Way of life
April 23, 2023 | 5:11 p.m.
It later turned out that she had a large brain tumor the size of a tennis ball on her head.
Helen Green / SWNS
A woman from England had noted the seizures she was starting to stress out about – but it turns out her diagnosis was much more serious than that.
Helen Green, 58, had told her doctor about the seizures, which she thought were due to the stress of the ongoing pandemic at the time.
But, hours later, she was told after an MRI that she had a 6cm tumor the size of a tennis ball on the left temporal lobe of her brain.
“I went to the hospital at 8:30 a.m. and at 3:30 p.m. I was told I had a brain tumor,” Green told South West News Service.
“I thought it was a death sentence.”
She claimed doctors told her they were shocked she was still able to talk and walk due to the size and location of the tumor, according to the outlet.
Typically, the type of tumor Green suffers from makes patients unable to speak and can sometimes even affect their long-term memory.
She explained that after doctors told her of the diagnosis, she and her mother, Sheila, 83, broke down in tears – but she was able to brave the next steps.
After Green’s doctors found the tumour, she underwent four-hour surgery at Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Birmingham, where they removed the lump.
Her mother told SWNS she couldn’t stop looking at the clock when her daughter was in the operating room.
Green’s mass ended up being a “low-grade meningioma,” which is a “low-grade” type of tumor that tends to grow slowly, according to the National Cancer Institute.
Those diagnosed with this type of low-grade mass are usually adults, and more than 80% of them have a chance of surviving for five years or more after being diagnosed, according to The Brain Tumor Charity.
“I named the tumor duck egg and the triplets because it was about the size of a duck egg,” Green admitted.
“Doctors also found three shadows where the triplets came from.”
The 58-year-old spent five days recovering from the operation, but it wasn’t easy as she struggled to walk and had speech problems – a problem she still manages today .
She also remembers being very tired.
“I couldn’t bring myself to tell people I had a brain tumor,” Green said. “I couldn’t accept what it really was.”
“It was hard to accept that, but one way for me to cope was to put a positive spin on it.”
Now Green has to have regular checkups to make sure his tumor doesn’t come back. She explained that the ordeal still affects her, describing it as “crushing”. She is still struggling with her recovery and wants to be able to go back to the life she used to.
But despite everything, she tries to stay positive and counts her blessings that she is still alive.
“To think that I had lived all those years and took it with me – the outcome might have been different if I had found it sooner,” Green said.
“I’m lucky to be here and grateful to wake up in the morning.”
Unfortunately, Green isn’t the only one who had strange symptoms before being diagnosed with a brain tumor.
In December 2020, a man described “ghost” smells that reminded him of matches or fireworks, and was later diagnosed with a pea-sized glioblastoma.
And, just last month, a mother shared the story of her daughter, who has a rare type of brain tumor that some doctors believe is the only such case in Europe. At first, her mother thought her daughter had a stomach problem.