Monday, 4 March 2013

Brain Tumour Survival

March 2013 
You may or not be aware that it is brain tumour awareness month. Note the recent documentaries to raise such awareness. "Brain Doctors" follows the work of neurosurgeons at John Radcliffe Hospital, Oxford.  Very close to my heart since I myself was operated upon there three times some eight years ago! My ninth (!!) Craniversary will be this May, and again in October- Two since my tumour had to be operated on again.  

You may think it was a long time ago that my tumour occurred. It indeed is, however, a shunt remains in my brain to drain cerebral fluid. Since my operations I have not stopped. Literally. I had to learn to walk again; learn to do many things again. I then had to get my education back on track. So much so that I am now 25 and fighting to finish my social work degree by May. This is not doing my head any favours. I'm not sure if I am getting a wake up call due to the month, but I've been getting headaches almost daily for a month or so. My tumour was benign but please do not think that makes things any easier. I was a rare case in that my childhood tumour was able to grow for an extra two years until I got any symptoms. 

I should have been at University today, however, I awoke with yet another shocking headache and my mother kindly gave me some tablets and then bought some even stronger ones. I now feel quite zombie-esque as I write this. With this in mind, I wish to thank my parents and brother for their kindness, empathy and understanding. I cannot thank them enough as I know it must be difficult to put up with my mood swings that can still occur.. I have part of my brain missing, what can I say?! 

I would also like you to acknowledge the vast amount of people who have endured this life-threatening illness. It's no piece of cake, and we may look, appear and act very normal  but side effects do not ever leave. I was never given physiotherapy so my mum took that role, along with many other roles. With our combined efforts, I still will never wear stiletto heels. As silly as it sounds, I get extremely frustrated with todays society of women who rule their life by how they look. I still have to check that I am walking o.k due to my slightly weak left-hand side. Spare some thoughts to the survivours in the world, and those less fortunate.    

19/20 years old here

Jon and I after my 2nd operation: May '04, aged 16