Woman discovers she has terminal cancer while having caesarean section


lois walker during her c-section and with baby Ray

Lois was previously dismissed for her stomach pain (Picture: Lois Walker / SWNS)

Lois Walker had stomach pain for more than 12 months – but it wasn’t until her son Ray was born by caesarean section that she was diagnosed with stage four cancer.

The 37-year-old made numerous calls to her GP and even visited A&E several times during lockdown, but was given anxiety medication and told to avoid dairy.

But when surgeons delivered her son via c-section, they found cancer in her ovaries, the lining of her abdomen and her lymph nodes.

Lois, a buyer at an engineering firm, said: ‘It’s been absolutely diabolical.

‘They call themselves health professionals, and they’re supposed to be giving us care, but that is negligence.

‘I just feel like it could have been caught sooner, so I wouldn’t have this late diagnosis – and I’m leaving three kids.’


Louis Walker holding partner Dale Wistow's hand at the Barnsley Hospital

‘I just feel like it could have been caught sooner’ (Picture: Lois Walker / SWNS)


Lois with baby Ray in hospital

Lois in hospital with baby Ray (Picture: Lois Walker / SWNS)

Lois first started feeling unwell in June 2020 when she experienced strange bathroom habits and swelling around her diaphragm.

After numerous calls to Dove Valley Practice, in Worsbrough, she then visited Barnsley Hospital – where doctors said she may have irritable bowel syndrome.

When her symptoms got worse, Lois called her GP and was given drugs for hypochondria.

‘I was going to the doctors, but I couldn’t tell them anything new because it was the same symptoms always, so they treated me with antacids,’ the 37-year-old explains.

‘Then, I got told it could be health anxiety, so they put me on citalopram.

‘I already suffered from skin cancer, so I said to my doctor, “You don’t think I could have cancer?”

‘And he said, “Oh no, it’s just you getting old and bodies don’t work as well.”


Lois with her partner and son

Lois has been diagnosed with stage four cancer (Picture: Lois Walker / SWNS)


Lois with baby Ray

Doctors found cancer during her caesarean (Picture: Lois Walker / SWNS)

Lois then found out she was pregnant in December 2020, but at 14 weeks she experienced terrible stomach pain.

The more her pregnancy went on, the more pain Lois was in – eventually getting to a point where she couldn’t walk or eat.

At nine months pregnant Lois said she weighed the same as she did 12 months previously – and this was when she was worried her condition ‘didn’t ring any alarm bells’ for doctors.

Lois says she was only taken seriously when she said she felt like taking her own life.

‘Then the final straw was when they had to get the mental health team involved because I said that it had reached the point where I would have to end both our lives, and I feel ashamed to say that,’ she continues.

Medics then conducted further tests and found a mass behind her womb – leading them to deliver her baby the next day.


Lois with her kids

With her kids (Picture: Lois Walker / SWNS)

On September 3 2021, Ray was born – but the birth was bittersweet, as doctors also discovered Lois had cancer.

The mum-of-three adds: ‘When they opened me up, he said, “I thought you said you didn’t have any abdominal surgery?” and I said I hadn’t.

‘That’s when I knew something had been found, as they called a few doctors in.

‘They just said, basically, that my abdomen was so diseased that they needed to send off some biopsies and I’d have to wait. But I knew anyway.

‘The doctor actually grabbed my hand and he cried and he actually said that he’d let me down.’


Louis Walker at the Barnsley Hospital

‘I got told it could be health anxiety’ (Picture: Lois Walker / SWNS)

Lois underwent chemotherapy soon after her diagnosis but soon discovered the cancer had spread, and that it was terminal.

She explains: ‘My liver had fused to my diaphragm, so that had to be cut back. My bladder had fused to the back of my womb, so that had to be cut back, and all my ovaries had fused.

‘Then I had the devastating news that it’s also on my bowels, my stomach and my liver. Obviously, that’s never good – they’re my main organs that I need.

‘It’s just about a comfortable life for however long I’ve got left, and that’s where we are at the minute.’

When asked for comment, a spokesperson from Dove Valley Practice said: ‘We are sorry to hear Ms Walker’s concerns about her care and that she didn’t feel listened to.

‘We carried out a review of Ms Walker’s care and referrals for tests and we shared those findings with her at that time.’

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