- author, Sarah Easdale
- roll, BBC News
Kelly Pendry has terminal cancer and has not been diagnosed for several years.
She lives in Eloy, in the county of Flintshire (West Wales), is 42 years old and is a mother of two children.
In 2021, she was diagnosed with leiomyosarcoma of the uterus. But her initial symptoms — “heavy, prolonged periods” and “severe pain” — began in 2016.
She wonders if things would have been different if she had been diagnosed more quickly.
Leiomyosarcoma is a rare type of cancer. Researchers have confirmed that the tumor is responsible for less than 5% of malignant uterine tumors.
In Brazil, excluding non-melanoma skin tumors, cervical cancer is the third most common type of cancer among women.
Pendry says that when she first described her symptoms to her doctor, she was told that “the body really needs time to get back to normal. [depois da gravidez]”.
She says she was advised to take birth control pills or have an IUD inserted. On another occasion, she received a prescription for antidepressants.
“I felt like a drama queen,” she says. “I felt like I was overreacting, like ‘This is kind of in my head, is this stupid? “
But Bandari’s condition was debilitating.
“There were days when I was wracked with pain,” she recalls. “On the days I didn’t bleed, [a dor] She was younger. I was gaining weight without explanation. I had this stomach, really, really bloated.”
‘How are you holding up?’
It wasn’t until April 2020 that a local GP – whom Pendry calls a ‘hero’ – agreed something was wrong after noticing lumps in his stomach.
“For the first time, someone confirmed something,” she says. He asked “How are you?” I replied “I am not”.
In November 2020, Kelly Pendry was diagnosed with benign fibroids. Doctors recommended to her that a hysterectomy would be the best procedure, but the pandemic meant her follow-up appointments were constantly postponed and the surgery never took place.
As of June 2021, Pendry was bleeding every day and “looked like she was nine months pregnant”.
It was around this time that the doctor first mentioned the possibility of sarcoma, but the diagnosis would not come until November 2021, after a lung biopsy.
Around this time, Pendry discovered that his cancer was already in the fourth and terminal stage. “A nurse told me not to plan for Christmas,” she recalls.
Pendry was referred to an oncologist at Clatterbridge Cancer Center in Liverpool, England. The doctor said he would do everything he could to cure the cancer, even though it could not be cured.
“He asked us what we wanted and we said ‘time.’ As long as it was humanly possible,” she says.
I said “I can’t think of not being there for the accomplishments.” [das crianças]Silly things, like first friends, girlfriends, graduation. At the time, I thought I wouldn’t be able to see them at the age of ten.”
But six rounds of “hard and grueling” chemotherapy gave her more time.
Almost a year after treatment ended, Pendry still felt the side effects of hormone blockers, such as fatigue, pain, and hot flashes. But she says it’s “nothing that compares” to the pain she’s felt before.
The fact remains that Bandari still suffers from stage four cancer.
“We had a year stability,” she says. “But we know this can change, and very quickly.”
Pendry wants a hysterectomy, but says that option “is no longer available. It seems that since the cancer is stage IV, surgery is not used to prolong life.”
Kelly Pendry’s husband, Michael, hopes to raise 50,000 pounds sterling (about R$310,000) to pay for his surgery in the United States. “There, surgery is a cure,” he says.
Pendry does not want to criticize the “wonderful NHS” (British Public Health Service), but feels it has “been kept out of the ways that seem to be available in other countries”.
Michael will soon be running 290km from Ewloe to Hanham, near Bristol, England, in an effort to raise the necessary funds. He described mission training as a panacea.
“I cried while running”
“If I let things pile on top of me… I can run and feel better about it,” he says.
“Yesterday I felt like a ton of bricks were hitting me,” Michael recalls. “I just cried while running. But I felt better afterward.”
Kelly Pendry is realistic about what the future might hold for her, even with the surgery.
“We know they can take it all and it can come back, and we know that,” she said. “We just want the kids to know that we have tried everything possible. I think this will bring them great comfort.”
Pendry hopes sharing her experience will help others, too. She says she hopes her story “will reach someone in the early stages and get them to say, ‘I want more tests or I’d like a referral.'”
“We’re talking about women’s health, menopause, and menstrual cycles,” she adds. “I hope things get better.”
In a statement, Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Council in Wales said: “We are sorry to hear of Ms. Pendry and advise her to contact her GP, who is a third-party doctor from the Health Council, so that her concerns can be investigated.”
Clatterbridge Cancer Center Liverpool says it cannot comment on specific patients, but adds: “With advanced cancer that has spread to other parts of the body, treatments such as chemotherapy that target cancer cells throughout the body will generally be more effective than surgery.”
“We work with surgical teams in our area. If surgery is likely to be beneficial, it will be offered, even for terminal cancer,” the center continues.
“We fully understand how difficult it can be to live with late-stage cancer and would recommend that Kelly speak with her medical team if she has any concerns.”
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