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Mum given one year to live after brain tumour meant foot felt ‘heavy on clutch’

Brain tumour: Cancer Research UK on ‘different types’ in 2017

Louise Chambers was driving during a family holiday when she first noticed that her left foot felt “a bit heavy on the clutch”, as if she were suffering from a painful cramp.

This led her to seek advice from medical experts, who initially thought the mum-of-two had experienced a transient ischaemic attack, known as a mini stroke.

They transferred her to a hospital where she underwent an MRI scan.

However, this revealed the devastating truth – that Louise, who lives in Preston, had a terminal brain tumour.

Speaking to LancsLive, the 43-year-old said: “They told me on the Tuesday that it wasn’t a mini stroke, I had a brain tumour.

“They said it was one of the worst types you can have as it’s terminal and they said I had up to 12 months.

“That was it. They said there was nothing really that can be done for it.”

Louise, who works as a carer for a young boy with brain damage, was diagnosed as a grade 4 glioblastoma – a fast-growing and aggressive brain tumour.

A biopsy revealed the exact location of the tumour, which doctors said made it inoperable.

They said Louise could have just one year to live.

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“It was a bit surreal, I didn’t really believe it,” Louise said. “I still don’t, I don’t think. I still don’t really believe it.

“The only time I really got upset was telling my boys and telling my mum and my best friend.

“They were the people that when I was talking to them, it made me upset. Whereas with everyone else, I was telling them a bit more matter of fact, if you will.

“They said they couldn’t operate, because of where the tumour is and what it is.

“It’s on my spinal cord so they said it’s not safe to operate, if they were to operate I would end up in a wheelchair and I wouldn’t know where I was or who anybody else was.

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“I wouldn’t be able to feed myself or use the toilet, I’d lose all of those faculties.”

Louise has undergone six weeks of radiotherapy and chemotherapy of which she has so far completed three.

Before she could start these, Louise was taken to hospital for a week where doctors had to reduce the swelling around her tumour.

“I’ve not been sick or anything, I’ve not had any real side effects,” Louise said. “I’ve lost a little bit of hair but nothing dramatic.

“But now they’ve stopped the radiotherapy and the chemotherapy until July.”

Louise is currently off work and being given statutory sick pay whilst she is making the most of family time and putting together as much money as she can for her future and for her family.

Her friends have organised several fundraisers which have raised nearly £2,000 collectively so far.

Donations to help support Louise and her family can be made at a GoFundMe page here.

Common signs of a brain tumour include:

  • Headaches
  • Seizures (fits)
  • Persistently feeling sick (nausea), being sick (vomiting) and drowsiness
  • Mental or behavioural changes, such as memory problems or changes in personality
  • Progressive weakness or paralysis on one side of the body
  • Vision or speech problems.

If you experience unexplained symptoms of a brain tumour you should see your GP.

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  • Posted on June 19, 2023