Joyce and I were married on 6th June 1970 and we have two grown up daughters Emily and Vanessa.
The first warning symptoms of her brain tumour manifested in the evening on 29th May 2007 when she complained of a kaleidoscope effect in her left eye followed by a severe headache and a numbing effect on the left side of her forehead. Next day she still had a severe headache and the numbness but also had difficulty in articulating. We were booked to go on holiday to Puglia in Italy that day and thinking that these symptoms were a due to either a migraine and/or due to the stress of being a long term carer for both her aged parents we decided to travel as planned. During the holiday her symptoms did not improve and she slept a great deal. We consulted a local doctor who advised that she should see her GP immediately upon returning home.
Joyce saw her GP on 11th June and was immediately referred to a Consultant the next day at Telford Hospital. She had a CT scan on 18th June at the Nuffield Hospital in Leamington Spa .She was diagnosed with a tumour by the Consultant the following day and was transferred by ambulance to the excellent University Hospital of North Staffordshire. Following an operation the tumour was diagnosed as malignant and a very aggressive Glioblastoma.The prognosis was that it would be terminal within six months. One of her symptoms was dysphasia which severely restricted her ability to communicate.
She started a course of chemotherapy and had two sessions of radio therapy but was admitted to Shrewsbury Hospital on 18th August and passed away the following day on 19th August 2007 aged 61 years.
The medical care she received throughout her illness was excellent overall notwithstanding we as a family had to exert some pressure on the NHS to expedite some elements of her diagnosis and treatment.
Emily, Vanessa and I would like a lot more medical research into the causes, diagnosis and treatment of Glioblastoma brain tumours to be undertaken so that another tragedy like this can be prevented in the future.
Brian Smith, December 2010