A mum has told of the pain of fearing she may never see her children grow up after receiving a devastating brain tumour diagnosis.
Clare Goodge, 48, from Grantham, sought medical help after feeling unwell following a complicated hysterectomy in 2015.
But the mum to Jennifer and Brady, now 19 and nine, was left stunned after a scan revealed she had a brain tumour.
She was diagnosed with acoustic neuroma brain tumour, and while it is non-cancerous, it can be life-threatening if allowed to grow.
And recalling that moment, the brave family woman admits she feared the worst.
“When I got the diagnosis there were a lot of tears,” she said.
“When you hear the word tumour, you do start to think ‘what if I don’t make it’.
“I thought about my children and not seeing them grow up. I couldn’t sleep not knowing if I would wake up.
“I did my will and asked that at my funeral if I could be put in my wedding dress with flowers.”
The mum was whisked off to surgery in January 2016, in order to take some of the size off the tumour which was putting pressure on her nervous system and brain.
A 14-hour operation at Sheffield’s Royal Hallamshire Hospital was carried out, but had to be cut short because of two bleeds on her brain.
She has since had radiotherapy and regular check ups to make sure the tumour has not increased in size – but the conditions has left her partially deaf and unable to walk long distances.
“I can no longer go out on my own,” she said. “It has changed my life completely.
“I often feel exhausted and can be in a lot of pain.
“It does make me feel like I have failed as a mother.
“My son has special needs but I need to rely on others as I can’t drive.
“I couldn’t take my daughter to college when she was trying to get into university as well.”
Nevertheless, Claire remains positive that at least she is still alive.
“I do look at it differently know,” she said. “I am a survivor and a brain tumour warrior, but I remember that I am also a lucky one.
“I got to see my grandson be born, which most people wouldn’t even think twice about.
“It has made me realise that life is precious and I am grateful for each and every day.”
Clare’s ordeal has took its toll on the family.
When her mum was seven year’s old, her grandma died from a brain tumour, which brought back raw emotion.
There remains a fear that it could turn serious, but her husband, Wayne, doesn’t want to think about that and is now planning to complete the London Marathon for Brain Tumour Research.
“Having a brain tumour has changed Clare’s life as it has the lives of thousands of other people who are diagnosed with brain tumours every year. I’ve seen first-hand the effects this has had on her and am very proud of how brave she’s been, and incredibly proud to be Clare’s husband.
“I’m very grateful to have a place in the 2018 London Marathon to support Brain Tumour Research as it is something I have always wanted to do.
“I want to do all I can to raise awareness and urge people to donate to this great cause. So little is known about the causes of brain tumours so it’s vital that we raise as much money as possible to fund further research.”
And the charity say funds are vital if they are to find a cure.
Carol Robertson, community fundraising manager for Brain Tumour Research, said: “Brain tumours kill more children and adults under the age of 40 than any other cancer yet just one per cent of the national spend on cancer research has been allocated to this devastating disease.
“For too long, brain tumours have been a neglected cancer. Experiences like this family’s reminds us all that we cannot allow this desperate situation to continue. We are extremely grateful to Wayne for his support and are appealing for runners who have a ballot place for the marathon to join him on Team Brain Tumour Research by nominating us as their chosen charity for 2018. Together we will find a cure.”
More information about Wayne’s cause and how to donate can be found here