Swing Low, Sleep Lariat

A Jowell Jewel

Last year, Tessa Jowell was diagnosed with the same type of brain tumour that Graeme had. This week, as some of you will have seen, heard and/or read about, she gave an interview on BBC Radio 4 and made a speech in the House of Lords, which triggered a rare standing ovation. She has finished the treatments available in the UK and was calling for an increase in access to experimental cancer treatments. Here’s the best explanation that I’ve found for what she’s advocating. Continue reading “Swing Low, Sleep Lariat”


Wait Watchers

It’s been six days since my last confession, I mean post. I have a foot-led meizure* and a few head-led almost-seizures to report. That seems like a bargain basement price to pay for the amount of effort, energy and excitement of our trip to Paris and my involvement (and cake-making failures!) for Jennifer’s birthday and party. Continue reading “Wait Watchers”

Stars and Strifes

My seizures start either in my head or in my foot. The head-led ones start with a funny feeling in my head then the seizing starts shortly thereafter going from my foot and travelling as far up my right side as the Grand Old Duke of Jackson can march. The leg-led ones start with my foot involuntarily lifting followed by my leg bouncing from my knee as if my reflexes are being tested in quick successful. Again, these seizures can go as far up my right side as the Duke can make it.

Over the last couple of weeks, I’ve only had two mainstream seizures but a fair few “funny head things”*, Continue reading “Stars and Strifes”

You Have to Learn How to Walk Before You Can Play Football

(Most of this post has been written in lieu of putting it into my scrapbook.)

I must have mentioned before that some of my earliest memories involve playing football in the garden with my brother and our beloved Grandad Jim. Grandad used to keep control of the ball and we would try to get it off him. Even when we were about 4 and 7, he didn’t go easy on his young grandchildren as we struggled to tackle him and retrieve the ball. He kept close control and kept turning so that he always kept his back to us to hold us off. He used to referee Graeme’s football parties. He took us to matches at St. James’ Park in the days when Mickey Quinn and Mark Stimson were playing! Who are *they*? Exactly! Continue reading “You Have to Learn How to Walk Before You Can Play Football”

State of the Union (Unabridged) and State of Mind (Unhinged)

Overall, last week was a bit of a struggle. I succumbed to tiredness and dark thoughts more than I usually do. I think it’s normal and healthy to let myself go down into the deep from time to time. I’m not sure that I’ve had such a prolonged period of time including times of absolute physical and mental exhaustion.

I suspect that the bouts of feeling sorry for myself were partly Continue reading “State of the Union (Unabridged) and State of Mind (Unhinged)”

My Family and Other Animals

The last couple of weeks have been full of fun, anniversaries, tiredness and a few seizures. Oh, and a return to tumour business. Continue reading “My Family and Other Animals”

Yorkshire Tales

My brother Graeme’s brain tumour journey started with a bang (or, rather, a fall) on 21 January 2005 and ended peacefully on 27 October 2006. As that devastating anniversary nears, I run through once again what was going on at this time eleven years ago. The last six weeks of his life were particularly excruciating and heartbreaking to witness.

His quality of life Continue reading “Yorkshire Tales”