Newspaper article The Queensland Times (Ipswich, Australia)

THE FIGHT OFHERLIFE Caroline Is Determined to Win Fight for Her Life; NurseCaroline Tested an MRI Scanner ... Then Found She Had Abraintumour the Size of a Fist

Newspaper article The Queensland Times (Ipswich, Australia)

THE FIGHT OFHERLIFE Caroline Is Determined to Win Fight for Her Life; NurseCaroline Tested an MRI Scanner ... Then Found She Had Abraintumour the Size of a Fist

Article excerpt

Byline: PETER FOLEY peter.foley@qt.com.au

IT STARTED with the chance discovery of a massive brain tumour and now Caroline Matthews is locked in the ultimate battle.

Bright, brave, funny, optimistic and beautiful inside and out, the 30-year-old is absolutely determined to win the fight for her life.

It all began in 2006 when the Ipswich nurse was working at the Princess Alexandra Hospital in Brisbane in the MRI section.

C[pounds sterling]I had a lot of patients asking what an MRI was like and I had to say honestly: CyI don't know; I've never had one',C[yen] Ms Matthews said.

C[pounds sterling]At first I thought maybe I'd just get my back scanned but as I was walking in, a voice in my head said: CyNo, have your head scanned'.

C[pounds sterling]I thought it was a joke when I walked out and they said: CyWe don't know what this is'.C[yen]

No radiologists were working that day because it was a public holiday so she had to wait until the next day to find out.

C[pounds sterling]I went home and said to my husband: CyOh my gosh, they said they've found something'.C[yen]

The next day she was taken to see one of the head radiologists, who sat her down and showed her the scan of her brain on a screen.

C[pounds sterling]She said: CyThat bright thing in the centre is a tumour.' I said: CyAre you kidding me? It's huge.'

C[pounds sterling]She said: CyMake a fist, that's how big it is.'

C[pounds sterling]I started getting upset and my husband, who is a nurse, was called down and he was an absolute mess. I said: CyI feel fine and half an hour ago I was working.' They said: CyYou're not going to be working any more'.C[yen]

Two weeks later she was having surgery and three days after that she started six weeks of daily radiation therapy.

C[pounds sterling]I assumed radiation killed the tumour but apparently all it does is stops the growth,C[yen] she said.

C[pounds sterling]They said the tumour was like a big octopus; CyIt's got the main bit and then all these tentacles go out all over your brain and where the tentacles end a new tumour grows and for the rest of your life you're going to have tumours pop up all over the place. …

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