Woman’s shock after given months to live
Lisa Griffiths has spent the past four years fighting to keep herself alive and she's not going to give up yet.
The Cairns real estate agent was given the worst possible news on Monday - the cancer she's been battling since July 2015 has spread and this time it's terminal.
Ms Griffiths, 26, has been given just months to live but is hoping an alternative, intensive treatment in Mexico will help save her life.
"After being given a diagnosis like this I need to go with something that's innovative that we don't have here," she told news.com.au.
"I need to do whatever I need to do to keep myself alive."
Ms Griffiths was diagnosed with a primary intracranial synovial sarcoma in her brain when she was just 22, a kind of soft tissue cancer.
The rare cancer usually develops in the arms, legs and limbs.
"My specialist says they've never seen a case like mine," she said.
Ms Griffiths started getting headaches and migraines every month but put them down to hormones until they started getting more frequent and then one day she got a horrendous one.
"It was awful, I couldn't get out of bed," she said.
"I went to the doctor and thought I honestly think my head is going to explode."
Ms Griffiths said the doctor sent her for tests but because she started violently throwing up for 12 hours she didn't go and woke up the next day completely fine.
A few days later her doctor called to check in and insisted she go for the tests.
Thankfully she did. She went on her lunch break and said she knew something was wrong when the ladies doing the scans asked if she had someone picking her up.
"At that point I was thinking there was something a bit sinister," she said.
"When I went back to the doctor they said I had a mass in my brain."
Ms Griffiths was admitted to hospital that day and had surgery three days later.
After chemotherapy and radiation she was given the all clear and was cancer free for 18 months.
But the tumour returned and was removed again, leaving her clear for another 22 months.
In September last year it returned for a third time and her brain has been clear ever since.
This August she found out the cancer had spread to her lungs and on Monday learned her treatment wasn't working.
The seven tumours in her lungs have grown substantially and she has a new one in her skull.
"I've had so many recurrences so when I got the news of it spreading to my lungs it was a huge shock, I didn't think it was possible after being in the brain," she said.
"Treating it has been extremely difficult from the start and I've always had limited treatment options. That's why I need to take a difference approach this time."
Despite everything Ms Griffiths has still managed to keep working and remains upbeat.
"My circumstances could be worse," she said. "I could possibly be naive but at the same time I'm certainly not going to accept this prognosis. When I was first diagnosed they gave me a year.
"I'm not going to give up without a fight."
A GoFundMe page has been set up to raise money for Ms Griffiths and has already reached more than $101,500 of a $150,000 target.