img_0071My name is Tanya

but part of my brain has been (temporarily) taken over by an alien creature (glioma) who has the most annoying habit of butting in on my conversation.

We have named him ‘Bob The Blob.’

In this ‘blog’ I recount my adventures with and without Bob. Below is the first ‘post’ detailing how it began back in January 2015 but if you are looking for up to date news and my current views on life with(and without) a brain tumour  skip over to the blog posts (exit this and click the next menu button labelled ‘blog’ or if you want to skip to my personal  favourite go here. You can also peruse the recent posts in the side menu)  Alternatively,  if you want information or opinion, explore the other pages in the drop down menus found at the head of the web-site. Enjoy!

First post: (Feb 2015) 

As much as I have come already to enjoy Bob’s company (we are in great demand at parties and social occasions in light of Bob’s habit of making me talk in spoonerisms) I am confident that he will be banished, never to return, and this unexpected, entertaining, crazy journey will be something to laugh about and to tell my grandchildren.

I gave never done a blog before, and only this morning googled how to do it, so pardon my amateurish attempts.  I hope to include latest news on my journey, and random personal opinions as they occur to me, (under the heading ‘blog’, the first of which is here and additional pages containing  general information about various  ‘brain blobs’ and their family members , to treatments and to things people like me have done to kindly but firmly evict such invaders from their craniums (cranii?), links to organisations and information that might help, and some research papers,  and to lots of amusing and inspiring anecdotes that might encourage other sufferers to take a positive delight in sharing a short period of their lives with an unwelcome guest, including the stories of long term survivors, and yes, I mean long term as in the normal sense, not the type the oncologists will tell you about, where outliving the statistical norm (for glioma) is considered a triumph! We are aiming for far better than that!

Oh and also excuse my (Bob’s) spelling, sometimes even spell check can’t work it out and life is too short (!) to be fussy.


(First blog entry: here)


Update: for those of those who have been following the blog, you will know that Bob was removed on Tuesday 17th March 2015, (gory details here) by my lovely neurosurgeon, whom we have been calling “Nigel”. However, from now on, for better or worse, (MOST DEFINITELY BETTER) “Nigel” wishes   to be known by his real name. ..Mr  Puneet Plaha. (Eternal gratitude  doesn’t nearly do it justice!Xxxx) so, sorry Nigel, though you may feature in some posts, and we have become quite fond of you, you need to move over for the real star.


Update July 2015: All going well. I am through radiotherapy/chemo and on to the ‘adjuvant chemo’ stage. Feeling amazing. No side effects bar a fetching bald patch, which is an opportunity for shopping hats and scarves. I see my oncologist monthly. I have decided to call her ‘Olive’ to protect her identity. She is working with ‘Nigel’ to eradicate Bob, but since Nigel has cut away as much as he wants, and gone home rejoicing, frankly, I think she has very little left to play with, and I suspect this is a great disappointment to her. Also, my buddies from the radiotherapy waiting room and I, with our healthy lifestyles, un-squashable hope, raucous laughter in the waiting room, and indomitable spirits, are unable even to give her much in the way of juicy side effects to treat. Sorry Olive.


Update Sept 2015: half way through ‘adjuvant’ chemo and six months from surgery, i have had my first follow up scan to see what my brain looks like following the treatment. And its all clear! hooray! (See blog post ” scan milestones and the story of the well stocked fridge“.) It’s only one of many scans to come but a cause for celebration nonetheless. Only 3 more rounds of chemo and I’m done. Should be all done by Christmas.

In passing, after a few ‘soap box’ moments, (coming to terms with something like this entitles you to those! See blogs: “another round of chemo over” and “oncologists please read this” to name but at couple of my rants) I am now under a different oncologists, we are calling her Bessie. I am afraid Olive wasnt able to ride the rollercoaster with us. I think we gave her vertigo! And one thing you have to be prepared to do when you have this disease is ruthlessly distance yourself from anyone who won’t or can’t share your hopes, expectations and the sheer joy at your ample glass half-full. (No offence, Olive.) Bessie on the other hand, so far, is fearless and indomitable. She seems not only happy to ride along with us but is egging us on and is totally up for all the thrills of the fair.


update Dec 2015

On 21th Dec I took my last round of chemo. I am very hopeful that this will be the last ever. The next scan is on 4th Jan and, if clear, I will just stay on regular 3 monthly scans so that if Nigel spots any suspicious areas he can go in there and scour them out, but (no offence, Nigel) I’d rather he doesn’t have to do that. I am more than happy to be a case of rare, complete, unexpected, total and long-term remission… Otherwise known as a “healed!” !

