Leanne passed away on the 2nd October 2012 with a Metastatic Carcinoma aged 32.
She began developing mild headaches in February 2012 which got worse around May, and she also felt a lot of pressure behind her nose which was diagnosed as sinus problems. This continued for several weeks and her vision became worse, and she went back to her doctors who told her to have an eye test in a couple of days if it continued.
On the 14th June she had an eye test and was sent straight to the eye clinic at the local hospital where she was admitted and told she needed an MRI scan. The following morning (Friday) she went for the scan and we were told she had a tumour. They explained they could try and shrink it with a tablet first and if not would have to operate. She was given the tablet and on the Saturday morning she woke up blind in the right eye. She was taken for a scan at 6.30am and was then transferred by emergency ambulance to Salford Royal Hospital.
Leanne was operated on by going in through her nose. After 6 hours, Dr Gnanalingham said he was unable to get the tumour out as it was not the tumour he first though it was - a pituitary gland tumour. He said once he got to the tumour she began to bleed and so he had to control the bleeding for 3 hours and postpone the operation until he had a full team (it was a Saturday). The following Monday she again went for her operation, this time over the eyebrow. After 8 hours he came back to us and told us he had got most of the tumour but was unable to get it all and this could possibly be treated with radiotherapy.
Two weeks after her operation she had another MRI scan which revealed the tumour had grown back to the size it was before the operation. She was also given the news from the biopsy that it was cancerous and very aggressive so they would start radiotherapy in two weeks. Leanne had been to Christies Hospital to have her mask fitted, when the sight in her left eye began to deteriorate. Her treatment was moved forward and she underwent her 6 weeks' treatment and was looking and feeling really positive.
When the treatment finished Leanne went on a family holiday with her husband and 3 children to Filey, West Yorkshire. After a couple of days she began to get neck pain and thought it was through change of bed or pillows. She continued to be tired but there no other changes. When she got back she continued to complain of neck pain and had limited movement. We eventually called the doctor who said she had a water infection and was to be admitted. On seeing her I was distraught; she was very swollen around the neck, her face resembled the sight of a stroke and looked like she was unable to control her face muscles. She was in hospital for a week and had an MRI scan. The doctor said they thought the cancer may have spread into the CSF fluid but they would only be certain if they did a lumbar puncture. This is an intrusive procedure and Leanne decided not to have it done fearing that if the cancer had spread she wasn't sure she wanted to know.
Leanne was discharged from hospital and told they had an appointment for her two days later at Salford Royal to discuss her results. On the 20th September she went for her appointment and we were told the devastating news that it was terminal.
Leanne had a Metastatic Carcinoma and was told she had a matter of months not years. They could see two or three areas it had gone to but they wanted to do a lumbar puncture to be certain. They could possibly offer some treatment but this would only give her a few more months. At this point Leanne decided to do some of the things she wanted to do; she planned her daughter's christening for the 30th September, she wanted to bring her son's birthdays forward and go to see the Blackpool lights.
They booked the lumbar puncture for 28th September 2012. Leanne had deteriorated and was finding it really difficult to get out of bed, but we managed to get her to the appointment. I overheard doctors discussing her as they stood outside the room and one said that she was bleeding chronically into the CSF fluid. My sister told me afterwards they had done the procedure three times. She returned home awaiting the results.
On 30th September she was unable to get out of bed and it was noticed she was slurring her words. The doctor was called and he rang an ambulance. As this was the day of her daughter's christening, most of the family members continued as requested. I visited her later that afternoon and informed the nurse there that I wasn't happy with how things were going. I explained about what I heard on the Friday when she had a lumbar puncture and I asked if we were looking at palliative care then we needed to know.