A FORMER police officer who was made an MBE for services to the community has spoken of her determination to walk and talk again after she was diagnosed with two brain tumours.
Angie Walters, who became an MBE in 2005, realised something was wrong when she began suffering dizzy spells.
Initially doctors thought the 70-year-old former nurse had an infection of the ear, but a routine MRI scan showed she had two tumours, one the size of a walnut, in her brain.
Mrs Walters, who served for six years as a community contact officer in St Ives for Cambridgeshire Police, was told she had to have an operation.
But the St Ives resident at first baulked at the idea.
“The doctor told me ‘Mrs Walters, you have no option but for me to operate.’ I didn’t agree to have the operation. I came home down the A14 and by the time got to St Ives, I realised I would have to have it done.
“I phoned the hospital up and told them ‘I’ve come to my senses. Put my name down.’”
The day after the operation at Addenbrooke’s Hospital in June last year, Mrs Walters was out of bed and walking. Three days later she had been discharged.
“I hated the thought of staying in a hospital bed. The next day when the staff nurse came around, I said I’m going to the bathroom, and I wandered about. I didn’t do too much, I just wanted to get out of bed.”
Returning to normal life was difficult however for the Cambs Older People’s Enterprise volunteer.
“I went through a bit of a depression. One of the police officers I knew had a tumour and I spoke to him and his wife, he said it was a perfectly normal thing.
“I spoke to the hospital, and they said it was part of the recovery process. When you know that somebody has been through it as well it is very helpful.”
Mrs Walters has also drawn strength from a Macmillian Cancer Support group. She has attended monthly group meetings since July last year, and as a thank you, will be holding a music and comedy night at the Dolphin Hotel, St Ives on Saturday, February 4.
She said: “There are people there that have been in similar positions. It is always full of people of all ages. They put on a lunch - they make sandwiches, cakes and cups of tea.
“Sometimes we go on trips - we have been down the river with St John’s Ambulance. It is a very social thing, but if you want to talk with people who have been through what you have been through, or with other members you can.”
INFORMATION: DJ for the Macmillian Moments night will be Radio Cambridgeshire legend Johnny Dee, with local bands Replay and Tonica performing. Tickets are £8 and available from Just Sharing at the Free Church in St Ives or by calling Mrs Walters on 01480 300726.
All proceeds will go to Macmillan Cancer Support.