Jarrow mum told she has rare aggressive cancer 11 weeks after giving birth

Fi Leyshon has now been told the treatment which had kept her condition stable for the past year is no longer working. Credit: Gazette Media Company Syndication

A mum has been diagnosed with a rare and aggressive cancer just 11 weeks after the birth of her baby boy.

Fi Leyshon, from Jarrow, in south Tyneside, has now been told the treatment which had kept her condition stable for the past year is no longer working.

The 30-year-old, who lives in Linthorpe, said she is determined to keep fighting for her little boy, Reuben, and has been overwhelmed and humbled by the outpouring of support since the she received the news.

She is urging others to know the symptoms of kidney cancer and visit their GPs if they are concerned something is wrong.

In the weeks surrounding her baby's birth, Ms Leyshon questioned if the exhaustion, sickness and pain was "just motherhood". However, her symptoms continued and she called 111.

Fi Leyshon and her baby boy Reuben. Credit: GAZETTE MEDIA COMPANY SYNDICATION

She said: "There was one night where Rueben was 11-weeks-old and I was lying in bed with a really bad pain in my left side.

"I'm quite good with dealing with pain and just cracking on but something was telling me I needed to call 111.

"They thought I might have had kidney stones and they sent an ambulance because I had just had a baby and they wanted to be extra cautious."

Ms Leyshon said she was in the hospital for 12 hours and after blood tests and a scan she was told she had cancer.

She said: "I just felt like my world was crumbling around me - you don't expect it to happen to you. The first thing I thought was I've just given birth to a little boy - I was just thinking about Rueben.

"The first thing I said to her is, am I going to die? They said they could get me lots of help - I was just absolutely terrified.

"I rang my mam than I rang my partner. I just went home to my little boy - that day was so hard."

Fi's partner Peter Downing with their son. Credit: GAZETTE MEDIA COMPANY SYNDICATION

Following further scans, Ms Leyshon began immunotherapy at James Cook University Hospital, in Middlesbrough, which has kept her condition stable for the past year.

She said: "To be honest I probably took it for granted a little bit - I thought this is it I'm stable, brilliant.

"So when I got the news on Friday that it's stopped working and it's spread, it's just the worst case scenario."

Ms Leyshon has now been told she has stage four incurable and inoperable metastatic renal carcinoma - with the cancer having spread to her liver and lymph nodes.

Friends and family have rallied around her and began to research possible treatment options, not available on the NHS, raising more than £6,000 in less than 24 hours.

Fi's mother-in-law Sharon Bradley with her son Reuben. Credit: GAZETTE MEDIA COMPANY SYNDICATION

If there are no other treatment options available, the plan is to use the money raised for Ms Leyshon to make as many memories possible her son.

"I have my bad days - it's cancer, it doesn't discriminate, and it's brutal. If I didn't have Rueben I honestly think I'd just stay in bed, I wouldn't look after myself.

"He's been the light of my life, he really has," said Ms Leyshon, who worked as a receptionist at Jacqui Paterson's Veterinary Hospital before her diagnosis.

Fi Leyshon said she is going to keep fighting. Credit: GAZETTE MEDIA SYNDICATION

At the time of her initial diagnosis, Ms Leyshon was told chemotherapy "wouldn't touch" her kind of cancer because it is so rare and aggressive and is usually seen in older people.

She decided she did not want to know the doctor's prognosis after the blow last week, leaving her mother and sister-in-law to hear the news.

She said: "I waited outside in tears taking in all the other information and they eventually came out and my mam said 'it's not the best but it could be worse'.

"The doctor only has an average of the condition I have in older people because that's who it normally affects. Everyone is different, it could be years after he has estimated. He has given my mam a timescale but she's not going to tell me."

Now she's encouraging other to listen to their bodies and to go to their GPs if they feel something is wrong.

Fi and her lifelong friend Katie who has helped fundraise for her following her diagnosis. Credit: GAZETTE MEDIA COMPANY SYNDICATION

"The two weeks after I gave birth to him I was so ill, I couldn't eat and the weight fell off me.

"I was really tired all the time but I had just had a baby and thought 'is this motherhood?' It was hard. Weeks on I wasn't getting better so I was speaking to my doctors and going back."

"I want to spread awareness of kidney cancer because there has only been a cure for the past 10 years.

"My main symptom was the pain in my side but I lost my appetite, I was lethargic, I felt sick all the time. I can't stress enough how important it is to listen to your body. There was something telling me to go to the hospital that night.

"Thank God I did, I don't think I would be here if I didn't find out then. You must listen to your body. Kidney cancer, you don't really hear of it but it can affect your life in all the same ways."

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