A young mum has died from cervical cancer after being too “scared and embarrassed” to go for a smear test.
Mum-of-three Lisa Gould, 34, wanted to raise awareness of the importance of smear tests after initially putting off going for her own test out of embarrassment.
It was only when she started to experience symptoms such as bleeding that she went to the doctors and was diagnosed with cervical cancer in June 2013.
Lisa, mum to Tommy-Lee Gould, 19, Millie-Mae Parker, 14, and seven-year-old Simon Hellwig, underwent grueling chemotherapy following her initial diagnosis, responding well and being classed as in remission.
But tragically, just three months later she was told the cancer had returned and this time, it was aggressive and had spread to her back and lymph nodes in her groin.
Sadly, Lisa passed away on November 29.
Her wife, Amanda, 28, said she was a “fighter” all the way through to the day she died in Hull Royal Infirmary, East Yorks.
“She was a fighter,” she said. “She’s an inspiration to us all, she really is.
“It’s just no age at all. She used to say ‘life begins at 30’. I’ll just miss everything about her.”
Amanda said Lisa, a former cleaning supervisor, was a “big kid” who would do anything for anybody.
“She always thought of others before herself,” she said. “She was just a big kid at heart.”
But Amanda, who married Lisa last year, said the family had only just come to terms with Lisa’s prognosis before her health began to deteriorate.
“To look at her you wouldn’t think she was someone with cancer,” she said. “She’d go for chemo and there would be people who looked very unwell, but she looked OK.
“I think she put on a brave face for everyone. It just didn’t seem to faze her.”
Speaking about Lisa’s regret over not having a smear test, Amanda said: “That’s what she really wanted to do, tell people they should go and get tested. It is embarrassing I know but it’s better than what happened.”
Speaking shortly after doctors gave her the devastating terminal diagnosis, Lisa said she was determined to raise awareness of the disease and the importance of regular smear testing.
At the time, she said: “It is because I was stupid and I was always scared to go for a smear. I put it off, I never had one. Don’t be scared and just go, for the sake of the embarrassment for two minutes.”
Soon after she was giving the heartbreaking diagnosis, Lisa, of Kings Bench Street, west Hull, began fundraising for her own funeral, which will take place on Monday, December 19.
“I don’t know how she did it, I couldn’t do it. She organised everything. Even picking the coffin.
“I went with her, I just couldn’t say anything, I knew if I started to speak I just wouldn’t stop crying.”
Those attending to funeral in the large chapel at Chanterlands Crematorium at 10.30am on Monday are asked to wear red, Lisa’s favourite colour.
Flowers will be from family only although donations to Cancer Research can be left during the service.