A courageous mum with terminal cancer is determined to make memories with her children, as friends rally round to send the family on a dream holiday to EuroDisney.
Brave mum Lisa Langford of Kensworth, was diagnosed with breast cancer in December 2015, battling through her treatment keeping a smile on her face with husband Adam, and boys Jake and Luke by her side.
But after chemotherapy, surgery, and radiotherapy, the family were told the devastating news this Christmas that Lisa’s cancer had spread to her liver and lungs and that the mum-of-two – who has not yet reached 40 – has limited time left.
Determined to make memories, Lisa has been writing a blog documenting her progress, actively making plans whenever she can, and after setting up her JustGiving page for a EuroDisney trip this half-term, the modest £400 target now stands at £7,500 thanks to generous family and friends.
Writing her January blog, Lisa said: “On the December 2 we got more information than I let on. It’s taken time to get our heads around this and certainly knowing where to start with certain things!
“I was told that my persistent cough is actually secondary cancer in my lungs and liver.
“All the staging tests (MRI’s and CT’s along with bone scans) were redone the same as last year, and on the December 13 it was indicated to me that time is going to be very precious with my beautiful family and friends.
“My care is long term.
“We kept the whole picture quiet from the boys until after Christmas so that we could all make the most of the family time.
“As a bit of a spoilt brat and diva this doesn’t sit well with me as I just want more... More hugs, More time, More everything!”
Lisa was first diagnosed in December 2015 after she visited her GP because she had found a lump “about the size of a plum stone” in her breast.
Just four days later she went to her local hospital for a mammogram, consultancy, and Biopsy, giving an initial diagnosis, confirmed on December 18 after further x-rays and a blood test.
In true fighting spirit, Lisa went on to face rounds of chemotherapy (lasting until April/May), followed by surgery in June with mastectomy on her left hand side with immediate reconstruction, and getting to know her silicon/saline combo boob, whom Lisa has affectionately named ‘Cilla’!
Finally, the determined mum underwent three weeks’ worth of radiotherapy completed by the end of summer, hoping she had beaten the disease.
But throughout her treatment, Lisa didn’t let cancer stop her having fun.
The action-loving mum documented her achievements and days out, including going back to driving, pilates and the gym after surgery, and most importantly, as a keen runner, the ability to build up her times and distance.
She also made plenty of time for Adam and the boys, including a family day in London to see The Lion King musical, and taking part in a 10k race last October at Hatfield House for The Willow Foundation, a charity specialising in days out for seriously ill young adults.
Lisa’s humour has been present from the start, as on the day of her initial diagnosis (December 15 2015), she decided to go to her husband’s important work do, despite having a hospital appointment on the same day.
She remembered: “The hospital staff must have wondered what kind of diva had just walked in when I didn’t want to put my head flat on the bed during my tests for fear of ruining my hair for the ‘do’ they probably assumed we would no longer go to!”
Now, after the shock diagnosis, Lisa is focussing on making memories, looking forward to the magical EuroDisney trip, and planning a family canal boat holiday.
Her friend and former colleague, Kate Lane, of Edlesborough, who met Lisa when working for a recruitment company, said: “Lisa is an amazingly inspirational and positive lady, who has dealt with what life has thrown at her with such courage.
“She does everything for her kids - she’s so organised and Christmas presents will be wrapped by November! Lisa always makes birthdays amazing and special and I know she has been teaching Adam how to cook!”
The mum-of-two and her family are being supported by Rennie Grove Hospice and Lisa is having ‘Gem-Carbo’ chemo, describing it as being “much kinder” on side effects so far.
As a gift to her boys, they have visited Build a Bear Workshop, the cuddly teddies each having a lock of her hair inside, forever a tribute to their brave mother.
To donate, visit: https://www.justgiving.com/crowdfunding/lisa-langford?fb_comment_id=1256662694421382_1256766094411042#f4a7b4254b945c
For The Willow Foundation: https://www.willowfoundation.org.uk/
To read Lisa’s blog, visit: http://runnerlangford.blogspot.co.uk/2016/04/the-charity-links.html?m=1