Sometimes I forget. I go about my day running around at work, lifting weights at the gym, and planning my holidays and adventures as though I’m the same as everyone else. And why wouldn’t I? I am the same. The same except for one little thing, a glioma.
A glioma is a form of brain tumour that, in my case, sits in my left temporal lobe (the right side of my brain).
This is the part where I usually jump in and in a loud voice make it clear that everyone knows that…
It’s fine. It’s not cancerous. And it’s just sitting there not doing very much. So no need to worry!
*Cue big cheesy grin*
Why? Because when you say the words ‘Brain tumour’ it can terrify people. That included me when I first found out.
Six years on from my diagnosis, living with my glioma has been relatively problem free. It’s small and benign or as the doctors say, low-grade. However in 2014, it caused me to develop epilepsy. I was fortunate enough to be given good meds that have allowed me to be seizure free for almost two full years now. Yay!
So why am I telling you about this now? Well, March is Brain Tumour Awareness month and I’ve joined forces with The Brain Tumour Charity to star in their video for the #WearItOut campaign. Our aim is to raise funds for research into early diagnosis.
That’s me up there 👆🏻 being a poser 💪🏻.
I am one of the lucky ones who’ve had an early diagnosis. In fact I found out quite by accident about it really. Physically that makes things a lot easier but mentally, as with any condition, it can be well… challenging at times.
The first few years were filled with moments of “I’m fine” paired with frantic google searches for my life expectancy! Google is great for practical stuff like learning how to tie a bow tie or finding directions to places but medical stuff? Leave that the doctors. They know best. And if they don’t know they’ll do their damndest to work it out.
Low-grade gliomas like mine can sit pretty for years and years and do nothing at all. They can also grow and change to become high-grade and that’s when things start to get a bit more serious.
I like to be optimistic and stay focused on the fact that right now it’s low and it will stay that way for as long as possible.
It’s really important for me to be monitored six monthly with MRI scans down at Charing Cross hospital. I have the best doctors there who are not only super reassuring but also keen to learn more about social media from me and keep up to date with my marathon running progress! These MRIs track changes in the tumour. In six years of scans those changes have been minuscule. Hurrah!
I’m not gonna lie. Travel insurance is expensive now. Where I used to pay £50 for a year it’s more like £200 minimum but that hasn’t held me back. I’m more determined than ever to see the world, run marathons and try all those things that scare me, just because.
I still get down days now and then thinking about the future. I worry that my health might decline, that things might end abruptly or that I might never have a family of my own. But how is that different to anyone else? We’re all here just one time, so let’s make it a good time!
I choose to live life to the fullest. To live it it so well I #WearItOut! This year alone I’ll be running the London Marathon, exploring Japan, travelling Alaska and who knows what else?!?
To find out more about Brain Tumours and the great work the charity does visit www.braintumourcharity.org.
You can also be part of Banada Day on 4th March and get a Bandana and #wearitout or maybe even some pretty Brain Tumour awareness braclets from the shop. Or if you’re feeling generous, pop a few £s into my marathon fundraiser pot right here.
Thanks so much for reading! 😘