I’m only alive today because of a pizza – it saved my life | The Sun

I’m only alive today because of a pizza – it saved my life | The Sun


WHEN getting ready for a night in with her family, Janette Schofield didn't expect it would end with her in hospital.

The 45-year-old had been serving up slices of pizza when she fell against her kitchen units.

She also experienced an “excruciating” pain in her back, shoulder and head.

Now, Janette, from Oldham, Manchester, credits the snack with saving her life, after she was diagnosed with early-stage lung cancer.

Lung cancer is the biggest cancer in the UK, killing over 35,000 people each year, Cancer Research UK states.

During the pizza night in November 2021, Janette was rushed to hospital via ambulance and was later sent home and told to rest with no major complications.

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But a week later, she received a “terrifying” call from doctors saying they had found something worrying in her lungs and she received her diagnosis in December 2021.

She said: "In a way, this snack was responsible for saving my life.

"I’m thankful that I fell, as it means I’m still here to tell the tale – and if I hadn’t hurt my back, things probably would’ve been a lot worse or untreatable.

"After taking a little longer than planned in the shops, I decided to look for a quick dinner to whip up once I got home and settled on a meat feast pizza.

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"A few minutes after popping this in the oven, I went to check on it and bent down to open the oven door, where I lost my balance and slipped."

She recalled feeling shocked as she was unable to get back up and said she started to panic.

“The longer I was on the floor, the more my legs started to go numb – it was terrifying," she said.

It was then that she called for her son Adam and their neighbour for help.

At the hospital, she was told she had a spinal fracture, and also that she had a left lesion on her lung.

From here she was enrolled on the cancer investigation pathway to do more tests.

What are the symptoms of lung cancer you must know?

In the early stages of illness, the NHS states there are no signs and symptoms.

However, many people with the condition will develop symptoms including:

  1. a persistent cough
  2. coughing up blood
  3. persistent breathlessness
  4. unexplained tiredness and weight loss
  5. an ache or pain when breathing or coughing

If you have any of these symptoms then you should see your GP.

In the event of an emergency, always call 999 or visit your nearest A&E department.

At this point, Janette said it felt as though everything was going 'really fast'.

“I was injected with a dye and then an hour later, I received my scan, which determined the exact size of the shadow on my lung, which was four centimetres.

“A biopsy was scheduled for me, but this was unfortunately inconclusive and each time they were close with a needle, the tumour moved.

“There were also further X-rays and blood tests taken, as well as a beep test – but there was still no luck of a diagnosis.

"I stayed as positive as I could. I didn't really like using the term cancer, so whenever talking to anyone about it, I told them I had a squatter called 'Bob' in my lung," she said.

This helped others realise that she was being as positive as possible, she said.

On February 25 this year, Janette had an operation to remove the tumour for good at Wythenshawe Hospital.

When she woke up she was told it had developed into cancer, but that due to it being detected early, there was little chance of it returning.

She was then given the choice of radiotherapy, a frozen biopsy or part lung removal.

Janette opted for the third option, as they would also remove the three adjoining lymph nodes and test for spread.


"After my surgery, all I can remember is lying in recovery and the surgeon told me it was lung cancer – but I was just thankful it was all gone.

"I felt relief and while it was a little painful, as they had to drain into my side and remove any fluid that had built up on my lung, I wasn’t stressed."

Unfortunately, Janette’s lymph nodes still showed traces of the illness and the mum required four cycles of chemotherapy.

Janette said: “I knew that this would be unpleasant for my body and a few days after my first session, I ended up being taken to hospital due to being unwell.

“I was admitted to the acute medical unit for three days while they tried to increase the lack of fluid within my system.

"But I carried on with chemotherapy even though it was making me sick.

"It wasn't plain sailing, but mentally, I knew that I needed to give my body the best chance of removing the trace of cancer cells that were in my bloodstream.

"I had behind me a very strong group of family and friends who were also there to encourage me and help me when I needed them to."


On July 25 last year, Janette rang the bell for finishing her treatment and in November of that same year was declared to be in remission.

However, she’ll still need to receive follow-up appointments for the foreseeable future.

Despite the traumatic time, the mum looks back on the ordeal with positivity and is thankful to still be alive today.

She added: “I think the whole situation was dealt with better than I thought.

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“I’m still struggling with my health, but my body has been through a lot of treatments to get rid of cancer.

“I’m glad I slipped over and hurt myself – it’s the only reason I’m still kicking about today and it’s all because of a miracle pizza.”

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