Diagnosed in 2018 with oligodendroglioma
Life was good for Carly. She loved her job, had recently married her childhood sweetheart Kris, and just celebrated her 30th birthday. What she didn't know was that she was living with a large brain tumour.
It was a sudden seizure at home in September 2017 which was the first sign that something was wrong. Carly was taken by ambulance to A&E and whilst initially doctors felt that, in the absence of any other symptoms, the seizure was likely to have been caused by stress and fatigue, Carly herself sensed there was something more wrong. A subsequent MRI scan showed a large tumour on the left-hand side of her brain.
Surgery and diagnosis
In January 2018 Carly went through a 13 hour awake craniotomy - she needed to be awake during her surgery to minimise the risk of long term damage to speech and movement due to the tumour's location. Most of the tumour was successfully removed and it was finally diagnosed as a grade 2 oligodendroglioma.
Carly explains "It was a massive shock and it does have a big impact on life, especially with an unknown future. I'm currently on a watch and wait, I'm being monitored with onging MRI scans. I know from the type of tumour I have that I'm going to eventually need further treatment possibly in the form of radiotherapy, chemotherapy or more surgery."
Feeling alone and how support helped
Carly recalls that for the initial time after her diagnosis she felt really alone. It was about six months after her operation that she heard about Brain Tumour Support.
"It's hard to come to terms with the diagnosis and how it can change your life. But what has massively helped this has been my referral by the hospital to Brain Tumour Support."
Carly received the help of specialist Support Professional, Sarah, who could tailor support to her personal needs and those of her loved ones. "I was worried about how others would take what I wanted to say, but meeting Sarah made me able to be open and honest about my thoughts."
Carly also attended our regular support sessions, which continued online throughout the Covid pandemic, where she could meet other people going through something similar.
"It's made a really positive impact on how I think, how I manage day to day, and helped me get through really challenging times."
A special family Christmas
And Christmas 2021 was an extra special one for Carly following the birth of her first baby in September. With the support they have received over the past two years, Carly, Kris and baby Ivy enjoyed their first Christmas together, and can look forward positively as a family.
"It's priceless, to be able to deal with different emotions and have your mindset in the most positive way. It makes a massive difference."
Carly and Kris on their wedding day
Carly faced a 13 hour operation in January 2018
Carly and baby Ivy