Being diagnosed with a brain tumor is a nightmare and it turns your world upside down.
I luckily had very little time between being diagnosed with my benign meningioma and it being surgically removed but the time I did have was spent frantically trawling the internet trying to find some answers to my questions of why, how and what do I do next. I managed to find medical papers on the subject but as I don’t have a degree in medicine was at a loss to understand them. I found plenty of Brain Tumor Forums where I managed to scare myself stupid because I could not find any stories with a positive outcome to offer me some encouragement and believe me, I needed it. It would appear that the survivors out there must be so happy to be alive after their ordeals that they are too busy living life to put pen to paper and tell their stories.
My very happy world was hit by a thunderbolt on the 14th July when I was diagnosed with a brain tumor. I had a brain tumor; I had it surgically removed on 19th July.
I was probably luckier than most with regard to the position of my meningioma tumor, I had a fabulous doctor with insight and I had a top rate neurosurgeon on my side. I also had the will and determination to overcome this hiccup in my life.
I have had very little sickness in my life and have never been in hospital for any reason. You have it right, I have my tonsils and my appendix and I have never broken a bone in my body or had a baby. Remarkable isn’t it that I escape a hospital visit for 48 years? But, boy, when I do it, I do it big style!
After waking up one morning in Mid June, I stretched and my lower leg started to kick involuntarily at about one second intervals. Just to make sure you have the picture correct, I don’t mean a kick that would score a winning goal, more of a gentle flick as if trying to get the sand out of your toes. I grabbed my leg, pulled it back to try and stop it, got up out of bed and stood on it but that didn’t work either. It was a little scary – who likes to be out of control? Certainly not me!
I thought I may have trapped a nerve in my back. Why I thought that, I don’t know. I have no medical training. It just seemed like a plausible explanation to me at the time. Because of this self diagnosis, I decided to put the incident on hold and see if it happened again. Well, guess what? It took a few weeks, but yes, it did happen again. Just as before and I am ashamed to say that I let it happen twice more before visiting the doctor.
The whole point of this tale is that brain tumor symptoms come in all guises depending on their position and what part of the brain they are affecting. My brain tumor was positioned on the top of my head on the right hand side and due to its growth was fighting for space and restricting the nerves on the left hand side of my body, namely my leg.
Listen to your own body because if something out of the ordinary is happening there is a reason.
I am happy to report that I came through this ordeal with flying colours feeling no pain whatsoever. I now have a very good tale to tell at parties, my scar is completely hidden and when people around me are whining about small details I can usually bring about a sense of proportion by asking them on a scale of 1-10 how it compares to brain surgery.
A meningioma is a tumor of the meninges, which are the protective membranes around the brain and spinal cord. Malignant meningiomas are extremely rare. Most meningiomas are found to be benign, make up nearly 1 in 5 of all primary brain tumors and are more common in women than men. As with most brain tumors, the cause of a meningioma is unknown and research is being carried out into possible causes.