A mother of two claims that she underwent “very intensive” chemotherapy — only to find out she never had cancer at all. 

Lisa Monk, 39, from College Station, Texas, initially went to a hospital in 2022 for stomach pains that she suspected were related to kidney stones, according to the Daily Mail. Tests from the appointment revealed two kidney stones, but also flagged a mass on her spleen. 

The higher-education worker underwent a successful surgery to remove the mass in January of last year — but that’s when events took a turn. 

Monk claims that the spleen was sent to three different pathology labs to be tested before finally being sent to a fourth lab, where it tested positive for a rare and terminal form of cancer, called clear cell angiosarcoma, reported the Mirror.

Angiosarcoma is a type of cancer that forms on the lining of blood vessels and lymph vessels, according to Mayo Clinic. Despite available treatments, angiosarcoma is considered to have a poor prognosis regardless of age or gender.

“It was a blood vessel type of cancer found in the spleen and told me that the most optimistic thing he could say was to give me 15 months [to live],” Monk revealed in a video. 

“It was a dark time.”

The mom, understandably distraught after the horrible news, eventually had to tell her husband and her two young children the devastating diagnosis. 

“I didn’t tell them at this point that it was terminal or I only had 15 months, I just told them it was bad but I was going to try to fight it,” Monk said in the video. “My oldest son took it the hardest. My little girl was very good at hiding her feelings but I found out from her teacher she was getting overwhelmed about it at school.” 

What followed, Monk explained, was an “aggressive” chemotherapy regimen. She was referred to a cancer hospital and had her first round of chemo in March 2023. After losing all of her hair, Monk explained that she underwent a second round of therapy that left her vomiting and with “silvery skin.”

“It was a very dark time. I was writing goodbye letters and letters to the grandchildren I would never meet and the weddings I would never attend.”

“She turned to me and looked completely horrified”

But at a routine appointment in April, the following month, Monk received even more shocking news: She never had cancer in the first place. The pathology report, her doctor explained, was wrong. 

“I saw the nurse practitioner first and she just asked me about my symptoms and she was scrolling on the computer while she was talking to me,” Monk recalled. “All of a sudden she just stops talking and has this look on her face. She turned to me and looked completely horrified and told me she needed to get the doctor and then ran out of the room. She left me alone for about 15 minutes and the doctor came back in. He said a lot of medical lingo to me and then told me I didn’t have cancer.”

Confused at first, and initially thinking that was a good thing — that her chemo treatments had been working — Monk said she then realized it had all been a horrible mistake.

“The doctor then told me that I never had cancer. [At that moment] I looked like I had cancer and I felt like I had cancer as I was vomiting, I was sick and my skin was silvery because of the chemotherapy,” Monk said. 

To add insult to injury, the mom said the doctor then congratulated her rather than apologizing for the egregious error.

“The doctor then congratulated me, which really bothered me,” Monk revealed. “At the time I was in shock but now I feel the more appropriate response would be ‘I’m sorry.’ I asked for a copy of their pathology report and I found a hallway to call my husband and tell him the news.”

But the error doesn’t end there. Monk claims that after viewing the pathology report at home, she realized it was dated a month prior — meaning the hospital had the information prior to her second round of chemo, but simply didn’t read the report until her appointment. 

“I had had chemotherapy during this time and they could have told me a month earlier and I would have avoided the second round of chemotherapy if they had bothered to read their own pathology report,” Monk added.

“[After being told I didn’t have cancer] I had to wait a couple of days and then it was confirmed to me that it was not cancer after having a discussion with all the doctors. In the end they determined that my spleen was going to rupture which is why it had the mass on it. It was just blood vessel activity and no cancer in it.”

Still paying the price

Now, a year later, Monk says she and her family are still facing the mental, emotional and financial fallout from the hospital’s appalling error. Financially, she says, they’re still paying the bills. Despite the fact that it was the hospital’s fault, Monk says she was unable to get any of the bills dismissed. 

“I also still looked like I had cancer. I was bald and did not appear to be well. It was a daily reminder that it was something we had all lived through. A year on from what happened to me, I’m angry. They ruined my health and my insides are cooked,” Monk said. 

The mom went on, “I grieve for my kids for having to even go through something like this in their lives where they thought they were going to lose their mum. I can’t take this away from them. I know on paper it only looks like a few months of my life but it felt like a lifetime.”

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