A young mum from Weymouth was told ‘it’s good to lose weight after having a baby’ as she fought for a diagnosis that later turned out to be cancer.

Ollie Louise Isbel was 22 when she had her daughter Harper last year and was told after her eventual diagnosis that she ‘wouldn’t make it to her daughter’s first birthday.’

It took more than 12 weeks and multiple visits to Ollie's GP and to A&E to diagnose her with diffuse large B-cell non-Hodgkin lymphoma (DLBCL).

After the birth of her daughter, Ollie lost five stone in weight and started getting severe stomach pain.

The stomach pains continued and Ollie admitted herself to A&E.

She said: “They had to take my gall bladder as an emergency and we thought great, simple fix, I’ll be fine now.”

However, after the surgery the pain was still there and getting much worse.

She visited her local GP surgery and said she was told by a doctor that ‘it’s good to lose weight after having a baby’.

Ollie said she was told 'it just sounds like you’re not coping with being a mum'.

Ollie, a learning disability support worker, is a patient at the Royal Crescent Surgery in Weymouth.

She said: “Nobody wanted to look into it. I saw three different GPs and all three said it was low mood and where I was so young, I was struggling to have someone else depend on me.

“My GP continued to ignore it and I was given laxatives and pain killers.”

The ongoing pain left Ollie crouched up in a ball under the table at a family meal sobbing because she was in so much pain.

The following day she was bedbound and then collapsed.

Upon being rushed to A&E, doctors found that Ollie had multiple small bowel obstructions.

Following a chest CT, doctors found a mass on Ollie’s chest which they biopsied, and it came back as diffuse large B-cell non-Hodgkin lymphoma (DLBCL).

She had stage four cancer in her chest, intestines and bowel and started a course of chemo the very next day due to the cancer’s severity and placement. She spent five months in Dorset County Hospital in Dorchester. 

Ollie was then transferred to Southampton General Hospital where she remained for three and a half months.

Ollie said: “I definitely don’t think I would’ve got through it if I didn’t have Harper to fight for.

"She’s my little miracle that I needed to get through this year.”

Ollie, who is now 23, had to return to hospital for an operation where she recently contracted sepsis, but prior to that was able to return home.

Dorset Echo: Ollie (centre) with her partner and HarperOllie (centre) with her partner and Harper (Image: Ollie Isbel)

A spokesperson for the Royal Crescent and Preston Road Practice said: “‘Whilst we are not able to discuss individual details, we are sorry to hear about Olivia-Louise’s situation and would welcome the opportunity to speak with her in person to discuss her circumstances in more detail.”




A spokesperson for Dorset County Hospital said: “We are sorry to hear about these concerns. We would welcome the chance to speak with Olivia-Louise about her experiences if she would be happy to talk things through with us, so we can review whether anything could have been done differently.”

Dr Paul Johnson, Chief Medical Officer with NHS Dorset said: “We are saddened to hear of Olivia-Louise’s experiences and would encourage her to speak to the practice about her concerns and ongoing support. We would also encourage anyone who may have concerns about symptoms of cancer, to please book an appointment with their GP or regular clinician as soon as possible.” 

During everything that happened, charity the Teenage Cancer Trust supported Ollie.

Dorset Echo: Ollie and HarperOllie and Harper (Image: Ollie Isbel)

She is now raising money for the charity and at the time of writing, has raised £468 of a £2,000 target.

If you would like to donate, search for: Holly's Fundraiser For Teenage Cancer Trust on Just Giving.

If you would like to read more about cancer signs and symptoms, visit: https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/cancer/symptoms/