Thirty Twomour

Blog #7

I know you’ve all been worried sick about me, with my lack of blogging activity over the last month but here I am, ready to share some tumour feelings and updates.

First thing I thought I’d get out there was the delay in my surgery.  I know I said this in the last blog but just as a quick recap; my most recent scans hadn’t shown tumour growth and the consultant said he was more confident that it was a grade 2.  However, with the current global pandemic my surgery was to be delayed at least until late July after I have some further MRIs and when we know more about the COVID -19 situation.  Now, I am well aware; no growth, no chopping head open, likelihood of lower grade tumour – I should be jumping up and down jiggling my newly grown man boobs.  Well, you’d have thought so, however, to be honest after my moobs had settled down I started to feel a bit different.

It was my birthday on the 21st of April and I knew that after having a pretty excellent life so far that my 33rd year was going to be my hardest and well shittiest by a long way but I had in my head, operation this month, a couple of months to recover, if I have to do chemo and/or radiotherapy I could be through the worst of it and if I remain healthy I could be back to my best for April 21st 2021. However, I could now be looking at a potential op in September/October (own guesstimate) and my recovery could well and truly go to 2022 and that’s fucking shit.

Don’t get me wrong, I know I should be showing more positivity with the other optimistic points from the conversation with my consultant but before this diagnosis I’d got my act together diet wise, I was hitting the gym 5/6 times a week, I was running 21 minute 5kms, swimming with solid 800m times and was looking pretty buff.  Now, thanks to my dislocated shoulder, broken arm and fucking Timmy I can barely lift a 10kg bar above my head and my running is despicable and full of anxious thoughts.

More importantly than any of the above is that the delay puts a lot more stress on my mental health.  I do put on smiles and jokes, particularly through this blog and I’ve always tried not to take life too seriously and make fun of myself and others which I imagine makes me look a lot stronger than I actually am.  However, I’d liken my thoughts to a funnel; the majority of input thoughts are sad and depressing.  Mainly, how long am I actually going to live, does the delay mean my tumour is growing and make it harder to get out, am I spending my last few months on life in lockdown? Then as the funnel narrows, I digest my thoughts to try and project only positive ones.  Sometimes this can be quite difficult and every so often I let some of the negative energy out. This is quite hard, and I imagine others going through similar situations to myself brain tumours or otherwise have these thought processes and it does make you think about how you talk to others and see other people as I imagine lots of people, like me, hide behind a front.

I am hoping that my next MRI scans in July will still show no growth and I can still be looking at a Grade II prognosis and can start my operation and fighting process as soon as possible and that the COVID delay hasn’t helped the tumour mutate into something worse.

Now, on to something a bit more light hearted and something I know you’ve all come back for, exercise.  In the last blog I completed a 4km run, I’m now running about 6km but no progress in speed. I can’t decide whether my lack of fitness is due to my chubby belly (borderline obesity) or anxiety to try pushing myself.  My doctor did say don’t overdo it as it could bring on a seizure and I imagine that knowing this does stop me pushing it and every time I get a little tired I do automatically slow down and rest.  I’ve started to do Joe Wicks HiiT workouts too to try shed some pounds and make it easier to run too.  However, I have a slight predicament….it may take me 2 months to get back to my ideal weight, so there I’ll be slim and trim for July’s MRI where I then may have my surgery and I’ll be taking steroids which will help reduce brain swelling but also mean I’ll be piling on that weight in no time.  So, here’s the question, do I diet and try not to become a rotund human sized magnum or just let the magnums consume me, enjoy it and lose the weight after I’m given the all clear?

Nothing else to really say, I know the hospitals have begun to start surgeries again and after speaking to the neurosurgery department at Leeds they said my type of surgery would be high on the priority list once they start up, so here is hoping everything is good with my next scan and we can Timmy out ASAP.

