Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Impressions of my Brain Tumour sixth year scan...

The results of my sixth annual brain scan got lost in the midst of my recent breast cancer fuss...There were no signs of any growth...all was the same as last year. 

But I didn't whoop or go out for a celebratory meal, I pondered on how a single moment changed my life:

The bulb in my head had bulked out over a period of ten to fifteen years.

My first symptom to trigger the alarm was the Tonic Clonic (Grand Mal) Seizure which woke me from my sleep at 01.00hrs on November 18th 2008.

The seed of hindsight revealed the blighter had been trying to warn me of its presence for a while:
  1. Regular headaches took a couple of days to 'crack' Paracetamol then Brufen every 4-6 hours eventually shook them off. Back at home after the surgery I discovered I ran a paracetamol store; half used packets hid in every handbag, in drawers by the bed, in the car,  in my office drawers, drawers in the kitchen..EVERYWHERE...I blamed the headaches on driving and female things!
  2. Mr H would gently pull my hair away from my scalp as I sat on a stool in front of him in the evenings when my headaches persisted, the spot I asked him to pull was where the tumour was growing!....blamed that on stress of the job.
  3. I kept tripping up in 2008 when I walked from the train station to the office in my new summer scandals... blamed it on the new scandals obviously!
  4. Nausea welcomed each day...blamed that on hormone imbalance.
The raised intra-cranial (inside my skull) pressure as a result of my slow growing tumour caused these symptoms which I managed and generally ignored.




My tumour had spread like icing on a cake across my head onto the left side of my brain




R - L    Tumour on the right

The bulk of my tumour was located in the The right frontal lobe of the brain 








I was 'lucky', I presented at my local hospital which is a regional neurosurgery unit, the tumour was discovered on a CT scan in the middle of the night and I underwent life saving surgery the following day. 

An anxious weeks wait to find that my tumour was a Grade One Meningioma was filled with hope that I would be able to walk again.

Facts
  • Currently there is NO cure for my brain tumour which could not be completely removed by surgery. Radiotherapy and possibly more surgery may follow if it starts to grow again
  • Brain tumours are the biggest cancer killer of children and young adults under 40
  • Over 8,500 people each year in the UK are diagnosed with a primary (starts in the brain) brain tumour.  
  • That's 25 people diagnosed a day but the actual figure could be much higher..
  • Ten children or teenagers a week are diagnosed with a Brain Tumour
  • The Head Start: Be Brain Tumour Aware Campaign is raising the profile of this condition in children and young adults with the aim of reducing delays in diagnosis and treatment
  • 3500 people loose their life to a brain tumour each year
  • Less than 2% of cancer funding is spent on Brain Tumour research
The Brain Tumour Charity is the largest dedicated funder of brain tumour research in the UK.  They fund at least £1 million of research every year; all through donations. 

Please support research into brain tumours. I would like to know why my meningioma tumour grew and how future growth can be stopped.