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”


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”

Roads to Somewhere

My Dad showed me this article a couple of days ago reporting the official opening of a road from Inuvik to Tuktoyaktuk in the Canadian Arctic. It is noteworthy to us because Graeme spent almost six months in Inuvik (described in the article as a “regional hub”) working as a classroom assistant through the Frontiers Foundation. Continue reading “Roads to Somewhere”

Where Have All The Flowers Gone?*

A year ago, from my point of view, this week was a spectacularly and memorably rubbish one. I don’t say that lightly as there have been plenty of rubbish days and weeks both before and since then. Continue reading “Where Have All The Flowers Gone?*”

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”

Tugging on the Purse Strings

I always keep these four things in my purse. They are: one of Jennifer’s and one of Leo’s hospital bands that were tagged around their ankles in hospital; a photo of my brother taken in late 2004, shortly before he was diagnosed; and, a silver “strength” token that a very good friend gave me shortly after G’s diagnosis.

204B3538-AE60-491C-9B36-676F433D0653 Continue reading “Tugging on the Purse Strings”

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”