Graham's story

A benign tumour on the brain stem/cerebellum.

I had a brain tumour operation back in 1992 some 19 years ago, at the age of 36 years, lucky benign, but unfortunate with the location, Brain Stem/Cerebellum, back of the neck. Prior to this I was a HGV driver, I started by gradually losing my balance, as though I had been drinking heavily! I took my wife at the time and my 12 year old daughter to the sea side and went paddling in the sea. As from that day my explanation/feeling is that of any floor moving as the sand does on a beach! I was falling over, could not stand and my wife advised that I attend the doctors.

I attended a Well Man Clinic at the GP's and during the test I was asked to stand on some scales to check my weight but found it impossible to stay on! I was then advised to see a Optician, which I did. I had tests and was asked to go to the Midland Center of Neurology, where I underwent various tests, CAT scans etc. I was in there for about one week, it was decided that I required a MRI but at the time the hospital did not have this machine! Fortunately the tumour was found on the CAT scan and I was informed of the operation procedures but I had to go home for a week, then return as the consultant/surgeon was on holiday/vacation. I returned one week after the operation and in the IC unit “this is true" my feet, the bottom of my bed was on the ceiling! total disorientation??

What I found amazing is that during post operation I never once had a headache, until now! I was later informed the “good news", that the tumour was benign but “bad news" where it was! It had already done extensive damage during the operation and I was told a nerve cell had been damaged to my hearing on the right. I am totally deaf this side, I had to have speech therapy, I now wear glasses as I have astigma both vertical & horizontal, can get around with grab rails, but tend to stay in wheelchair “not only for my safety but other people's safety" as if I fall I fall heavily. To make things worse I dislocated my left shoulder about two years ago and it has come out about 5 times to-date, a bit awkward when you rely on your arms/upper body strength to get about!

I have done quite a bit for local charities, Headway Black Country, & Ideal for All, attended local college courses on IT City & Guilds, OCR, in word processing, spreadsheets, database, Power Point, Web-Wise. My last exam was ECDL (European Driving License) “please don't panic" its only in computer studies. My licence has been revoked by DVLA .