Young mum told she had cancer twice after going for pregnancy scans two years apart

A young mum was told not once but twice that she had a rare form of cancer after going for pregnancy scans at a Birmingham hospital.

Ellie Bardsley, 25, from Great Barr, first went for a scan at Good Hope Hospital in Sutton Coldfield in April 2019 only to be hold she was not pregnant but could have cancer.

She was then told the worst had happened and was diagnosed with gestational trophoblastic disease (GTD) a rare form of cancer which appears to be a pregnancy but in Ellie’s case it was cancerous cells in her womb.

Read more: Mum’s anguish after daughter’s ‘pulled muscle’ diagnosed as rare cancer

‘It portrays as if you’re pregnant’

Ellie said hearing the news she had GTD was devastating.

She said: “April 2019 was the first time I had it. It portrays as if you’re pregnant.

“I went to have a scan at the hospital. They found it wasn’t a pregnancy. It shows up as a cluster – lots of balls in the womb. Sometimes they aren’t cancers but mine were.

“At first I was hysterical. I said to Jamie ‘my life is over’. I was in shock and scared and in a hysterical state. I didn’t know what to expect.

“Because it’s so rare they didn’t know straight away what to do at Good Hope Hospital.”

Elluie Bardsley went to Good Hope Hospital for a pregnancy scan only to be told she had a rate form of cancer – gestational trophoblastic disease

Ellie then underwent chemotherapy.

She said: “I had eight months of chemotherapy but I didn’t lost my hair.

“They can start you on a lighter chemotherapy. I had that every other day for six months.

“Because it was going on so long your body can get used to it. They then put me on a slightly stronger chemotherapy for two months and the cancer went.”

Read more: Hero England fan who gave up Euro 2020 semi-final tickets saves stranger’s life

Cancer tests stop due to pregnancy

After having GTD, patients have checks for 10 years to make sure the disease has not returned. And Ellie had those checks from January to August in 2020.

She then became pregnant, with her boyfriend Jamie Tuite, now 31.

Ellie who works at Next in Sutton’s Princess Alice Retail Park, said: “After I had had cancer I then became pregnant. While you are pregnant they don’t test you for cancer.

“My daughter was born on May 3, 2021 at Heartlands Hospital. The day I gave birth I tested positive for Covid.

“Then about a month after in June I was tested for cancer again. I had a blood test and I was asked if there was a possibility I could be pregnant.”

Ellie Bardsley was diagnosed with cancer again after giving birth to her daughter, Millie

Ellie Bardsley was diagnosed with cancer again after giving birth to her daughter, Millie

She continued “I said there was a chance. So I was sent for a scan at Good Hope in July. For three months I went for a scan every week – they were convinced I was pregnant and they operated twice, thinking it was an ectopic pregnancy.

“I was then sent to see a specialist in London and sent for an MRI scan and a CT scan and I was told at the end of October that I had GTD again. The consultant thought it was a relapse from the last time.”

Cancer returns for a second time

Ellie started chemotherapy for a second time in November last year but had to be put on a strong dose for it to work, something that was only available in this country at Charing Cross Hospital in London.

Read more: Mum’s heartbreak as daughter diagnosed with leukaemia after she spots bruises

She said: “I was also told that if I had had chemotherapy before, it won’t work again. So they put the chemotherapy strength up.

“I lost my hair this time. It started falling out after three weeks of treatment. And Jamie shaved it off on Christmas Eve. But for the sake of getting better it’s OK.

“No one likes hospitals I know, but my fear makes me physically sick as soon as I walk in. The worst part is every week I have a breakdown as I have to leave Millie.

“I have to be away from her for three nights. The night before as I leave very early to go to London.

“Then I go and have the treatment and stay in London. And after the treatment I am wiped out for another night.

“To be fair having Millie has helped me through it as they distract you. When I am having my treatment I have her face on my phone.”

Ellie has to spend three nights away from her daughter each week as she undergoes chemotherapy treatment at Charing Cross Hospital in London

Ellie has to spend three nights away from her daughter each week as she undergoes chemotherapy treatment at Charing Cross Hospital in London

But now Ellie said she ‘keeps going’. She is tested every week to see if the treatment is working hers has been ‘working really well’.

She said: “I am feeling positive now. I have already been given an end date for the treatment. The last one will be on the 28th of this month (January).

“I have three more treatments to go. I’m hoping it won’t return again. There’s a one per cent chance. This time I have had such a strong chemotherapy.

“It will always be in the back of my mind. I just think surely it can’t happen again.

“It makes you a lot more grateful for life and it makes me grateful for every day.”

Ellie's boyfriend Jamie shaved her hair off on Christmas Eve after clumps were falling out due to the strong chemotherapy she had to combat her second bout of GTD cancer

Ellie’s boyfriend Jamie shaved her hair off on Christmas Eve after clumps were falling out due to the strong chemotherapy she had to combat her second bout of GTD cancer

Boxing matches to help Ellie ‘fight’ cancer

Her boyfriend, Jamie’s uncle, Paddy Farrell, who runs the Second City Boxing Club in Kingstanding, is holding a charity boxing event on Saturday, February 12, to raise money for Ellie to help her with her recovery.

And a GoFundMe page has been set up to support which has already raised more than £500..

He is inviting anyone who would like to fight in the ring to come along and get trained by him for free and then they will be matched up with an opponent for a night of boxing matches all for the good cause.

Tickets for the day, at the boxing club and neighbouring Second City Sports Bar And Lounge, will also include raffles and pool and darts competitions will be £20, or £10 for boxers and Ellie’s family.

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Paddy, 39, said: “She’s just a lovely young mum, Such a lovely polite person and she’s having a real tough fight against cancer. This is the second time she has had it and it shouldn’t come back.

“Anyone can come forward. We will put gloves on them and head guards and match them up. There will be up to 10 bouts of boxing. We have four girls and two lads so far.

“I know money can’t change what’s been happening but it takes a bit of stress off. I wanted to show we are all behind them.”

Ellie added: “I couldn’t believe it when I heard about the boxing day. I can’t help feel guilty when anyone helps me out.

“I’m very grateful.”

Anyone wanting to take part in the charity boxing night can contact Paddy through the Second City Sports Bar and Lounge page on Facebook. Tickets for the day will be available next week available through Facebook or at the bar.

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