'I haven't been the best version of myself': Aussie mum's terrible vertigo turns out to be tumour

A Queensland woman suffered two years of horrific vertigo before she was finally diagnosed with a brain tumour.

Alyson Dunlop, 36, began experiencing bizarre visual disturbances two years ago. She was at her son's primary school graduation ceremony when the first attack hit - and hit bad.

"I was sitting down and felt the floor was being ripped out from under me," she told Yahoo7 News. "I lost my vision for about 20 minutes."

When the episodes began to happen more frequently, Ms Dunlop saw an optometrist, but her high blood pressure meant she was passed on to a GP instead.

She was eventually diagnosed with a 5mm benign brain cyst, which neurologists told her was too small to explain her symptoms.

Those symptoms included severe pain, debilitating migraines, temporary partial paralysis and nausea, along with more episodes of vertigo. Doctors dismissed Ms Dunlop's suffering as stress-related.

Over the past two years, she's been prescribed seven different medications, none of which have helped, and her condition has progressively worsened.

Her nausea and paralysis means she can no longer drive or swim, and she struggles when her sons have friends over because she's constantly exhausted.

"I haven't been the best version of myself in two years," she told Yahoo7News. "My emotional health has also suffered."

She's had to give up work, relying on her partner's income and "amazing" support from her three sons aged 11, 14 and 16.

But now hope is on the horizon. On January 15 Ms Dunlop was diagnosed with a pineal cystic tumour by world-renowned neurosurgeon Dr Charlie Teo.

A pressure build-up is blocking the flow of cerebrospinal fluid in her brain, believed to be causing her many debilitating symptoms. Surgical removal is her best bet, but will set the family back about AU$100,000 (NZ$105,000) as it is not covered by Australia's Medicare.

A GoFundMe campaign has raised AU$11,000 (NZ$11,500) in the week since it was set up, with more than 120 people contributing to the family's medical expenses.

Ms Dunlop says all she wants is her life back.

"I just want to be able to say 'yes' to people's invitations," she told Yahoo7 News.

"I just want to be able to hang out with my family, take the dog to the creek, take the kayak out. I want to have a fun time with my children again."

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