Brain tumour: Cancer Research UK on 'different types' in 2017
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A brain tumour describes a cluster of cells in the brain that multiplies in an uncontrollable way. While not all brain tumours are cancerous, this doesn’t make them less scary. This is something Emma Webster knows too well.
A 29-year-old mum, who was “ready to plan” her funeral after she was diagnosed with a brain tumour, has now welcomed a little girl.
Emma Webster didn’t think she would be growing her family after doctors found a tumour behind her right eye.
It all started back in April 2018, when Emma started experiencing excruciating pain in her tooth.
Her first instinct was to go to a dentist to reveal the root of the problem.
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Her dentist thought the bad pain could have been eased by root canal – a surgery to treat infection at the centre of the tooth – she was already due to have.
“[It] didn’t make any difference to the pain I was experiencing,” Emma, from Airdrie, North Lanarkshire, Scotland, said.
“Afterwards, I started experiencing numbness at the top of my mouth and on the tip of my nose.
“I went to see another GP who thought I had neuralgia and [the doctor] gave me medication for that.”
Unfortunately, Emma’s symptoms kept getting worse which prompted her to seek an opinion of another GP, who referred her to the neurology department at Queen Elizabeth University Hospital, Glasgow, Scotland.
An MRI scan revealed the sad news that she had a brain tumour in her right eye.
Emma said: “I was told it was benign, but I was ready to plan my funeral. I kept thinking ‘Why me? What have I done wrong?’
“Brain tumours run in my family. My nana, Alice, was just 55 when she died from a brain tumour.
“My parents were so worried that the same thing would happen to me.”
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In March 2019, Emma had an operation to remove 70 percent of the benign tumour.
At the time, Emma and her fiancé, Kieran McGurk, 32, already had one child – a son called Alfie.
Despite her diagnosis, Emma gave birth to another baby, Izabella, last October.
The couple was “over the moon” about their daughter’s arrival. Emma said: “I don’t think about the tumour too much now I have a little baby girl to focus on.
“Alfie adores her.
“I’ve not been on medication for a year because I was pregnant.
“Sometimes I still get numb feeling on the side of my face and my eyesight is really bad on the right side.
“But I feel well enough in myself.
“But the tumour is not my main focus anymore. All my attention is on Izabella.”
Emma now has annual scans to check the growth of the tumour, and the couple plan to get married in 2024.
The mum is passionate about supporting brain tumour research and completed a five mile ‘Walk of Hope’ in September 2022 while eight months pregnant to raise funds.
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