Diagnosis Of My Brain Tumour
There is no doubt that once such a serious medical condition like a Brain Tumour is diagnosed, that it would be very easy to retreat in to ones self and not communicate with others, especially loved ones and friends. I, luckily, was not born with that gene and have over the years been reprimanded for handing out too much information and in most situations; usually inappropriately but truthfully or so I believe. But I know it will be essential to talk about it and so here I am putting myself at the mercy of social media, which I being a bit of a dinosaur, have no idea how to use properly, so any tips at this stage are warmly received.
I was diagnosed not long before Christmas with my tumour and not long before I was to head back out to South Sudan and the Central African Republic. For me it was a bigger blow to realise I could not go and do the work I love so much, rather than celebrate Christmas, although Francesca and I did have a lovely Christmas together, quiet and with many thoughts flowing about, but quite special. I did not know how to feel when originally told, I’m not sure anybody told this news, really does. At first it did not really sink in, not so much ignoring it but the seriousness of such a thing does not really dawn on you straight away and for me it was not until I had my second visit with the surgeon and discussed the situation in greater detail, that it really dawned on me what I was going to be dealing with.
So in this, my first post and my first post on my website I will deal with my situation and tumour rather than ramble on too much.
I have been diagnosed with an “Acoustic Neuroma” or a Schwannoma. They are normally benign; thankfully, and a very slow growing tumour. It has grown from the nerves that control balance and hearing in the inner ear for my right side. As it has grown it has caused one sided hearing loss, quite dreadful tinnitus, headaches, facial numbness and weakness, dizziness and a sever loss of balance. My tumour is quite large and also has the added complication of being surrounded by its very own cyst, which has been putting much pressure on nearby brain structures, my brain stem and the cerebellum. So the size and the seriousness of my tumour has become such that it is now life threatening.
So surgery has become the only option to remove the tumour. It is full of serious risks, akin to a heart bypass operation. After the operation I will loose the hearing completely in my right ear and there is a very good chance I will have serious facial palsy on that side, but I am assured with intense therapy and, if needed, plastic surgery that it can be greatly improved. It has to be underlined that this is a very serious operation and in the worst-case scenario it can lead to a loss of life or disability. So what joys are ahead? Well before I am operated on I have to return to Derriford hospital for detailed MRI and CT scans for a pre assessment, covering the petrous bones in my head the circulation of fluids around it, quite essential I’m told. As well as this I will be having a formal hearing test, blood tests, X rays, ECG, breathing tests, and a poke with a long stick…..
There are the basics and as much as I know for the moment. I would not deny that I am a little worried about my future, it is all, at times, a little difficult to grasp and so much is an unknown quantity so for now I have to wait I seem to have been doing that for a long time, not my best attribute in a situation like this I must say.
Anyway for now I will end it here, I have to walk the dogs, clean the house and pick up dog poo from the garden, that’s my favourite… In my next post I will talk about how I got to this point and the strange relief felt once one knows what is wrong with you, because I have felt quite mad for a long time!