Mum’s heartbreak as daughter, 18, dies 6 months after cancer diagnosis
Written by Rother Radio News on 16/10/2020
A Barnsley teenager who loved football and spending time with her family tragically died from cancer just months after doctors found a tumour.
Lauren Taylor was just 17 when doctors told her that she was diagnosed with a rare form of bladder cancer and she died just over six months later on August 30.
The teenager was a huge fan of football and golf, and had a huge collection of trainers in her bedroom.
She also loved to spend time with her mum Terri, dad Keith, three sisters Kimberley, Chloe and Keira and pet pug Betty.
Mum Terri said that the problems started in late 2018 for Lauren when she began to get frequent water infections which escalated.
The 37-year-old said: “By the end of 2019 she started to get them more often and she had blood in her wee all the time.
“By this point we had been going to the doctors quite a lot and they said that it just might have been her normal.
“But then she started to get back ache and lose weight and doctors thought that it could then have been a kidney infection due to all of the water infections she had.
“After that she began to have trouble actually passing water at all and the water that she could produce had an excessive amount of blood in it.”
From there the family were referred to Barnsley Hospital were Lauren was given an ultra sound.
On February 5 they were told that a large mass could be seen on the results from the ultrasound and the next day she was kept in for more blood tests. It was then discovered that Lauren had developed sepsis.
After CT scans, blood tests and and MRI scan the family were given the devastating news that Lauren had cancer on February 11.
Terri said: “They said at that point they didn’t know what type of cancer it was.
“We were told that it could have been bladder cancer, which in itself was very rare for someone of her age, as it is more commonly seen in people over 70.”
On March 9 the family had a consultation at Weston Park Hospital where they were told it was thought it could be a germ cell cancer.
But that same day Lauren was admitted to intensive care as it was found her kidneys had started to shut down due to the pressure from the tumour on them.
After 12 days in the intensive care unit she came out and started two rounds of chemotherapy for the germ cell cancer.
Terri said: “After two rounds of chemotherapy the doctors came to us and said that the cancer wasn’t reacting in the way it should be.
“They thought then it could be Carcinoma so she had to try a different type of chemotherapy.
“After four rounds they did another scan just to check that things were going as they should be.
“But after the fourth round the tumour was found to still be growing. We were told then it was Grade 3 advanced bladder cancer.
“They told us it was treatable but not curable and we would be looking at years.”
From there Lauren had an intensive four weeks of radiotherapy to try and get the cancer under control.
She celebrated her 18th birthday on July 19 and had a birthday party will all of her loved ones there to celebrate the day with her.
Terri said: “At that point we were quite optimistic.
“Lauren was doing well, she was completely mobile and seemed to be reacting much better to the radiotherapy.
“But just six weeks after her 18th birthday she passed away.
“After the cancer has started attacking her kidneys again we were told in August that doctors didn’t think that she would make it to Christmas.”
Following even more scans, it was found that the cancer had spread to her lower abdomen, all of her sides and had started to encroach onto her bowel.
Lauren was started on immunotherapy which doctors thought could extend her life for an extra nine to 12 months.
Terri said: “Just a few days later doctors took me into a room and said that they wanted to prepare me as Lauren was very ill.
“They said we were looking at a few days to a couple of weeks.”
Lauren decided that she didn’t want to go into intensive care or be put on a ventilator and went home to her family after she had kidney drains fitted.
She came home at 9.30pm on August 28 and tragically died at 4am on August 30 surrounded by her loved ones.
The period of time from her diagnosis to her cremation on September 11 was just seven months.
Terri said: “At first when we were told the diagnosis I think I was in disbelief.
“We were told that we had years and then told that we may only have a couple of days left with her.
“I always tried to be brave for Lauren. The doctors will tell me the latest and I would have a cry and then be strong and go and explain to Lauren what was happening.
“She was so unbelievably brave throughout all of it, she would say that she was doing everything possible she could to fight and that it was what it was.
“I honestly don’t know where she found the strength from, I was just so proud of her. When she was first diagnosed she said ‘I’ve got this’ and comforted me when I was in bits.
“It was just devastating.”
Now her mum Terri wants to raise awareness of teenage cancer by sharing Lauren’s story in the hope that it will help another family going through this.
She has also arranged to do a skydive next year in order to raise funds for Weston Park Hospital in Sheffield to thank them for the work that they did to try and help her daughter.