Podcast: Mel’s Pilocytic Astrocytoma Story

In today’s special episode for Brain Tumor Awareness Month, we’re joined by Mel Kelly, who shares her intense and inspiring journey from the first symptoms to post-recovery challenges. At 22, active and seemingly healthy, Mel’s world turned upside down when she was diagnosed with a brain tumour in December 2022. This episode takes us through her initial symptoms, misdiagnoses, eventual diagnosis, surgery, recovery, and her efforts to regain independence and raise awareness.

Mel Kelly and her Pilocytic Astrocytoma Story

Key Highlights from the Interview:

Initial Symptoms and Misdiagnosis:

Mel recounts how persistent headaches led her from an optician to a GP, who initially diagnosed her with a sinus infection and later migraines. Elevated prolactin levels in her blood tests prompted further investigation.

Pilocytic Astrocytoma Diagnosis:

After Googling her symptoms, Mel suspected she had a brain tumour. Loss of vision intensified her concerns, leading to an MRI that confirmed her fears.

Surgery and Hospital Experience:

Describing her surgery at the Walton Centre and the support from her parents during this daunting time, Mel talks about the challenges of facing such a diagnosis at a young age and the mixed emotions surrounding her surgery and recovery.

Recovery and Adjustments:

Post-surgery, Mel discusses the gradual improvement in her vision, dealing with short-term memory loss, and the long journey to establishing a “new normal.”

Driving License Saga:

Mel shares the frustrating process of regaining her driving license, a saga that took 14 months and symbolized a significant part of reclaiming her independence.

Loss of Independence:

The impact on Mel’s independence was profound, from selling her house and moving back in with her parents to the challenge of returning to work and continuing her education.

Raising Awareness and Fundraising Efforts:

Mel is passionate about raising awareness and funds for brain tumour research and support. She recounts organizing a Twilight Walk, climbing challenges, and involvement with the “It’s a No Brainer” campaign by the Brain Tumor Charity.

Gratitude and Support:

Mel emphasizes the critical role of her support network, including friends, family, and healthcare professionals, in her journey through diagnosis, treatment, and recovery.

Connect with Mel here:





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