A young woman passed away in the space of a few months, after complaining of intense headaches along with fatigue.
Leigh Kelly tragically died aged just 36 on the 16th of January after a lengthy struggle with cancer. Her mother Janet Caldwell has now paid tribute to her after her death by describing her as an ‘adherent who was never going to quit’.
Leigh who was an palliative care worker who was diagnosed with breast cancer that was triple negative in the month of October, 2019 following discovering a small lump inside her breast. Since the moment she was diagnosed, things changed very quickly, according to her mother Janet Leigh. Leigh getting treatment within weeks of receiving the diagnosis.
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The tumor had grown rapidly in a manner that is typical of Triple negative cancer of the breast up to 5.3cm. Leigh began chemotherapy in order to diminish the tumor that was later removed and operated on in the Royal Oldham Hospital.
“Leigh was referred the clinic for breast cancer within a few days after visiting the doctors,” Janet said. “It everything moved quickly She began treatment and began chemotherapy. She she also took part in two trials at Christie. After that, she received radiotherapy.
“Even in the beginning she was so optimistic that she was determined and determined to battle for her cause. She wasn’t going to quit. She informed doctors that she would undergo any treatment. She was that type of girl, and she never felt guilty about herself.”
In accordance with Cancer Research UK, trials are currently underway to evaluate various types of chemotherapy to determine which one is better in treating advanced diseases and includes researchers who are involved in what is known as the Triple Negative Trial (TNT).
It was in July 2020 that Leigh was put in the remission stage. “All members of our family were content,” Janet added.
“But clearly, as her mom I was always worried that it might return. back. She was back and enjoying life to the fullest. She never stopped, and was always busy, she was surrounded by amazing people.”
It was around the time in 2022 that Leigh of Ashton-under-Lyne was complaining of intense head pains and fatigue. After being treated, scans revealed that she had three tumors in her brain and further tumors within her breast bone the oesophagus, lung, and breast bone.
“It was very painful,” mum Janet said. “It was a terrible experience for her. Headaches had been getting her down.”
One of the tumors she had in her brain was treatable after treatment through doctors from Salford Royal Hospital in the April. At at this point, Leigh and her family were told that her condition was fatal, and she could only have a few more months to live.
There was a Christie Hospital then agreed to start her on additional cycles of radiotherapy and chemotherapy in an effort to prolong her life span – however, there was no guarantee. Through it all, Leigh kept in positive spirits and helped others who were suffering from the same condition and offered support through her social media posts.
“It was incredibly emotional and frightening for all of us However, having known Leigh and her struggle she was able to say that her brain was capable of handling additional radiotherapy,” Janet added. “She was the kind of person that was so friendly to all the people who been in touch with her. Everyone was a fan of her.”
“We were so pleased when the doctors decided to perform surgery on her brain tumor. We knew she would not live, but they told us they’d never witnessed anyone happier in that situation. She was constantly vomiting and was in bed for a long time.”
The rounds of radiotherapy and chemotherapy continued, but ineffectively, until the end of October 2022. Leigh was able to decline in her condition and was unable to get up. Leigh was struggling to use her legs . She was also unable move her legs properly. In this time her mother had explained to her how her cancer had recurred once again, this time to the lung of her second and her spine and bladder as well as her bowels. She also had tumors on her brain.
“She began to become very sick again,” Janet said. “We were discussing the possibility of physiotherapy for her legs as certain parts of her body were failing. Unfortunately, they informed us that it was affecting her spine and was spreading to her bladder, bowels and the other lung. She was in a condition in which her muscles were failing away, and she might have been disabled.
“But each time we received negative news, she returned home and would consider the positive aspects. When they told her she had only two weeks for her to be alive, she stated “I’ve had at least six months longer than the normal person’. She was an inspiration and never let the situation get her down.
“She’d been in bed for months , and was unable to move. It was very difficult.”
Leigh was cared for by her family and mother at the end of her life . She passed away peacefully in her home on January 16. Janet told the media that she saw her daughter’s final breaths and felt ‘honored to be with her. After her tragic passing images and sentimental tributes were posted to Facebook by relatives and friends.
“I’d like to believe that her story can inspire someone else who is suffering from this horrible condition,” Janet said. “Somebody’s life may be saved by having an examination and pushing doctors. If Leigh didn’t take the time to do it her part, she could not have lived for as long.”
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