I was diagnosed with a grade 2 astrocytoma brain tumour in January 2011, a few weeks after my 40th birthday! I had been struggling with a weakness to my right hand whilst training in running sessions and struggling with fine motor skills. After months of tests at hospital the neurologist suggested a scan, I knew things were bad. The neurologist rang to tell me I had a tumour about the size of a lemon on my motor neurone strip and needed surgery.
Telling loved ones was one of the hardest things I have ever had to do, my children were 15 and 12 at the time, it hit everyone hard but I had to be strong. This was not beating me!
I was operated on in March 2011, at University Hospital, Coventry. The surgeons decided an awake craniotomy was best as they could carry out tests on me awake whilst in surgery. I was not phased by this and just kept thinking I have to be strong and positive. The surgeon only managed to get 50-60 percent of the tumour out. Recovery was slow and I had to endure 6 weeks of intense radiotherapy which knocked me off my feet, I lost my hair and started having seizures, these went on well into 2012 meaning I couldn't drive.
I am a very stubborn person and always put others first, I tried to hide my emotions putting on a brave face but underneath I was struggling.
I'd set a goal of 6 months to be back at my desk as a Registrar of Births, Deaths and Marriages. I managed that but had to train myself to write with my left hand as I had no fine motor skills in my right hand.
I can only explain my experience as a rollercoaster, but I kept positive throughout. Life is too short you have got to appreciate it.
The Bupa Great South Run, a 10 mile event, is my biggest achievement to date, the whole weekend was great fun and I loved it. I hope that I have inspired others to be positive and believe in yourself, and to know that Brain Tumour Support are there to help.
Tracy (left) with her oldest friend Louise (our BTSW for Warwickshire & Worcestershire)