A tumour started growing on Emily Corrigan’s brain 10 year ago – but she had no idea and she put her symptoms down to tiredness.
A decade later, it was discovered when she had a seizure and it had grown to was the size of an orange.
The mum-of-four said she dismissed dizziness, fatigue and headaches because she thought it was just part of being busy with her kids.
But the school office secretary from Milton Keynes, Buckinghamshire, has since undergone two brain surgeries, with the most recent being in October 2018, in a bid to save her life.
Emily is now sharing her story to warn others not to dismiss extreme fatigue.
She said: ‘I was so tired all of the time and had terrible headaches and pains. I just ignored it because I knew I was tired and thought it was normal for a mum of young kids to feel like that.
‘The tumour was present probably since I was 18. Looking back now the signs were fairly obvious that something wasn’t right but I just dismissed it.’
Emily had been feeling tired for years and finally saw a doctor a year before her diagnosis because she also developed crippling headaches.
She had an MRI booked to investigate but she cancelled the appointment after she convinced herself that she was wasting everyone’s time.
She said: ‘I was getting terrible flashing pains in my head and was very tired. I had four young children and just dismissed the symptoms to being busy running around after them.
‘In hindsight there were definite signs. I was far more tired than most mum’s I know but time and time again I just put it down to being a busy mum.
‘I’d be up early with my kids from the crack of dawn until late at night so I never thought anything of it.
‘In the year or so before I had the seizure I was just slowing down. I put on weight and had no energy and felt lethargic all the time.
‘I had flashing pains for about three years, they were always in the same place in my head.
‘I convinced myself that nothing was wrong with me.
‘If I’d gone then and had that MRI the tumour would have been found and something could have been done about it earlier.’
In July 2015, she suffered a seizure at home and she was found by her partner Stewart, 42.
He rushed her to hospital but Emily was placed in a coma and her family were told that she had a cancerous brain tumour.
The 4.2cm by 4.5cm tumour was removed by surgeons but it returned in October 2018 meaning that she had to have more surgery.
Emily said: ‘It’s been so hard and has taken such a huge toll on us all.
‘I’ve been able to manage with the kids as best as I can but the surgery and treatment has taken any energy out of me.
‘The kids have been great but it can be difficult at times when I explain to them what’s happening to me.’
Emily has completed a 30 sessions of radiotherapy and is currently undergoing chemotherapy.
Friends and family are now raising £2,000 on GoFundMe to help support Emily and her family financially.
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