How Lulu has beaten the odds - twice
YOUR wedding day is supposed to be one of the most magical days of your life.
For Proserpine woman Lucy-Ann Robinson, known as Lulu, the last-minute ceremony to celebrate love meant so much more.
Just two days before her nuptials, Mrs Robinson was diagnosed with a 45mm x 42mm meningioma brain tumour.
The 28 year old was required to have an urgent operation to remove the tumour, but she had decided with her partner Dan that she wanted to go through the ordeal as husband and wife.
"Our wedding was due to take place within six weeks of the diagnosis but we decided we wanted to face the operation as husband and wife," Mrs Robinson said.
"We got married on May 5, 2019 on a family farm in Bloomsbury, just 48 hours after I had been told I had cancer. "My family was madly setting up decorations for the ceremony. "The wedding wasn't exactly what we had planned, but it just felt right."
A few weeks later, on May 29, she travelled to Townsville Base Hospital for her operation. Doctors were happy with the surgery but warned the tumour may grow back.
"They were pretty sure they had removed 100 per cent of the tumour, but it was the type of cancer that is prone to coming back," she said.
"I now have to have an MRI scan every three months, and eventually every six months, to make sure I stay cancer-free."
She considers herself one of the "lucky" ones.
Frequent blackouts, dizzy spells and general numbness on one side is what alerted her something was wrong, but some people never show symptoms. She said finding out about the tumour was a relief in some ways, because she had been incorrectly diagnosed so many times.
"I was diagnosed with stress, with vertigo, with all of these different things, but it wasn't until I had the MRI that doctors picked up on the tumour," Mrs Robinson said.
"I was lucky because the cancer was at stage two when it was found. If I hadn't shown any symptoms, the cancer could have progressed and it could easily have been too late for me." Throughout Mrs Robinson's treatment, she was looked after by the Leukaemia Foundation at the Queensland Freemasons Village in Townsville. She said the care was incredible and made the experience much easier, but it wasn't the first time she had the foundation to thank.
"When I was just four years old I was diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukaemia and had five months of intense chemo and radiation," she said.
"My family was given accommodation at the Leukaemia Foundation's ESA Village in Brisbane at the time and it made such a difference both financially and mentally.
"It just takes some of the stress away when you are taken care of like that."
Mrs Robinson said the radiation therapy she endured as a child may have played a part in her tumour diagnoses as an adult. She wanted to share her journey to make people aware of the risks involved with cancer treatment.
"Chemo can save your life but it is still a dangerous substance that can have repercussions later in life," she said.
"I think anyone who has had treatment, especially as a child, should be having yearly checks for the rest of their life."