How setting up #No Filter Coffee House in St Annes and Lytham has helped Natasia get through her cancer diagnosis

Natasia Hamilton
Natasia Hamilton
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Whilst undergoing treatment for cervical cancer, Natasia Hamilton pulled all her focus on setting up her own coffee shop, with her fiance and sister-in-law.

Whilst undergoing treatment for cervical cancer, Natasia Hamilton pulled all her focus on setting up her own coffee shop, with her fiance and sister-in-law.

Natasia Hamilton has opened a coffee shop in St Annes with fiance Paul Neil and his sister Stephanie Neil

Natasia Hamilton has opened a coffee shop in St Annes with fiance Paul Neil and his sister Stephanie Neil

#No Filter Coffee House opened in The Burlington Centre, St Annes, last October and after just eight months, the trio are launching a second espresso bar in Lytham on Monday, July 15.

Natasia, of Layton, was first diagnosed with cancer in 2016. But after a full hysterectomy, it returned the following year.

Despite a terminal prognosis, she persisted with a gruelling treatment programme and was relieved to be told there were no traces of cancer last autumn.

As a distraction, Natasia had been focusing on building up a coffee house with her fiance Paul Neil, 31, and his sister, Stephanie Neil, 35, who all previously worked at Costa in Blackpool and St Annes.

The 30-year-old said: “I had a lot of symptoms from being quite young as I had intermenstrual bleeding, as well as abdominal pain and tiredness, but doctors had always put it down to hormones.

“I got misdiagnosed with cervical ectropion (when the soft cells inside the cervical canal spread to the outer surface of the cervix) and so I had cryocautery, which involves freezing the cervix. The bleeding subsided, but it eventually came back with a vengeance, so I had another cryocautery.

“Whilst having this procedure, they rushed me for a biopsy and I was told the same day I had cervical cancer. I had a full hysterectomy, with my cervix and womb taken away during eight hours of surgery.

“After that, I was in remission for 18 months. But in October 2017, it came back again. I was originally given a terminal diagnosis but my oncologist Dennis Yianakkis never gave up. I had one of the largest rounds of treatment they had ever done, especially on someone of my age. I had 15 rounds of chemotherapy; 38 rounds of radiotherapy and five blood transfusions. I developed sepsis three times.

“I finished my treatment last August and had to wait a few weeks for my scan, which was the worst bit.

“My Macmillan nurse, Debbie Timms, who had been very supportive throughout, rang me in September to say there was no evidence of the disease, so I am on the mend now.”

Natasia said it was the support of her family and focusing on her new business that kept her going: “My mum, dad and sister, as well as Stephanie, have been an amazing support for both Paul and I throughout my treatment and helping us as we moved into our new home in Layton.”

“Part of the reason we set up the shop was to give me something to focus on. We wanted to set up a future for ourselves specifically so I didn’t have to work so hard as I still have a lot of side effects from chemotherapy radiation and surgery.

“So during chemotherapy I did my business plan. It was tiring, but it gave me something to focus on. By the time I got my scan results, we were pretty close to opening.”

Natasia is now excited about the opening of the #No Filter espresso bar in South Westby Street, Lytham, next week and is looking hopeful for the future. She added: “We see the same customers every day and have good relationships with them. They know about my health and are really supportive. They want us to do well. It is a fun job and it is nice to be part of the community.”