Man, 35, given devastating cancer diagnosis after suffering from 'crippling' symptoms

Matthew Collins, 35, has shared the “crippling” symptoms that led to a devastating cancer diagnosis.

For most of his adult life, Matthew, from South Wales, suffered from depression and “crippling” anxiety.

He didn’t think too much of it and put it down to his “downtrodden Welshness”.

As the years went by, his mental health kept deteriorating which left the 35-year-old feeling suicidal but his love for his parents overrode everything.

He penned on his blog: “Now I know it’s also because I’ve had a little neighbour upstairs, pushing my melancholy buttons.”

Matthew was eventually diagnosed with a fast-growing type of brain tumour, known as Glioblastoma.

He said: “Turns out the old tumour has probably been sitting there dormant for years, pressing down on the part of my brain where all my personality, emotion and memory is stored. It has been silently orchestrating and consuming me in the background, warping and changing my outlook on life, making me question everything good I had.

“The tumour made me question my self-worth, withdraw for years from my friends and family and shut myself away from the world, making me feel like I didn’t belong anywhere.”

Apart from his mental health problems, the malignant growth eventually started causing a whole host of issues, ranging from severe headaches to seizures.

The 35-year-old went through a number of doctor appointments, medications, tests, and even a stroke between July and October, before he received the heart-breaking diagnosis.

Matthew said: “If you’re around my age and start having seizures out of nowhere, a thunderclap headache, or go temporarily blind, don’t let doctors dismiss you, insist on having an MRI scan and push for a second opinion from a neurologist. I felt I was deteriorating and I was told to sit down and shut up.”

While he feels there are some “wonderful” people working in the NHS, he said the standard of care he received was “poor overall”.

Now, the 35-year-old had surgery to remove the brain tumour. But even with radiotherapy and treatment, the average life expectancy is around 12 to 18 months. 

He said: “I don’t know exactly how long I’ll have left, or what state of health I’ll be in as the cancer eats away at my body. Eventually, it will invade the part of my brain that controls my vital organs and then it will shut them off. I may lose my vision or any of my senses at any moment.”

Despite the poor outcomes, Matthew said he is “finally happy now” after years of battling mental health issues. The 35-year-old added: “I have had a wonderful life. I have been fortunate to see much of the world and I have been loved unconditionally by the most amazing parents anyone could wish for, for 35 years. Most people aren’t that lucky. I am.”

There is a vaccine (DcVax-L) that could potentially add years to his life, but the jab is not available on the NHS and costs £250,000.

So Matthew has set up a GoFundMe page to try and raise the funds. You can donate to it by clicking here.


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