Published by Alex Dawson

Who? I’m Alex, a 31 year old from Leeds, Yorkshire. I have a wife, Sarah. A daughter, Sophie, who's 2 and a baby boy on the way. I'd say I'm slightly above average across the board, emphasis on slightly, cue my friends making phallic based jokes. I own a recruitment business and I'm relatively fit and healthy. I’m from a privileged background and have been lucky enough to grow up in a nice house with excellent parents and had a good education. I’ve been given lots of handouts throughout my life but wouldn’t class myself as entitled as I’ve worked hard in my career and pushed myself. Why? The reason I'm writing this blog, and sorry if you're learning this for the first time via a blog (but you should have kept in touch more to be honest) I have a big filthy, dirty brain tumour who I have nicknamed, Timmy.  I was given a book, Pear Shaped by my best friend and recent best man, Sav, that gave me the idea of jotting down my thoughts and giving people a better insight to my state of mind and also giving me an outlet while not working rather than just galloping around on a virtual horse on a PS4 game. What? I’m going to be writing about all aspects of my own experiences of having a tumour from diagnosis to what I hope is full recovery, warts and all.  Now, think of this like a disclaimer. I'm from Yorkshire so it'll be to the point, I'll be honest about my feelings about what happens and finally I'll probably throw a few dark jokes about pretty serious shit, so if you're easily offended I'd look elsewhere for your morning read on your commute to work. When? I was diagnosed with a brain tumour on the 29th January 2020 but if you haven't been bored senseless and want to read on I'm going to get more into Timmy in future posts. However, to reiterate it will not be all cutesy and they're will be fucks, shits, and wanks (verbal, not graphic details on my sex life and bowel movements).

2 thoughts on “Thirty Twomour

  1. As always Alex our love goes to you and your family…reading your blog is a massive insight into what is a terrible time you are going through but also you are an inspiration to us all. Keep strong keep running and most definitely keep up the good spirits. Love the Hollindrakes


  2. Hi Alex! I’m curious about your dislocated shoulder and if that happened and Timmy was found incidentally from that? I named mine Tom and he was found only because I had gotten tripped up. When I fell I dislocated and broke my shoulder. The ER did a head scan to make sure I didn’t hit my head. What a crazy ride this has been! I had some migraine headaches before I knew but didn’t think much of it. I would fall asleep during work but I just assumed I was bored with the job I’d been doing for 30 years. There were times when my fiancé and I drank a bit too much and the next day I’d be sick 🤮 all damn day. I never would have thought oh this shit is being caused by a brain tumor! I had the craniotomy on 12/20 and did the 30 radiation treatments and am now on to the chemo pills. Recovery from surgery wasn’t all that bad. Radiation went pretty easy too until my hair started falling out and making me look like a 60 year old balding man! My tumor is in the right frontal lobe so I lost hair pretty much from ear to ear across the whole damn front of my head. Anyway, I had my fiancé give me a buzz cut because my comb over was looking goofy. So the next phase of treatment is 12 months of Temodar chemo pills. It’s 5 days on and 23 days off. Right now I am on month 2 and have 2 more days of pills. 10 more months and I hope it kills off any of Tom’s tentacles that couldn’t be removed and that bastard better not regrow! I got let go from my job so that sucked or so I thought at the time. I may want to do something else as time goes on. I was lucky enough that my employer had long term disability insurance so I have time to figure out what I want to do with my life. They did tell me that they wanted me to come back as they have people retiring and I was part of their long term plan but my long term plan may be different now. I also take care of my 86 year old mother who is in a wheelchair. Actually that is how I fell and found the asshole is because she had a noose thing on her doorknob to pull it shut and when I was walking through my foot got noosed and I went down but had it not been for that Tom would still be growing and possibly morphing into a higher grade. It’s an oligodendroglioma grade 2 with the chromosome codeletions and mutation of IDH which are supposedly good things because the chemo and radiation treatments kill off the cancer cells more easily. I’ll send you a friend request on Facebook in case you ever need someone to talk to about this since I’m a little further on in it.
    Hopefully your surgery doesn’t keep getting put off because of this COVID19 bullshit! I guess I’m lucky I fell and caught this bugger before that shit hit the fan! Try to keep your positive attitude and not go down the dark hole…I went there at first but you always need to find the positive in each day. I mean what good is living if you’re a miserable fuck!
    Have a great day,
    Karen & Tom (What’s left of him anyway)


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