"I received my diagnosis on Monday, May 18, 2020.

It was Friday, February 7, I had no symptoms at all. I decided to join the KA Leisure gym in The Portal and went for my induction and work out.

Everything went well, came home had a subway salad. I felt great.

Then that night, I went to bed as normal to be woken by my husband telling me I had had a fit and an ambulance was on the way. I was in disbelief, I didn’t know who I was, where I was, or what had happened. Our three-year-old was in the bed with us as she was unsettled in the night. Our one-year-old was in the other room.

Ardrossan and Saltcoats Herald:

My mum and sister came straight over to watch them while we went to hospital. It was only when I saw Amelia crying for me that I realised something very real had happened and it wasn’t a nightmare. Alan was on the phone to the ambulance, the seizure lasted about 15 minutes. Paramedics took me to Crosshouse, I got checked, they said it was likely to be a one off caused by stress or exhaustion and no treatment required. All the staff were amazing.

I was told if I have another seizure it means I most likely have epilepsy so fast forward to May 8.

On Friday, May 8, we unfortunately had to take our beloved dog, Molly, to be put to sleep as she was at the end of her long happy life and had become ill.  Lock down was in place so everything was more difficult due to this but little did we know it was about to get a whole lot worse.

We had to get Molly put to sleep due to old age, as you can imagine, an upsetting situation. The vets were so lovely and accommodating to allow me in with her at a social distance with an extra long IV line for the final injection but, literally as soon as she was away, I had a seizure.

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Again, no recollection of it or where I was. I came round on the vet's floor the paramedics where there, all the staff and Alan was amazing. They let me say bye to Molly then they just let me go home because they knew I'd had one previous and that I should contact the doctor about starting epilepsy medication

So, I go home, three hours pass and my best friend Steph sent me round a surprise Vanilla Joe's to cheer me up. As I was about to take the first bite I had another tonic-clonic seizure. Alan, again, did what he had to do and called the ambulance. This time I was taken to Crosshouse Hospital and due to the lockdown rules my husband wasn't able to accompany me.

I was checked over, then sent home with a prescription for anti-seizure medication and told I would have an MRI scan in the coming weeks.  Obviously, I was glad to get home as I had previously been following strict social distancing guidelines due to coronavirus and the last place I wanted to be was in a hospital.  I never did get to enjoy that Vanilla Joe's.

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I was sent for an MRI the following Friday as a precaution. The results were sent to the neurologist and I received the news on Monday 18. Epilepsy was detected. I stupidly said, ‘oh thank goodness that can be controlled?’ To which the reply was, ‘yes, however epilepsy is damaged caused to the brain by a brain tumour’.

It was a brain tumour which was likely to be malignant — cancerous.

I was then referred to Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Glasgow for more tests and was told that it was, in fact, a cancerous brain tumour called an oligodendroglioma and it is situated in the right frontal lobe. I've been told it could have been there for many years but I've had no symptoms until the first seizure, so this indicated a change had occurred.

I felt numb to be honest. My mum and Alan both heard as I put the phone on loudspeaker. The neurologist said it wasn’t great news and did I want anyone else to hear, to which I said yes.

He apologized that due to COVID this would usually be done face-to-face. He said cancer isn't what you immediately think and he would refer me to Glasgow as they are the surgeons who would answer all my questions.

We all just went into shock. My mum cried, Alan said it will all be ok then we got our game heads on. We got the family round told them and said we will get through this. I told everyone I'll do whatever is necessary to get well and the whole family said they’ll help in any way they can.

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Obviously it was lockdown and I had to tell my family from a distance so even that was strange. It was awful, I can't fully remember that day it's all a blur now.

The service I have received from the NHS has been amazing. I will require surgery to have the tumour, we nicknamed Oli, removed. The surgery should last around five hours and I will be awake during the procedure as this is the safest way for it to be carried out.

We received news of my brain surgery date — August 24 — so the countdown is on.

We are relieved, and terrified at the same time. Keeping up the positivity, as that’s half the battle.

My amazing husband, kids, my Mum and all the family and friends — and new Instagram friends — are getting us through this. Just need to keep going almost at the end of chapter one now.

Alan has played Ice Hockey from a very young age and it is a very important part of our lives. The FB page we have set up, we are all hockey fans raising funds for three cancer charities. We all have our own stories."

You can join Scottish Ice Hockey Fans Fighting Cancer here.

You can follow Sam’s journey on Instagram at @mybigfatyoyojourneys.

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