A mum-of-three who dismissed her headache as a hangover after a night out was later told it was a golf ball-sized brain tumour growing on her brain.
Lizzie Parker, 38, from Hull, started suffering from a migraine following the night with friends last April, but the pain continued to intensify over the following weeks.
She went to A&E at Hull Royal Infirmary where tests showed that she had an aggressive cancerous brain tumour.
Lizzie, a former primary school teacher, said: ‘Initially I wasn’t overly worried but as the days passed, it became obvious that it wasn’t related.
‘Doctors assumed it was due to stress and I was placed on migraine medication which had no impact at all.
‘Three weeks later, I had blood tests as I still felt unwell and I had started slurring my words at work.
‘I was dismissed again as being overworked by health professionals but I finally had a CT scan after taking myself to A&E due to shooting pains in my head.’
Doctors found a large mass and an MRI scan confirmed she had stage four Glioblastoma – one of the most aggressive types that is resistant to all treatment.
She was then told that she had six to 12 months to live, but she knew she had to stay strong for her three sons and husband, Paul.
Lizzie decided to overhaul her diet before undergoing surgery and adopted a strict ketogenic diet, which involves 80% of her food being nutrient-rich, cutting out sugar, junk food and toxins.
Foods on the keto diet are high fat and low carb, which reportedly helps cells repair, reduces inflammation and balances blood glucose levels.
Lizzie said: ‘There’s no doubt that my keto diet helped me regain my strength after my first brain surgery.
‘It’s never too late to eat healthily. My diet won’t cure the tumour but it might stop it from growing and I might eventually outlive this disease, this parasite in my brain.’
Alongside her NHS treatment, Lizzie also has a nutritional oncologist in America and she pays for her blood to be taken every month which costs her £1,000.
She’s had some health setbacks in the past few months, suffering seizures and regrowth of the tumours, but after multiple surgeries throughout lockdown, Lizzie was able to go home and surprised doctors with how quickly she recovered.
She said: ‘The doctors couldn’t believe how well I recovered as I spent just three nights in hospital despite having major brain surgery.
‘Just 10 days after surgery I was back riding my bike.’
She is now symptom free and enjoying her life as well as spreading more awareness of brain tumours.
‘I can honestly say that cancer has given me a new lease of life,’ she added.
‘I see cancer as changing my life for the better and improving my attitude towards life in general. I will never take anything for granted ever again.’
Lizzie is also fundraising and so far has raised £13,000 for the Brain Tumour Charity, and £6,500 for cancer services at her local hospital.
She is now embarking on a career as a lifestyle coach, helping children, teens, and families through adversity or challenges as well as having a food blog on Instagram @Eat_Right_For_Your_Family_Type, offering hints, tips and recipes for feeding your family well.
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