Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Track Santa Around The World Tonight

Santa Tracker Will Tell You Exactly Where In The World Santa Is Right Now!
Santa Claus Tracker!

A very Merry Christmas everyone. Hope he reaches you in time!

Friday, November 7, 2008

Gene Link Found - Brain Tumour Research

Research published in the latest edition of the Journal of the National Cancer Institute reveals that a mutation has been discovered in a DNA repair gene which may increase the risk of developing the rare type of brain tumour called Meningioma.

More than 7,500 people are diagnosed with malignant or benign brain tumours in the UK each year. Meninigiomas account for over 30 per cent of these, yet little is known about the cause of the disease which tends to affect older people, and women. It is reported that the mutation found in the DNA repair gene may account for 16 per cent of meningiomas.

The new study examined genetic differences in the brains of people from four European countries. Data from patients with meningiomas was compared with healthy individuals and a new region associated with meningioma risk has been identified.

This research into gene changes offers progress towards early non-invasive diagnosis of the disease as opposed to the present situation where biopsy is the only true diagnosis.

Interesting results. Well done Cancer Research UK. Take a bow and keep up the good work.

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Seve Ballesteros

Pleased to read in the papers that Seve's 6 1/2-hour operation yesterday went to plan. The swelling was reduced and the remains of the tumour was removed. He is now in intensive care and in a stable condition.

Well done to the neurosurgeons and medical staff and speedy recovery Seve!


Hi everyone

I have had a comment on my blog entry for yesterday. It is a question relating to the post from 26th August, regarding why I felt it necessary to have a follow up MRI exam. First may I say CONGRATS to 'smashedpea' for tomorrow - 2 months since removal. I hope you are feeling well.

Have a look at my post for August 15th for my reasons for a repeat MRI. You being told that you do not need another actually makes me feel more confident as I was told the same, but if you read my Ebook, you will see that I have a very active imagination and for some reason feel I know better than anyone else.

My surgeon didn't even feel it was necessary for follow up appointments after I went home unless I felt it was necessary. He gave me his phone number and said I could contact him anytime, so I did a year later when I took him a bottle of bubbly and he was most surprised to see me.

So I suppose the answer to the question is that I didn't need to have another MRI - I chose to have one due to an insecurity thing I suppose. Maybe your surgeon just wants to prove to you that it is all gone and that you can now get on and enjoy your life. It did make me feel better and I will now leave well alone.

Friday, October 24, 2008


Good Luck Seve - my thoughts are with you and I hope for you a speedy recovery to good health.

Seve Ballesteros (Spanish professional golfer and former World No. 1) has this month been diagnosed with a cancerous brain tumour classified as an 'oligoastrocytoma'. A tumour type that affects cells that cover and protect the nerve cells in the brain and spinal chord. Most oligodendrogliomas occur in adults ages 50-60 and are found more often in men than women.

Type: An oligoastrocytoma is a type of mixed glioma
Symptoms: May include headaches, speech, motor or behavioural changes and seizures.
Treatment: Removal of as much as the tumour as is possible with follow up treatment that may include chemotherapy and radiation therapy.

Seve will undergo another operation today to relieve pressure caused by swelling and a recent hematoma. They also hope to remove further tumour remains.

I wish you good fortune in what will no doubt be the most difficult match of your life. Be strong and stay positive.

Monday, September 29, 2008

Happy Birthday Mum (29/9/31 - 30/9/84)

Today I remember my Mum. The best Mum in the world, obviously!
My Mum died far too early in her life, aged 53. It always serves as a reminder to me to live life as if tomorrow was your last day, make the most of what you have and be grateful, don't sweat the small stuff, be true to yourself and try to make a difference in someone elses life.

Meningioma Facts

Meningioma Tumours are fairly rare and account for 30% of diagnosed tumours in the UK each year.
90% of meningiomas are benign, 6% are atypical, and 2% are malignant.
The word benign is misleading in this case as, when benign tumours grow and constrict the brain, they can cause disability and even be life threatening.

