Sheffield mum of three reflects on brain cancer journey
A mum-of-three from Sheffield, who was wrongly prescribed antidepressants for her brain tumour in what she described as ‘the most dramatic year of her life is working with a charity to raise cancer awareness.
It is one year since Catherine Wilcockson, age 36, suffered a distressing out-of-body experience during her daughter’s nativity play, which eventually led to her brain cancer diagnosis.
Catherine, who lives in Handsworth, is now working with the charity Brain Tumour Research to raise awareness, as she opens up about her terrifying ordeal.
It began on December 10, 2018 when she was watching her youngest daughter Shani perform in the Christmas production at Intake Primary School. Catherine suddenly felt like she was having an out-of-body experience.
She said: “It was as if I was watching the play from a location outside of my body. It was really scary but I managed to pull myself together and focus. After that, I continued to have similar experiences on a daily basis.”
Catherine went to see her GP, who thought that she was suffering from a mental illness and prescribed her antidepressants.
By January of this year she was feeling no better and her doctor increased her dosage. Six months later, on May 14, she had a massive seizure.
Catherine was taken by ambulance to Northern General Hospital, where she was given a CT scan to check for head injury from the fall. Shortly afterwards, with her 19-year-old daughter Tia by her side, the consultant explained that they had found a large brain tumour.
Catherine underwent a risky operation and the surgery was a success, with 80 per cent of the tumour removed. The operation was followed by six weeks of intense, full brain radiotherapy.She is now receiving a type of chemotherapy called 'PCV triple therapy’.
Catherine is now on a mission to raise as much money as possible for Brain Tumour Research.
With the help of her good friend Louise Deakin, also from Sheffield, she is raffling off a Sheffield United football shirt, signed by the first team. Raffle tickets are being sold at One Stop shops around the city.