Dexamethasone Dichotomy

The effects and side-effects of the dexamethasone (steroids) are both tiring and insomniacal (why is that not a word? It’s been keeping me up at night*). An unusual (and less than ideal) combination.

It reminds me (very loosely) of those rock and roll times when I’ve climbed into bed totally wiped out after working 36 hours straight, hoped for instant relief, and then realised that there is absolutely no way my brain will switch off quickly to find solace in slumber. Yes, with apologies to former colleagues and bosses, I’ve just compared working as a lawyer in London with having a brain tumour! Continue reading “Dexamethasone Dichotomy”

Cautiously Optimistic: The Deleted Scenes

For those who love extended editions and missing scenes.

Possible Second Surgery

I haven’t even had the first surgery and yet I am totally intrigued and fascinated by the possibility of a potential second surgery with me remaining awake. Whether this will be a recommended treatment will depend on the tumour type, location, proximity to “important stuff” (technical term) Continue reading “Cautiously Optimistic: The Deleted Scenes”

Cautiously Optimistic

A quick update as we travel on the way back from the hospital. Although Mr Holliman (who introduced himself as Damian) can’t tell me for certain, the markers on the scans indicate that I have a low-grade tumour. It’s on the left side of my brain, towards the top, near the motor and sensory area of the brain, hence why it’s affecting movement in my right side (remember GCSE biology, the left side of the brain controls the right side of your body and vice versa).

In simple terms, low grade is good (it’s all relative after all). For comparison, Graeme had the highest grade tumour known to man. So I take this as better than the worst news we could have been given and that fills me with cautious optimism. Although the tumour is not necessarily in the best place for access to get it out, Mr H is reasonably confident that they can take enough to test it properly and confirm exactly what it is. The nurse (Katie) confirmed it’s definitely better to have a low grade tumour in a tricky place than a high grade tumour with easy access.

The next step is a biopsy next Thursday. They will develop a clearer plan for the next stages of treatment after the biopsy hopefully successfully diagnoses the type of tumour. It could involve more surgery. He mentioned that one option that could be helpful is surgery where I’m awake so that they can do tests during the procedure to ensure that they are not damaging my brain by poking around in there (I’m paraphrasing!). My mind immediately went to the film Hannibal (sorry) so I mentioned it!

Interestingly, he said the regular migraine medication would not usually relieve migraine symptoms (as they have done for me) if the migraines were caused by the tumour.  So it could actually be unrelated (what are the chances of that…?).

I might update later with more information but I wanted to spread the news as we have it.

Thanks for the messages and love.

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Cole’s Miscellany (Part One)

  • Jennifer knows that I have a poorly leg. When I was in hospital, she asked what the cannula was in my arm so I explained that’s how the doctors had injected medicine (steroids) into me to help my poorly leg. Jennifer didn’t skip a beat and asked how the medicine got from the cannula to my leg. Dr Turner stepped in to give a brief rundown of the circulatory system. Never lose an opportunity to learn something, that’s what we always say.
  • On that note, I have learned today what an arctophile is (Jennifer appears to be one).
  • I found out yesterday that one of my friends is a friend of Mrs George Clooney so I’ve invited myself to a communal dinner party.
  • I’ve also invited us to dinner with another couple of friends, one half of whom is currently working with Eddie Redmayne. Shy bairns get nowt and all 😀.
  • Mam literally used the phrase “more tea, Vicar” yesterday. To a Vicar who appeared on The Voice no less.
  • An elephant hawk moth caterpillar joined us for tea and cake on the patio on Wednesday. I wasn’t happy. These creatures who just invite themselves and turn up.

“‘Till the wheels come off”

Tomorrow, five years to the minute since our scheduled wedding ceremony start time (and actual start time because miracles do happen and I wasn’t late!), Graham and I will be “celebrating” our anniversary with my Consultant Neurosurgeon at the RVI, Mr Holliman.

Not quite what we planned. In honour of the occasion, Saturday was due to be our first kids-less night away since Drama Boy Continue reading ““‘Till the wheels come off””

When it Comes to Humility, I’m the Greatest

Boots on the Ground

I’ve had many amazing messages from many lovely people based in many areas of the world, who I know from different parts of my life. It’s lovely and uplifting and I’m already sure that this blog was a good idea.

Fear not, though, my head is not getting too big as I have a secret weapon: my three-year old! Continue reading “When it Comes to Humility, I’m the Greatest”