As you can imagine, this news has hit Laura very hard and has also devastated her family and friends. Until something like this happens, you dont realise how much of an effect it has. Laura is a fun loving girl who has taken to motherhood like a duck to water, my son is so lucky to have her because she always puts him first. Like most cancers, this illness crept up on her slowly and was affecting her long before the diagnosis because it was eating away at her health and energy which was so frustrating for her when she wanted to be an energetic mum doing loads of things with Jacob. This awful diagnosis has had a positive and a negative effect for Laura, the fact that she now knows what was wrong with her is a huge relief because she knew deep down something was wrong, but its awful news at the same time. Laura still says to this day 5 months after diagnosis “I never ever thought it would be cancer, ive never smoked or drank in my life and always looked after myself”….unfortunately the medical community after millions of pounds in research still do not know what causes brain cancer.
Laura was diagnosed with an Oligodendroglioma, which is a rare brain cancer and in the UK there is no cure. The tumour goes deep into the brain and is in a location that is inoperable so our doctors at Kings Hospital applied a “watch and wait” approach which is standard for this type of cancer where you have a scan every three months to see if anything changes rather than applying treatment. However we recently had worse news in April 2011 Lauras MRI scan revealed growth and changes, she had a biopsy and we learnt that the tumour had progressed into a Glioblastoma Multiforme which is the most agressive type of brain cancer with a much poorer prognosis.
As a symptom of having this tumor Laura has developed epilepsy and has multiple seizures every day, this has quickly stopped her from being able to care for our son on her own and her right arm is now almost paralysed so she is unable to even pick Jacob up safely or bath him. (the location of the tumour in the brain means that the right arm is her most affected area at the moment). This has had a devastating effect on her as a young mum, and has affected every part of our lives because at the moment we cannot enjoy our time and plan our future like any other normal young family.
On the 1st July Laura finished her 6 week course of Radiotherapy and Chemotherapy (she had to stop the chemo after ten days because of an allergic reaction) at the Royal Marsden Hospital to slow down the growth, this effectively buys us more time before we can get the funds together to get her treatment in America where they have been able to in some cases cure this disease sucessfully using a well researched and tested Gene Therapy.
We are were aiming to be ready to get Laura to the clinic in America in October to give her the best fighting chance, however because the fund raising has gone so well we are able to get her out there to start treatment in August!