Brain tumour symptoms and diagnosis
My symptoms started at a time when I was working really hard. I was starting to get difficulties and some really strong headaches that stopped my ability to take part in meetings. I would also have to sometimes stop off to lean into the wall on my way home from work just to keep myself upright as I was suffering from shooting pains in my head. I first went to my GP in February 2012.
Ultimately I had a scan that displayed a very large tumour, which turned out to be a grade 4 glioblastoma.
This led to immediate surgery at the Wellington Hospital in London on 3 September 2012.
Treatment and support
After the operation, I received radiotherapy and chemotherapy at UCLH and currently I’m being treated at Southend Hospital. I’ve been very impressed by the clinical teams that have helped me and continue to treat me today. The treatment has been tough but it’s an ongoing battle that I’m willing to fight.
Coronavirus: before and after
There have been many difficulties in getting blood tests done in the middle of hospital (as per before the coronavirus lockdown), and I’ve recently been moved to a separate facility (private, actually) for blood tests.
Obviously, the chemotherapy ward feels more locked up, as it needs to be! But it’s well run and the team are very efficient.
In the past everything was done face-to-face at a hospital but now it’s all different. Doctor meetings over the phone, blood tests in different locations, chemotherapy with new safety measures in place, etc.
Coping with change
I know it is difficult to go through dramatic changes, but I try to hold myself together both mentally and physically. I try to remain positive and encourage others going through such difficult times. Now, usually I would not let everyone know, but I have turned my home into a place where I can dance instead of my stroll to the seaside that I cannot do right now!
Stay strong and stay positive. Make the most of life and consider that all others in the world are now understanding some of the life restrictions and everyday difficulties that we as brain tumour patients have faced.
Everyone, stick together and stay strong!