A MOTHER-OF-TWO discovered she had a rare life threatening form of cancer after losing four stone in weight.
Doctors told Lois Ellis, 38, from Eyton, Wrexham, that losing the weight had saved her life after she found an egg-sized lump in her leg, which turned out to be a rare form of soft tissue cancer called liposarcoma that affects just 50 people in the UK each year.
At first doctors thought the lump was a benign growth but a biopsy showed the seriousness of the situation.
Lois had been due to go on holiday to Disney World in Florida with her two children Sion, 10, and Macs, 8, to celebrate her husband Matthew’s 40th birthday, but after the discovery she was forced to cancel.
She has since had an operation to remove the lump and is waiting to see whether she will require radiotherapy.
“I was losing weight slowly last year and managed to lose a stone, but after joining Slimming World in January I lost three stone,” said Lois.
“But then I had the shock of finding a lump in my leg. Since losing the weight, I was more conscious of my figure, which is how I noticed it in June.
“I booked an appointment at Overton Surgery and Dr Gareth Bowdler said he thought it was a form of benign tumour but, as a precaution, he booked me in for an MRI scan at the Maelor.
“On July 10 I got the MRI and there was something they could see but, as it was a perfect shape, they didn’t think it was cancerous.
“They then sent me to the bone and soft tissue unit at the Orthopaedic Hospital, Gobowen, and in mid-July I had a biopsy.
“It was the first week of the summer holidays I found out it was a rare form of cancer that affects 50 people in the UK.
“I was absolutely devastated, I’ve got two young boys and we’d booked to go to Disney on August 1. The boys were devastated.
“The consultants did say without losing the weight I wouldn’t have found the lump. It has saved my life.”
Lois had the operation to remove the lump earlier this month and has been walking with the aid of crutches.
She also had to have a CT scan on her lungs as the form of cancer can also spread there.
“I had the scan on my lungs and it was all clear,” she said. “I also had to have a full body MRI and that was clear.
“My leg’s still not healing so I’m finding out at the end of this month if I need radiotherapy.
“I’m still feeling raw and emotional about it. I’m still in the middle of the healing process.”
Lois said she would like to thank Sue Vaughan, who runs the Slimming World group at the RAFA Club in Wrexham for their support in helping lose weight.
When she recently returned to the group after her operation she was awarded Woman of the Year after giving an emotional account of her story to other members.
She’s hoping to be able re-book her family’s dream holiday to Florida and also plans to raise money for Gobowen’s bone and soft tissue unit. They are currently raising money to build a new unit within the Robert Jones and Agnes Hunt Orthopaedic Hospital.
“It’s been a whirlwind six weeks, but I’ve been really very lucky that they could fit me in over the summer holidays,” she said.
“I’m just hoping my leg heals quickly so we can go to Disney.
“I’ll have to keep having check- ups every three months for the next two years.”