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Brain Tumours and Driving Regulations

Found some very interesting stuff recently which could be very important to some of you. I'm sharing this info because nobody mentioned it to me at all.

I have found that there are strict rules laid down by the DVLA (Drivers and Vehicle Licensing Assoc.) regarding epilectic fits and Brain Tumours. Now, bear in mind that the hospital will not contact the DVLA, but it is your responsibility to do so and your doctor will advise you how to go about this.

If you have had an epileptic fit, the Drivers and Vehicle Licensing Association will not allow you to drive for a year after your last fit and this period of time may be increased depending on your own circumstances and medical assessments.

If you have a benign meningioma (which is what this particular blog concentrates on) and have not had any seizures, the DVLA requires that you do not drive for at least six months after surgery. No-one made me aware of this and I'm not sure if I was supposed to know this sort of thing and whether it would have affected my insurance - but I didn't and I did drive. So this is why I am telling you, just in case :D)

If your occupation involves driving vehicles, such as a LGV (large goods vehicle) or a PCV (passenger carrying vehicle) you will not be able to drive for at least five years after surgery. If you have had any seizures you will not be able to drive this type of vehicle until 10 years after your last fit.

I'm not sure in the circumstances that you would feel it appropriate to take the risk anyway but in some instances you may require a medical assessment before your driving licence is renewed.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

MRI Results

The exam was complete and I nervously asked the technologist if all looked good and clear. As is the usual procedure, she advised that the Radiologist had been down to have a quick look and had been out to speak to my husband.

The pulse quickened and my mouth went dry until I saw her smile. She obviously sensed my concern and fear and smiled the smile of relief and success, not the smile of sympathy or concern. This girl had been on the same path with me 2 years earlier and knew what they had found then so she must have felt a small amount of exhilaration that the images were clear. I cannot imagine what turns up in their day to day examinations. Nobody likes to be the bearer of bad tidings. They operate the equipment that is advanced enough to help diagnose a problem. Discovery is one thing, fixing it is another!

I left the MRI suite to be greeted by my smiling husband Roy. All clear he said - NO BRAIN TUMOUR - congratulations! Once again I burst into tears, but of relief this time! All that was left was to pick up the report the following day. I had studied the pictures in disbelief the first time so was really looking forward to looking at the new set.

MRI with Meningioma
MRI with NO Meningioma

Saturday, August 16, 2008

MRI Examination

Off I toddled for my 5pm appointment. Once again, my husband was at my side, feeling just as anxious as me, I have no doubt.

The procedure seemed very straight forward this time. A canula was inserted into a vein in my hand ready for the contrast dye. A very sweet male nurse showed concern at having to do this to me and was very sympathetic to the fact that I may feel a little discomfort. The old hand that I am, I chuckled and assured him that a small jab in the hand was nothing but I appreciated his bedside manner.

Everyone was pleased to see me looking so well and couldn't believe it had been 2 years since removal of my benign meningioma tumour.

Funnily enough, I arrived feeling far more nervous this time than I did last time when I had no inkling of what the results would be.

All jewellery was left at home, I put on the fabulous hospital gown, was strapped in to the head cage and ready to go.

The familiar clicks and knocks started and half way through the procedure the contrast dye was administered. It took about 40 minutes this time and I started to think about the results as I was laying there as still as possible.

If it's all clear I would be ecstatic and would stop thinking about it all again for a while but I began to feel like I was teetering on a precipice because if it wasn't, it would all start again.....would it be in the same location, what kind of tumour, what treatment would be possible and oh, so many questions not to mention the fears.

You also start asking yourself the "why me" question and the sad thing is research has still not come up with anything conclusive.

Friday, August 15, 2008

Why Another MRI?

I think it was the Russell Watson story that unnerved me a little. 'Regrowth of a previous benign brain tumour!' Now once again, the whole story will not have been reported and they may not have removed the whole of the initial tumour like they did mine - but let me tell you, it doesn't take a lot to knock your confidence when you are dealing with something as scary as a brain tumour experience and I never feel totally confident about anything until the proof is in my hands.