[PBTG. ? (See blog entry It is finished!)]


Update: SCAN RESULT  13/01/16 (coincidentally, the anniversary of the first symptoms appearing!)       GREAT NEWS! The scan is all clear. No evidence of tumour or recurrence or any kind off problem.       WOOPEEE! NO MORE CHEMO.      (Blog post: “To Remission and Beyond” here )


Update:  20th April 2016 another clear scan. Feeling ‘cock-a-hoop!’ I have been without any form of treatment (apart from my diet and supplements) and the scan is unchanged, ie clear. It feels great to know that i am maintaining health without any chemo or other oncologist intervention. (Other than the lovely Bessie and her team of oncology nurses, who are totally supportive). I am now looking forward to another  3 months treatment free. (Blog post ‘scanews’ here. ) oh, and my hair is amazing: curly and piebald, like a guinea pig.  Very much admired by all!


Version 2Update: 20th Aug 2016. (18 months from onset) Fit as a flea and yet another clear scan behind me! No treatment (except the healthy lifestyle  etc) and  no symptoms (except the odd spoonerism which am hanging onto for comedy’s sake) a AND I have been promoted to 4 monthly follow-up which means even the oncologists are starting to belive that I am, at this stage,  less likely to have a recurrence.  Roll on six monthly  scans… yearly…. five yearly….25 yearly ………….????

Still blogging the odd rant, looks like I am going to make it to be a grumpy-old-woman after all!

28.10.16.  I have updated my photo at head of this page. The other one was pre-tumor. This one was taken on my 63rd birthday 10 days ago. I prefer this one. It is how I am today: full to the brim with hope and love and gratitude (and lobster!)  xxxx

Update 1st Dec 2016

Another clear scan result! Hooray!        Have invented a new word –  Scansgiving.: the celebrations indulged in following the short period of  scanxiety leading up to a scan. The celebration starts immediately in the clinic as the result is given, and takes the form of jubilation in a variety of forms ranging from loud whoops, song and dance, lavish celebratory meals and drinks, spending sprees and  a lot of texts to others who will be happy to celebrate with you. (All of the above don’t need to be done in front of the oncologist, though he or she will appreciate a taste of it) The holiday can and should last a long time but, despite all the razzamatazz should focus on thanksgiving for life and heath in a  wonderful world.


Update April 2017IMG_0453

Over 2 years since Bob was removed. A bit late posting this news as I was skiing! I decided it was the best antidote to ‘scanxiety’. It worked a treat – enjoying myself too much to worry about scan result, which turned out to be clear once again.  Worry is always futile but not easily avoided – a little strategic distraction goes a long way!


Update May 10th 2017

imageI got my diver’s licence back!




Jan 31st 2018

Another clear scan! Three years since diagnosis. No recurrences, no medication of any kind, no (prescibed) treatments since origional standard surgery-radio-chemo back in March 2015. Marvellous. Feeling fit and well. Still on ketogenic diet * which I love, a load of supplements as well as heathy, organic, fresh food. ABSOLUTELY NO PROCESSED RUBBISH. Exercise – dancing, running, Yoga, hiking … not so much cycling nowadays as I have my lovely new car!  (a stunning Mini convertible called Clive)and I am moving to 5 monthly scans. Life is really moving along nicely.

*Not a diet – a way of life.


16 thoughts on “About

  1. Hi,

    My wife is following the same trajectory as you, albeit a little earlier in life. She is 46 and had a GBM IV removed in July. It was small and totally resected with good margins. I hit the research immediately and a good friend of ours who is a consultant neurologist and epilepsy specialist (who is now my wife’s physician) encouraged us strongly to look in to a ketogenic diet, as did her surgeon. Everyone else has been dismissive.

    I found the evidence compelling (if not conclusive) and certainly worth a go, given the dismal prognosis. She started keto dieting immediately and blasted quickly through the keto flu and out the other side, during which time we had secured support from Matthew’s Friends charity and their excellent dietitian, Sue.

    It’s now been almost 3 months and she is looking and feeling better than ever. She started her first week of double dose temezolimide concentrated treatment today and has another 5 rounds to go after this week, but tolerated the initial 6 week radio and chemo fantastically.

