It all began in mid January (2015). I noticed that I was stumbling over a the odd word, as you do sometimes if you are tired. I might say ‘soon’ instead of ‘spoon’ or ‘skarkle’ instead of ‘sparkle’. After a week or so, and despite some early nights, friends were noticing and nagging. (Friends do that) I was adamant that there was nothing at all wrong with me, I felt fighting fit but, over our usual shared Monday evening supper, the nagging took a more sinister tone. As my conversation became ever more nonsensical, despite there being nothing stronger than ginger beer on the table, physical assault was threatened: they explained firmly that unless I agreed to see my GP the following morning, they would cart me forcibly to A&E right there and then. And for that I am eternally grateful, because without it I would probably wasted another precious couple of months having early nights and drinking calming camomile tea.
To avert this assault on my person, I agreed to see my GP. Within 24 I was in the local ‘stroke unit’ having an MRI scan. To everyone’s amazement, it turned out that I had a lesion (blob) the size of a gobstopper (do they still make those?) clearly visible in the left frontal lobe of my brain, in the speech area.
From there,I was referred to the regional neurosurgical centre and it seems that it is likely that Bob is a grade three or four glioma* (malignant brain tumour) which, to cut to the chase, I am planing to evict, with the help of my friend the neurosurgeon (whom I shall call Nigel, which is not his real name, but just in case this blog gets read by Joe Bloggs and, as time goes by I give away any intimate details or personal opinions, I will not embarrass the poor man, or get had up for libel.)
The plan is to go in for surgery under local anaesthetic (yes! that’s more of less what I said) and be home the following day (no, I kid you not!!). I will be awake and talking, and also will have a laptop to write on (it has affected my spelling as well as my speech) so that as Nigel burrows into my brain tissue he will be able to tell what functions he is affecting. In that way he will be able to remove as much of Bob as possible without seriously affecting my brain functions further.
After a month’s convalescence at home (during which time the bone will heal) I will then undergo a six week course of radiotherapy, traveling daily, (except weekends) to the regional centre. Depending upon the grade of tumour (which they won’t know precisely until they get him out) I may also have to undergo chemotherapy.
Of course, if you read the literature on the prognosis, even with treatment, you would think that rather than writing a blog, my time might be better spent planning how my grandchildren might like to split my assets, rather than split their sides laughing at my anecdotes. To that I can only reply, wait and watch! To paraphrase the bible: “If God is with you, and he provides you with Nigel, an amazing army of friends and family, a slightly warped sense of humour and a bloody-mined personality, who can stand against you?”
(Oh and, prophetically, the name of the house I have just moved into is: “Wellhead cottage” (God too has a warped sense of humour it seems!)
*it turned out to be G4 GBM with no redeeming features. Prognosis 12 – 18 months.
Go across to the ‘blog‘ page for updates on current events ( R.I.P Bob!) You can also post comments there and I welcome all opinions.
A summary of the ongoing saga is updated frequently on the ‘About‘ page ; if you scroll down to the bottom you will find latest news. In short, I am happy, healthy and active and outliving prognosis. IT IS POSSIBLE!