Kath Wilson, 52, from Hull, first went to a GP after she noticed her feet had jumped more than two sizes
A step-mother only discovered she had a tumour in her brain after going to the doctors because her favourite shoes didn’t fit anymore.
Kath Wilson, 52, from Hull, first went to a GP after she noticed her feet had jumped more than two sizes.
They advised her to lose weight – but she asked to see a specialist after she continued to put on the pounds.
Doctors at Hull Royal Infirmary discovered a non-cancerous tumour the size of a hard-boiled egg in her pituitary gland – referred to as an pituitary adenoma.
She was told her she needed brain surgery or risked going blind.
Despite a minor glitch, Ms Wilson managed to make a full recovery and even lost enough weight to allow her to fit back into her precious boots.
The step-mother-of-three said: ‘I’ve got tonnes of shoes and boots and they were getting tighter and tighter – but then I noticed I couldn’t get my gloves on.
‘My feet grew from a size seven to a size nine-and-a-half and even my husband’s shoes didn’t fit me.
‘I had to go out and buy new pairs. My feet have now shrunk and I can fit back into my favourite boots.’
In 2011, Ms Wilson developed problems with her hearing and was given aids to help her understand speech.
But 18 months later, her hands and feet began to swell and she started putting weight on.
They advised her to lose weight – but she asked to see a specialist after she continued to put on the pounds. Doctors at Hull Royal Infirmary discovered a non-cancerous tumour the size of a hard-boiled egg in her pituitary gland – referred to as an pituitary adenoma (stock picture)
However, despite attending a slimming class, Ms Wilson visited her GP who told her to lose weight.
She said: ‘It was heartbreaking that I was sticking to the diet religiously and I would go back and be told I’ve put two pounds on.
‘I could have dieted for England and I still would have put on weight.’
My feet have now shrunk and I can fit back into my favourite boots
Although she was sticking to her healthy eating plan, her weight continued to increase because, unknown to her, the tumour was flooding her body with growth hormones.
When step-daughter Vicky, 38, a nurse, pleaded with her to return to her GP and ask for a referral, she was sent to see an endocrinologist and underwent tests.
Ms Wilson was told it was a tumour – but her specialist said they could ‘almost guarantee it wasn’t cancerous’ – but it needed to come out.
But she was worried about the operation – which involved surgery through her nostrils and into her brain.
WHAT ARE PITUITARY ADENOMAS?
Most pituitary tumors are benign, slow-growing tumors that arise from cells in the gland – known as pituitary adenomas.
The pituitary gland is located at the base of the brain, just behind the eyes.
It is considered to be the master hormone gland that regulates the body’s hormones.
Pituitary adenomas are relatively common.
Tiny, microscopic pituitary adenomas are found in one in five adults.
However, most of these tumors never grow or cause problems.
Often, a patient is undergoing a magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scan of the brain for another reason, and the doctor discovers a pituitary adenoma.
Source: UCLA Health
She said: ‘I was frightened to death at the thought of it but they said if I didn’t have the operation, I would go blind, have diabetes, lose my hearing and it could have problems with my kidneys and liver.
‘It was, in his words, a no-brainer [to undergo the operation].’
She eventually had brain surgery to remove the tumour in September 2012 but complications meant she spent 11 days in the hospital, lying completely flat in bed.
However, she made a full recovery, was back working full-time as a technical officer with Aunt Bessie’s and her hearing was restored.
She is back running regularly and has lost just under two stone – dropping from a size 16 to a more comfortable 10.
Ms Wilson took part in the Hull 10k run in June and raised £1,250 for the hospital which treated her.
She said: ‘The staff work so hard, they were absolutely brilliant. They worked long hours but they always had smiles on their faces.
‘Nothing was too much trouble for them and that’s so important when you’re recovering from major surgery, like I was.
‘By doing the 10k, I just wanted to thank them for all they did for me. They were absolutely amazing.’
The shoes Ms Wilson bought while her feet grew have now all been donated to charity.