible during the time she has left. For more information visit here.

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George Holan

George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.

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