Kirsty List has revealed her battle with a deadly form of cancer that was discovered during surgery.
Kirsty List, who is only 33, has revealed her battle with the deadly disease, as the cause of her illness remains a mystery.
Kirsty, who has a five-year-old daughter, Aimee, was diagnosed with mesothelioma – a cancer of the lining of the body’s organs – after she began feeling unwell in September 2015.
She was initially diagnosed with gallstones but doctors discovered a tumour around her gallbladder when they attempted to remove her gallbladder during surgery.
Kirsty, of Exeter, Devon, told the Express & Echo : “It was only when they went to take out my gallbladder that they found a tumour around it.
“They left my gallbladder in and did a tumour biopsy.”
Six weeks later she was left stunned when doctors delivered the devastating news.
Asbestos & Health: Frequently Asked Questions
She said: “My consultants said I was suffering from mesothelioma. I was incredibly shocked because it’s something you hear in older people, not younger people. I didn’t know anything about asbestos disease.
“The problem for me is there is very little information to parallel me with anyone and work out any prognosis. Most people with asbestos are old and are men.”
Asbestos is a natural fibrous rock that was widely used within homes and other buildings until 1999.
Kirsty believes she was exposed to it either when she was a pupil at school in Reading or North Devon, or while working in pubs.
There are three types of asbestos-related lung disease and the type Kirsty has peritoneal mesothelioma which is cancer of the abdominal lining.
To treat the disease, Kirsty has tried five different types of chemotherapy but she says none worked to any great extent. She received her last course almost a year ago and had been on palliative care since.
Last December Kirsty was told she does not have long left to live.
She said: “It was a conversation I asked to have with my consultant and I felt ready to know.
“I said, ‘I don’t know if I will see next Christmas’, and my consultant said, ‘I think that’s about right’.”
Kirsty said her health has been gradually deteriorating since her diagnosis and even within the past two weeks she has noticed a difference.
She added: “It’s the pain and exhaustion that’s so hard to live with. I’m on quite a lot of pain medication and I feel tired all the time which makes it hard keeping up with my daughter, but luckily her dad, my ex-partner, is very involved in helping out.
“I walk with crutches now because I can’t walk very far without having to sit down.
“I do have a wheelchair but I’ve not braved using it yet. I have been on a mobility scooter in Exeter city centre but I felt like people were looking at me and wondering why I was using it at my age.
“At the age of 33 it’s kind of embarrassing. To look at me you would think there’s nothing wrong and it makes me feel like having a sign on my back saying, ‘I’m dying, leave me be!’.
“Knowing how you’re going to die and you’re just going to waste away is horrible. I will quite literally waste away. I have already gone from a size 16-18 to a size 8.”
Kirsty is focusing on keeping life as normal as possible for her daughter.
She said: “Aimee knows everything up and understands that I’m dying, and most of the time she is okay about it.
“There’s no hiding from the fact that she is likely to be six-years-old when I pass away.”
The mum has received a large amount of compensation from the government for having an asbestos-related illness. The money has been put into a trust fund for Aimee.
In the future Kirsty hopes more will be done to raise awareness about where asbestos is to help keep people safe, and not suffer like she and her family is.
She said: “I would not necessarily want asbestos to be taken out of all buildings as I know that would be incredibly impractical. But I would like to see it become part of everyone’s induction process when people start a new job.
“If asbestos is in a building everyone should be aware of where it is and how it should be treated to keep themselves and other people safe. It has to be a group effort.
“The asbestos register should also be overhauled to make sure reviews are ongoing.”
Source: Mirror Online