Georgina Wilkinson, 42, was diagnosed with a Suprasellar Meningioma in September 2016. With no symptoms prior to diagnosis, Georgina is still coming to terms with the loss of who she used to be and the life she used to lead.
Here is her story:
How did you find out about your diagnosis?
I was having a routine eye test which showed a pale optic nerve, so I was referred to an ophthalmologist at the local hospital.
The specialist thought I may have suffered a small bleed on the brain during emergency surgery 12 months prior for peritonitis & sepsis.
She sent me for an MRI. The radiologist was so cheerful following the MRI that I thought I couldn’t possibly have suffered a stroke.
My daughter and I went out and naively celebrated that evening. 3 days later I was told I had a Suprasellar Meningioma which needed surgery.
“My Suprasellar Meningioma Had No Symptoms”
How are you doing now?
I am still coming to terms with the loss of who I used to be and the life I used to lead. I’m partially sighted following surgery so lost my job my driving licence and my independence. Finances are a struggle and I live in a rural location which although beautiful it’s become very lonely and isolated.
What do you do now in your life?
I’m starting to fight back and adapt to a new normal. I’m making plans to move in the next 6 months back to my home town in an attempt to claw back some independence.
I have a wonderful support system of friends there and access to regular public transport.
I’m also looking into various volunteer roles, criminal justice appeals to me and would put my law degree to good use!
What motivates you?
This I find very difficult at the moment. I used to be very motivated but it was mostly career-driven, which I feel I have lost for the time being. I’m slowly starting to believe that there is the possibility of having a fulfilling and meaningful life in spite of a disability.
Who is your personal hero or heroes?
Hands down my daughter Holly!
She was with me when I was diagnosed and was only 22 years old. She is incredible and had already helped me recover from a huge life-saving operation less than a year prior to the brain tumour diagnosis. Neither of us knew that the surgery would leave me with a significant disability. She has coped admirably and is a constant source of positivity and looking on the bright side.
What is the toughest challenge survivor’s face?
The vision problems aside – I’m a bit slower at processing information and get sensory overload in crowded & noisy places which are sometimes difficult for people to understand.
What is next on your agenda?
To create a new normal with a bright future instead of grieving the past!
Any advice for people or loved ones that get daunting diagnoses?
- Ask for help
- Seek out support and comfort.
- Do not google!
- Only accept medical advice from medically qualified experts
What would you say is the most interesting thing you’ve ever done?
Met my birth mother – a whole other story!!
Thank you, Georgina, for sharing your story about your Suprasellar Meningioma and being so honest about your feelings.
When people hear the words ‘I am brain tumour free’ does not always mean that life can go back to how it was prior to diagnosis. It is important that people on the outside looking in on us understand that even a person who is now brain tumour free, may not be having a perfect ending, it means we have to start over again and things we have to change are very hard to come to terms with. Thank you so much Georgina x