Woman who thought she was just worn out diagnosed with incurable brain cancer | UK | News

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Woman who thought she was just worn out diagnosed with incurable brain cancer | UK | News

A Royal Navy officer who thought she was just experiencing dehydration and exhaustion from her field gun training has revealed her life was “forever changed” after learning she had terminal brain cancer.

Petty officer Jess Zentilin-Dorey, was told she had a grade 4 astrocytoma in June 2022 after having a seizure at home.

The 33-year-old, who moved from Pembrokeshire to Plymouth to join the navy aged 16, found out the true cause of the symptoms only nine weeks after marrying her partner Gabriella.

« I was getting up at 4.30am for field gun training sessions, maintaining my own gym routine and working a full day,” Jess said.

« The weather at the time was incredibly hot so when I began to feel tired and worn out.

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« I just thought it was down to dehydration and exhaustion, but little did I know it was something more sinister.

« Just nine weeks after getting married on June 26, my life changed forever. »

Jess was diagnosed as having an astrocytoma – a rare form of cancer that can occur in the brain or spinal cord.

Recalling the day she suffered her seizure, Jess said: « All I remember was waking up on the kitchen floor, my wife leaning over me and calling my name, with no recollection of what had happened.

« She asked me if I knew her name to which I laughed and said, ‘Gabriella’.

« She said that during this time, I looked vacant and when I spoke her name, my speech was broken.

« My seizure had lasted for about eight minutes, and fortunately the ambulance arrived soon after. »

Jess was rushed to Derriford Hospital, and underwent scans and tests, before doctors revealed they had found a lesion on her brain.

She was sent home the following day and underwent a craniotomy less than three weeks later.

« The doctors said they were successful in removing 99 per cent of the mass, and Gabriella and I thought this was good news, » Jess said.

« We went to the pathology appointment in high spirits, but I was stopped in my tracks.

« Because my tumour is grade 4, it is incurable.

« I didn’t want to know the prognosis, but I understood that it would shorten my life expectancy.

« When we left the consultant’s room, Gabriella broke down in tears. I tried to hold it together but failed and cried while holding her tightly.

« Our whole world had been turned upside down – forever changed. »

Jess went through gruelling radiotherapy and chemotherapy treatment, was prescribed steroids to control her seizures, and is now monitored with scans.

She is sharing her story during Brain Tumour Awareness Month, and will be running in the Plymouth Half Marathon on April 28 to raise money for the charity Brain Tumour Research and awareness of her condition.

« Prior to finding out my tumour diagnosis I was naïve about cancer, » she said.

« I assumed that it would follow a process – the doctors found it, treated it and you were sent on your merry cancer-free way.

 »However, my curiosity got the better of me and, searching online, I seemed to find a variety of stories and information with numerous timelines. »

In a bid to take control of her life in the wake of the diagnosis, Jess signed up for the 13.1mile challenge with Gabriella.

« I decided to set myself a goal of running a 10km to get back into fitness,” she added.

 »As someone who had always been keen on health and movement, I finally felt able to get back to the gym and found that goal setting helped me keep a positive outlook and gave me a huge drive to stay focused. »

Last year, Jess completed the Plymouth 10km in 60 minutes, and went on to do the Royal Parks Half Marathon in just two hours and 12 minutes.

She is now training for half marathon as well as the Peak District 52km Ultra Challenge in July.

« We want to keep achieving goals together and raising money for charities that have helped us through our cancer journey and help them by raising the funds they need to help others living with cancer, » said Jess.


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Though brain tumours kill more children and adults under the age of 40 than any other cancer, just one per cent of the national spend on cancer research has been allocated to brain tumours since records began in 2002, according to Brain Tumour Ressearch.

« There’s still so much that we don’t know about brain tumours,” Jess explained.

« If we are to find kinder treatments and a cure for the disease, we must talk about brain tumours so people recognise the historic underfunding in vital research compared to other cancers.

« I don’t feel like someone who is living with brain cancer, I don’t feel like I’m ill or have an incurable disease.

« I know my journey is far from over. My break-in treatment right now is wonderful, especially as it has been non-stop for 18 months, but I know that I will require more at some point.

« Until then, I want to live my life to the fullest and share my story to raise awareness about brain tumours.

« That is one good thing that comes from getting a terminal diagnosis… you get perspective.

« Time is so precious; I literally cannot emphasise that enough. »

Katrina Jones, head of community fundraising at Brain Tumour Research, said: « Jessica’s story is devastating although not unusual. Brain tumours are indiscriminate; they can affect anyone at any age.

« We’re grateful to Jessica for taking the time to share her diagnosis with us and wish her well with her ongoing scans and her training for the Plymouth half Marathon.

« We are sending our good luck to both Jessica and Gabriella for the race. »

You can donate to Brain Tumour Research via Jess’s challenge here.

Cet article est apparu en premier en ANGLAIS sur https://www.express.co.uk/news/uk/1876358/jess-zentilin-dorey-brain-cancer-treatment-fundraiser


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