India, 24, from Newport, began complaining of pains in her left leg and pelvis while pregnant with her daughter Harper. She never could have guessed her pain had been misdiagnosed, and that she actually had a rare type of cancer called soft tissue sarcoma.
A young mum-of-two has told of her devastating experience learning she has only two years to live, after incorrectly being diagnosed with a cyst while pregnant.
India, 24, from Newport, began complaining of pains in her left leg and pelvis back in 2017, while pregnant with her daughter Harper.
Despite never having a CT or MRI scan, she was told this was likely a dermoid cyst; a common problem in pregnant women which usually improves without treatment.
But years later, when she began to experience even worse issues, she went to see another doctor India was delivered the devastating news that she had cancer.
Speaking to Wales Online , India Davis said she couldn’t have expected to hear the doctor’s words that followed the shock diagnosis.
“I was called into a room at the hospital and the doctor asked me if I knew why I was there,” she said. “I joked that I was fine as long as I didn’t have six months to live. He told me I had two to three years.”
When India first began complaining of pains while pregnant with her first born, she said she made frequent trips to be checked out in hospital.
“I had routine scans for pregnancy, but was never given an MRI scan or a CT. They told me there was a growth which was a suspected dermoid cyst,” she said.
India was told that a dermoid cyst, otherwise known as an ovarian cyst, was a relatively common problem in pregnant women.
But when she underwent a caesarean in June, 2018, and the surgeons told her they couldn’t see the cyst, she assumed the issue had gone away by itself.
India proceeded with her life for more than a year, putting back pain down to her two pregnancies and completely unaware that she had cancer.
It wasn’t until September, 2019, two months after the birth of her second child Willow, that India said another bout of excruciating pain led to her making a breakthrough with her diagnosis.
“We’d just come back from a trip to Bristol Zoo and I got home and was in so much pain,” she said. “It was awful – as though someone was sawing my leg off. I got seen at 2pm the next day, and went on to have the right scans. A month later they told me I had a tumour the size of a baby’s head in my pelvis.”
The cancer she has is a rare type called soft tissue sarcoma, a typical symptom of which is a noticeable swelling under the skin which causes a lump.
Doctors operated on the growth in January 2020 and told India afterwards that the tumour was benign and there was only a ten per cent chance of it coming back.
But in February of this year, more than a year after her operation, India received the worst news imaginable. Lingering pain that she had put down to the aftermath of the operation and nerve damage caused by the tumour turned out to be the result of another cancerous growth.
“It was a shock again, and I was worrying, but I thought that I’d have chemo and be okay again,” India said.
But then came the meeting with the doctor in the hospital room, which India said split her world “in two”.
She was told her chemotherapy had been ineffective; the cancer had returned and was terminal, with three tumours in her pelvis, one in her bladder and one in her ovaries.
Life was put on hold for India’s family, with her partner Jason giving up work to look after her and the family, while her father Mark turned his attention to trying to find £40,000 to fund treatment which could prolong her life. India’s mother Gaynor has also set up a fundraising page for India.
India and Jason are still setting goals, and planned to get married on August 21. She said she was determined to “fight it” and stay positive.
“I did go through a point of ‘why me?’,’ she said. “But every day I’m just trying to get on with it. I have two kids that need looking after, and a wedding coming up.”
She emphasises the importance of getting checked, and for pressing doctors if you feel something is wrong.
“Keep complaining, keep going to the doctors, and keep telling them what you feel is wrong,” she said.
“My original diagnosis was a cyst. I’ve had to fight for years for my cancer to be recognised.”