A brand new mom’s “baby brain” turned out to be an incurable tumour.
Claire Curtis, 30, started battling complications and fatigue shortly after she gave delivery to her son Charlie in February final 12 months.
After dismissing it because the stress of parenthood, issues took a dramatic flip for the more severe when she started repeatedly waking within the early hours to vomit.
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With her GP saying it was migraines or vertigo, Miss Curtis was solely referred to hospital after a visit to the opticians revealed swelling on her mind.
An MRI scan later confirmed she has a terminal, grade three tumour the dimensions of an orange.
The mother-of-two, from Plymouth, had the cancerous mass eliminated, however the illness had already unfold round her physique.
She is on chemotherapy to assist lengthen her life so she will spend “every minute with her kids”.
Speaking of her signs, Miss Curtis mentioned: “I used to be getting unhealthy complications within the entrance a part of my head, however I put it down to being exhausted as a brand new mum.
“I simply felt actually drained and thought it was as a result of I’d simply given delivery to Charlie, so I took myself for naps after I may and tried to get on with it.”
The nursery employee finally went to her GP, who dismissed it as migraines or vertigo and prescribed painkillers.
With these doing nothing to assist, Miss Curtis quickly started waking each morning to be sick.
“When I started throwing up every morning at 4am, I realised I couldn’t ignore it any more”, she mentioned.
“I was repeatedly going back to the doctors begging for help because I knew something was wrong”.
Miss Curtis – who shares Charlie and her daughter Millie, 4, along with her fiancé Tom, 34 – was given anti-sickness tablets.
After struggling to climb the steps in June final 12 months, Miss Curtis determined to go for a watch take a look at.
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“I remember one morning Millie called me from her bedroom, and as I went to climb the stairs, I suddenly felt really dizzy and couldn’t see properly,” she mentioned.
“I advised my mum about it and he or she made me go to the opticians.
“When they noticed swelling through the take a look at, they referred me right away for an emergency MRI.
“It took two weeks for me to truly get an ‘emergency’ appointment and my signs had considerably subsided by the point I obtained to the hospital.
“I made the error of telling them that was the case and abruptly my MRI was delayed by one other 4 weeks.”
Miss Curtis lastly had an MRI in August final 12 months and was advised she would obtain the outcomes inside three days.
In one more setback, her physician went on vacation for 2 weeks, leaving Miss Curtis in the dead of night.
“Waiting for the results was absolutely horrific and sent my stress levels through the roof,” she mentioned.
During this time, she visited her GP for an unrelated appointment.
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“I thought I’d ask my GP about my results in an upcoming appointment I had booked,” she mentioned.
“My GP advised me he may inform me proper there after which what the outcomes have been, however as he was studying them, he abruptly stopped and advised me he wasn’t certified to undergo my outcomes with me, and I’d have to ring the hospital.
“He rapidly grabbed his pc display to flip it away from me, however he wasn’t quick sufficient and I glimpsed the phrases ‘mind tumour’.
“I rang the hospital the following day, and the receptionist mentioned she may inform me the outcomes earlier than having the identical response.
“She stopped studying and advised me the physician would have to ring me to talk about them.”
“I sat on my kitchen floor absolutely beside myself with worry for about an hour before the doctor rang me and told me he didn’t want to discuss the results over the phone so I needed to come in to the hospital.”
Expecting the worst, Miss Curtis went in, solely to have her worst nightmare realised.
“It wasn’t until a few days later that it really sunk in,” she mentioned.
“I just couldn’t stop crying at the thought of dying and leaving my kids behind.”
On 2 October final 12 months, Miss Curtis underwent an awake craniotomy.
A craniotomy is an operation to open the cranium so as to take away a mind tumour.
An awake craniotomy includes the affected person being acutely aware all through the process.
This is most popular when the tumour is shut to, or includes, “functionally important regions of the brain”, the NHS stories.
Miss Curtis was initially advised the tumour didn’t look cancerous.
Just three days after going below the knife, nevertheless, she was recognized with a grade 3 malignant mind tumour that had unfold.
“The doctors told me the type of tumour I have gives patients on average a three-to-five year prognosis,” Miss Curtis mentioned.
In a bid to purchase herself extra time, Miss Curtis had radiotherapy for six and a half weeks, adopted by a 12 months of chemo.
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“Although I know my diagnosis is terminal, I’m fighting for every extra minute I can get with my kids,” she mentioned.
Perhaps hardest of all, is the impression this had her on her household.
“Finding out my cancer was incurable was so hard,” Miss Curtis mentioned.
“I could not bear the considered dying and leaving my kids with out their mum.
“I’m going via chemotherapy and Millie requested me why my hair was falling out.
“I simply advised her mummy had one thing unhealthy in her head and he or she type of accepted that. She’s too younger to absolutely perceive all of it actually.”
Refusing to let her situation maintain her again, Miss Curtis is planning to marry Tom on July 20 subsequent 12 months after he proposed on Christmas Day 2018.
The nursery employee is even optimistic she’ll be round in many years to come.
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“I’m young and I’ve always been healthy so hopefully I’ll have another 40-to-50 years, we just don’t know,” she mentioned.
“Doctors are monitoring my mind each three months with MRI scans so it is only a ready sport now on when it will come again.
“Right now, I’m simply specializing in making recollections with my household. We went to Disneyland Paris earlier this 12 months which was superb.”
After taking break day work to deal with therapy, Miss Curtis will shortly return to work three days per week.
“I want to treat [my family] to really great things and go on lots of holidays, which has been hard with only one wage coming in as I have had to take time off whilst battling cancer,” she mentioned.
Tom manages a loopy golf centre.
“My diagnosis has showed me every moment is precious,” Miss Curtis mentioned.
“My kids and family mean the world to me. I just want them to be happy and to make as many memories as I can.”