    She is inspiring to me, our kids and our many friends who have supported us so far. We are all now low-carb converts and I joke that she should get commission from Tim Noakes for selling so many copies of his books!

    I think she would really benefit from a chat with you, if that is possible – your positivity and hope is inspiring and would do her the world of good. I think she would give you a boost too!

    I very much look forward to hearing from you.



    1. Hi Stefan, lovely to hear from you and i am so glad to hear how well your wife is doing. Keep it up, it WILL get her through. Prognosis is not great IF you listent to the nay-sayers, but there are people out there who are smashing through those satistical barriers right left and centre, like me, andrew scaborough, cheryl broyes, ben williams and on and on and on… and YOU can be, no, WILL be another. All it takes is good treatment, an oncologist who is up for an outstanding result, loads of additional support (both as supplementary therapies and personal support) and a subborn attitide that absolutely refuses to encounter any negative proclamations. I am more than happy to talk. Where are you based? e mail me and we can swop numbers. tanyamalpass@live.co.uk


  2. Hi
    My husband has a gio Grade 4 he has had Radio & Chemo and is now on 2/6 maintenance Chemo. He has unfortunately been diagnosed with tonsil cancer too. Seperate and not connected to the brain tumour. They’ve agreed to give him Radiotherapy for the throat commencing sometime in August.
    You mentioned being healthy in relation to your diet. Can you give me or point me in the direction of more information.

    1. Hi Claudia, I’m so sorry to hear that. what a rediculous double whammy! I have a few links on my blog here: here, Or if that link doesn’t work, look it up under the ‘teatment’ drop down menu and scroll down to find the nutrition section. I can also highly recommend the book ‘Eat to outsmart Cancer’ by Jenny Phillips, available on amazon. There are lots of great websites with advice on diet and cancer, the best ones recommend low carb high fat (LCHF or ketocenic) wich lots of fresh food, but in the end it’s down to what is best for you to suit your circumtances. My most firm advice is give up sugar and processed foods. completely! I recommend ketogenic and have some info on this on the nutrion section. There is also info on the references section. if you think its for you i could send you other links. I am writing a book which will have more ideas in it about living well and long with a “terminal” prognois . look out for it soon! meanwhile keep postitve, You CAN beat this! love, Tanya

  3. Hi Tanya,

    Lovely if you to respond. It’s been good to see how other former SGHS pupils have also responded. I don’t know whether you have seen details of the very recent reunion / tour of have school but one way and another please join the group so that there is on-going contact. All the very best.

  4. Well done you. That’s amazing it’s stories like yours that give the rest of us some hope. So glad you shared your story. Thank you so much xxxx

    1. Thanks Aileen, glad you enjoyed it. I am very passionate about conveying the message of hope so when people ‘get’ it I am delighted. X.

  5. Hi Tanya. I didn’t see the broadcast as I am away in France at the moment but it was mentioned in a post on the SGHS Facebook group and I have subsequently read your blog. You may know that our grandparents (mine were George and Lily Brookes) were great friends and travelled together ‘on the continent’ for many years and your grandparents were very kind to my Nan when my grandad died young at 58, continuing with the holidays for some years. Nan always kept me up to date on your amazing career. Now Bob has been banished i hope you continue to emjoy life to the full. I will make a donation to your just giving page when I am back from holiday. Debbie.

    1. How marvellous to hear from you Debbie. I remeber the Brookes. Funny how you rekindle old memories though social media. Although people of a ‘certain age’ tend to be disparaging, I think it’s great for this kind of thing. Thanks for your kind words and incouragement… Like funding, every little definitely helps. ??

  6. Dear Tanya. I have just seen you on Channel 4 News. What an amazing woman. What an inspiration. What an example. I will try and remember you. Look forward to hearing from you in 25 years time. Wishing you ALL the best. Helen.

  7. Hi, my name is Sarah Mamalai and I just received a message from you through my website, thanks for getting in contact ? Only another survivor can understand that having this disease has bestowed blessings on your life! I love the sound of your book. That’s why I made my website, people being diagnosed are being told it’s hopeless at a time when Hope is what they desperately need. I’d be honored to be featured!please let me know how you go with it and when it’s going to go live or go to print. Congratulations on your journey so far ? Sarah x

    1. Thanks sarah, how lovely to hear from you and if you are ever in UK do come and stay!We long term survivors should form a ‘movement’! Keep uo the good work!

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