A mother whose cancer was abducted when her routine surgery was canceled due to quarantine was told her illness was fatal.
Kelly Pendry has vowed to fight the disease for her two children, Sam and Isla, and warn other women who may be in her situation.
The 41-year-old was supposed to remove normally harmless growths called fibroids through a hysterectomy along with her uterus, but the surgery was shelved during the pandemic.
Later, she received the devastating news that one of the fibroids was actually a rare form of cancer and has now spread to her lungs, chest, and lymph nodes.
Kelly Pendry, 41, received devastating news that she and her husband, Michael, developed a rare form of cancer in her womb after surgery that may have infected the tumor was canceled during the Covid lockdown.
Kelly (far right) says she is now fighting to create memories for her children, Isla (left) and Sam,9 (right), as the abducted cancer has spread to her lungs, chest and lymph nodes.
Kelly Pendry and her ‘rock’ husband Michael, during the devastating ordeal, after the mother of two said she didn’t want what happened to her to happen to anyone else.
What is myoma and what is uterine leiomyosarcoma?
Fibroids are noncancerous growths of muscle and fibrous tissue that develop in the womb of about one-third of women.
They can grow to the size of a pea or melon.
Who gets them?
They occur most often in women between the ages of 30 and 50.
It is also thought to be more common in women of African-Caribbean descent, as well as women who are overweight or obese.
Women who have children have a lower risk of developing fibroids, with the risk per child number.
Why do they occur?
Although the exact cause is unknown, the appearance of fibroids is thought to be due to the reproductive hormone estrogen.
What are the symptoms?
Most women with fibroids will be unaware that only one-third develop symptoms.
Symptoms may include heavy or painful periods, abdominal pain, lower back pain, the need to urinate frequently, constipation, or pain or discomfort during intercourse.
What are the treatments for fibroids?
Usually only women with fibroid symptoms receive treatment.
In most cases, medication is prescribed to relieve symptoms or, in more severe cases, to shrink fibroids.
Surgery, such as a hysterectomy to remove the uterus, is usually only considered if symptoms are particularly severe and medication is ineffective.
Is it dangerous?
Most fibroids are harmless and shrink or disappear over time, especially after menopause.
However, a very rare cancer can develop from the fibroid. This is called uterine leiomyosarcoma.
This aggressive cancer is thought to develop in only one to five out of every 1,000 women with fibroids.
It is most often diagnosed after a fibroid biopsy followed by a hysterectomy to treat the condition.
Even if caught early, half of women with cancer will die within five years.
If it spreads beyond the uterus, surviving more than five years, only 14 percent of women survive that long.
Ms Pendry, from Ewloe, North Wales, said she wondered ‘what could happen’ if the operation continued and cancer was detected.
“The diagnosis was pretty shocking, and I sometimes wonder if I would have been in this position if I had had a hysterectomy or had been watched more closely,” he said.
Before the pandemic, everything was arranged for me to continue my hysterectomy, I even signed consent forms.
‘Unfortunately, this never happened as all routine operations were canceled and I was given different drugs that they hoped would shrink the fibroids, but it didn’t.’
Fibroids are common growths of muscle and fibrous tissue that appear in the womb of about one-third of women at some point in their lives.
They are relatively harmless but can cause discomfort and pain in some cases.
The real potential danger of fibroids is that, as in the case of Ms. Pendry, they can develop into a rare form of cancer.
One such cancer, called uterine leiomyosarcoma, affects about one to five out of every 1,000 women with fibroids.
Uterine leiomyosarcoma is an aggressive type of cancer, often diagnosed incidentally when a woman has had a hysterectomy to remove fibroids and is then examined.
Even if caught early, only half of women with cancer live longer than five years.
If they’re not caught early, their chances of survival decline rapidly, as the cancer has spread to other parts of the body where less than 14 percent of women live for more than five years.
Leiomyosarcoma is a type of cancer that occurs in the flat tissues of the body such as the intestines, stomach and, in women, the uterus.
Around 600 people are diagnosed with leiomyosarcoma each year in the UK.
Ms Pendry is just one of the millions of people in the UK whose surgery has been postponed or canceled due to the chaos of the pandemic.
According to a report published in July, more than 1.5 million NHS operations in the UK were canceled or postponed in 2020 and this is expected to rise to over 2 million by the end of this year.
When the surgery was cancelled, Ms. Pendry was given medication to shrink the fibroids, but unfortunately the treatment didn’t work.
While undergoing palliative chemotherapy, Ms. Pendry is determined to fight cancer with the support of her husband, Michael.
“I want people to know my story because fibroids are so common and I don’t want what happened to me to happen to anyone else,” she said.
‘Even if it gives me more time to make memories with my family, I want to be that person who beats all odds because they mean something to me.’
‘My husband is my rock and I have two extraordinary children, so I am determined to fight for them at any cost.’
Well-wishers rallied around the family and Ms Pendry’s two children, Isla, seven and Sam, started a fundraiser that raised more than £11,000 for nine.
“I always donate to fundraisers like this, and I feel bad seeing what people are going through, but you never think you’d be in a situation where people donate to help you,” said Ms. Pendry.
‘Everything has been tough but in a good way, we hit the jackpot with our friends and family and I can’t thank them enough for the kindness they’ve shown us over the last few weeks.
‘The staff at Ewloe Green Elementary were wonderful and I am so grateful that Isla and Sam have this safety net to take care of them.’