I thought my headaches were caused by drinking too much caffeine. The truth is far more sinister.

 A DAD of three blamed his headaches and seizures on drinking too much caffeine. Later, he learned that they were caused by a tumour in the brain.

 Steve Biggin, a 51-year-old man, said that he felt as if he were

A DAD-of-three blamed his headaches on drinking too much coffee – then later learned they were seizures caused by a brain tumour.

Steve Biggin, 51, said he felt like he was “looking through someone else’s eyes” during the episodes, which began in September 2021.

Steve Biggin blamed his seizures on drinking too much coffee
Steve Biggin blamed his seizures on drinking too much coffeeCredit: PA Real Life
But the dad-of-three actually had a cancerous brain tumour
But the dad-of-three actually had a cancerous brain tumourCredit: PA Real Life

The supermarket sales assistant, from Sheffield, endured the “out of body experiences” for two months before having a severe “thunderclap” headache at home.

This lasted about seven minutes – but he had no idea it was another warning sign of cancer.

After a trip to A&E, he was dealt the “huge shock” that he had a brain tumour.

Steve, who lives with his wife Anna, 47, and his three children, Lauren, 28, Mya, 24, and 21-year-old Evan, said: “I couldn’t explain how I felt.


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“The seizures were almost like out of body experiences looking through someone else’s eyes – they didn’t leave me fitting on the floor or anything like that.

“I could still communicate and co-ordinate, it just felt so weird. It would happen at work when I was at the checkouts.

“I just put it down as drinking too much coffee so I didn’t really think much of it.

“I was being a typical bloke and played it down a bit.”

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Not wanting to worry his family, Steve didn’t tell them straight away and waited until they were all at home later that night.

Even then, when he phoned them from his bed at Northern General Hospital to break the devastating news, he put it off again.

“I rang Anna and she was having a glass of wine with the kids,” he said.

“They were all laughing and joking in the background so I decided to tell them the following day.

“I didn’t have the heart to tell them when they were so happy. It was a very lonely, sad night for me.”

When they came to visit him the next day, they had “tears in their eyes”.

But Steve remained positive and felt “determined” to beat it.

After being discharged on November 19, Steve cycled every single day, which he thinks made him “even stronger”.

He successfully had the tumour surgically removed on January 17 last year.

“It was mixed emotions, I suppose,” he said.

“I was worried it was going to come back but I was overjoyed because they got rid of 99.9 per cent of the tumour.”

I just put it down as drinking too much coffee so I didn’t really think much of it.

Steve Biggin

The dad puts his speedy recovery down to his active lifestyle.

He said: “Cycling has helped me through the hardest of times and I think it helped me recover from the operation, emotionally and physically.

“My fitness played a massive part and, seven weeks later, I did 35 miles on the bike on the road with my friend.

“I’m strong-willed anyway but cycling made me even stronger.”

One week later, Steve began having radiotherapy for six weeks, five times a week, followed by chemotherapy, in tablet form, for five days in a row, with 23 days off, for 12 months.

His chemotherapy ended at the end of March 2023, which was a “massive relief” for his family.

“My tumour took a bigger toll on them than it did me, and Anna, my wife, was my absolute rock,” he added.

To celebrate, Steve took part in Etape Caledonia – an 85-mile closed-road cycling event in Highland Perthshire.

He is also planning on cycling 141 miles coast to coast, from Morecambe to Scarborough, over three days at the end of June.

Looking back on the last few years, Steve, who is fundraising for The Brain Tumour Charity, said: “I carry a little bit on my shoulder thinking it could come back.

“But, hey, I’m 51, have a fantastic family, I’ve had a fantastic life so far.

“Having cancer has brought a more meaningful touch to my life, for sure.”

Steve credits cycling for getting him through recovery quickly
Steve credits cycling for getting him through recovery quicklyCredit: PA Real Life

What is a thunderclap headache?

A BRAIN aneurysm is a bulge in a blood vessel in your brain. It can be very serious if it bursts.

Symptoms of a burst brain aneurysm include:

  • A sudden agonising headache (which has been described as a “thunderclap headache”, similar to a sudden hit on the head)
  • A stiff neck
  • Sickness and vomiting
  • Pain on looking at light

A ruptured brain aneurysm is a medical emergency and you should call 999 if you think someone has had one.

Source: NHS