WARNING GRAPHIC CONTENT: A Perth woman has revealed her horror after a headache she thought was a bad migraine turned out to be the first sign of a brain tumour.
Despite regular skin checks, Renae Cleary, 38, was diagnosed with stage four melanoma and told she was only 24 hours from death.
“I thought I was going to die just before we went and had the tumour out,” Ms Cleary said.
Lodged in her brain, an image of her MRI scan shows the two-centimetre tumour that almost proved fatal.
“I remember feeling so normal and then getting a headache and then I was in the hospital getting a brain tumour out. It just seemed so surreal,” she said.
What didn’t make sense to Renae was that it was melonoma.
“I had my skin checks. I get them done yearly. I never expected it to pop up at all,” she said.
Despite being hours from death, doctors still have no idea where the melanoma started with no obvious signs on Renae’s skin.
“It scares me. It’s frightening. You get taught to look for this, a changing mole will get sore or bleed but sometimes that just doesn’t happen.”
A combination of drugs is now keeping Renae alive.
“There’s no words to be honest. It saved us,” she said.
Ms Cleary and her husband even had to sell their home.
In the wake of her ordeal, Ms Cleary’s advice is to know your body, be aware of changes and have them checked.
She still has two tumours however they are shrinking. Yet the robust individual is determined to get on with her life whatever the future holds.