TV star Nicki Chapman had a brain tumour the size of golf ball removed in a life-saving operation, she has revealed.
The 52-year-old is known for hosting the Chelsea Flower Show for the past 13 years, but this year will be the first time she won't be there, The Daily Mail reports.
Nicki will be absent from presenting on BBC because she is recovering from a major surgery that removed a brain tumour.
She thought her symptoms of memory lapses, speech problems and impaired vision were down to menopause and the doctors initially thought it was a stroke.
She told The Daily Mail: “Then they called another doctor, a neurosurgeon, and he said: ‘You haven’t had a stroke. It’s a brain tumour and you’ve had it for years.’
"He told me the MRI scan had revealed a tumour the size of a golf ball pressing on my brain."
Nicki said finding out she needed an operation was the worst news she had ever heard and admitted she was petrified.
When it came time for her to have the live-saving operation at the NHS Charing Cross Hospital in London at the beginning of this month she was prepared for the worst.
She told her surgeon: “If anything goes wrong, I don’t want to be resuscitated and come back in a body I can’t use.”
The TV presenter was warned about losing her sight and suffering issues with speech and mobility, but she says she feels fine.
She isn’t able to return to work for six weeks, even though she’s recovered enough to do light exercise.
Not all of the tumour was removed because it had grown next to a main cerebral vein and the risk was too great to remove it – but it is benign.
Nicki has no children, but was surrounded by love and her support.
Her husband of 20 years Dave “Shack” Shackleton, parents Carol and Barry, and her sister’s best friend Shelley were all there to provide support.
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