So I sat down and rang the hospital and told them I wanted to come in again for another MRI. Nobody deterred me. I thought I would probably have to wait a week for an appointment but they said they could see me at 5pm that day. Well I have to share with you that I said, 'thank you. I'll see you at 5 then', put the phone down and promptly burst into tears. Madness I know, but that meant that I had to front up to the issue fully again with the possibility that I may not feel so chirpy again tomorrow once I had the results.

Believe me, I'm not a pessimist! My anxiety levels just rocketed.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

MRI (magnetic resonance imaging)

I thought I'd show you a picture of what an 'open' MRI machine looks like. Some of the closed machines are a little more scary than this and some people feel a little claustrophobic during the process. What they will do is place your head in what looks like a cage and put a strap on your forehead so that you keep perfectly still.

The scan will take between 30-40 minutes. MRI uses magnetism instead of x-rays to build a detailed picture of your head. It is in no way painful and the only discomfort is in the fact that you will be asked to lie very still for this period of time. They will play you some music and I'm sure if you take your own favourites in they will play them for you so it's best just to relax. Once the process starts you will hear a series of what to me sounded like clicks and knocks.

You will be alone in the MRI room but the technician will be able to see and hear you and therefore if you need to attract their attention you only have to speak and a two-way intercom will pick you up.

I was given an injection of dye into a vein in my hand by way of intravenous needle, to produce a better evaluation of the images. This is like any other injection really and causes very little discomfort. The contrast is called gadolinium and does not contain iodine and is therefore less likely to cause allergic reactions.

Leave all your jewellery at home because these will have to be removed as they can interfere with the magnetic field of the MRI unit. You will usually be down to underwear and gown so will not have items such as zippers but be aware of items such as hair pins, hearing aids and removable dental work.

It is important that you remain perfectly still while the images are being recorded, which is typically only a few seconds to a few minutes at a time. You will know when images are being recorded because you will hear tapping or knocking sounds when the coils that create the magnetic field are turned on. You will be able to relax between imaging sequences.

The benefits of this technique is that it is noninvasive and does not involve any exposure to radiation. Where brain tumours are concerned the MR images are the most sensitive examination method as they are usually clearer and more detailed.

Monday, August 11, 2008


I thought it was about time I did a little follow up to the Eviction day to stress that it is 2 years on. Whilst writing my Ebook I have learnt a great deal about this mystical tumour and I have also read many peoples stories. We read a report or something crops up in the news and it rarely gives the whole story. You may read a caption like 'The Use of Mobile Phones has been linked to Brain Tumours'. Well as you can see from a previous entry of mine on this very subject, this headline is true but slightly misleading.

You may be like me, and as far as I thought about it prior to my own diagnosis, I really didn't know there were many types of brain tumour and in fact had never heard of a Meningioma. I certainly didn't want to think about the possibility of having one and didn't know that there were different grades and that some were benign and some were cancerous. I just truly thought that they were all something that nobody wanted because they spelt out a definite dangerous situation.

So having painstakingly read through as much information as I could I came to the conclusion that it would be a sensible thing to have a follow up MRI test this year even though my Neurosurgeon felt it was totally unnecessary.

Saturday, July 19, 2008

Eviction Day

July 19th 2006

Well....It's been a strange day as I tried to think at different stages of the day what was happening to me two years ago. I spoke to my sister at about 11am and told her what day it was. She said at that time I was definately on the operating table with my sun roof open!

My husband rushed over and gave me a big hug and kiss at 2:15pm and said you are out of surgery now and I'm so relieved I feel I can breath again. What a day!!

I feel kind of exhilerated and excited and better go and get my glad rags on 'cos we're out on the town to celebrate tonight. I can see a nice bottle of red with my name on it!

Here's to the THIRD YEAR.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Pre Operation Testing

17th July 2006 - Well I can't say that I'd ever like to go through those last few days in 2006 again. I'd been to see the Neurosurgeon and that was enlightening but the worst bit was letting my family and friends know about my diagnosis. No easy way to tell someone that you have a brain tumour is there really? Their shock matched my shock and luckily everyone remained positive for me. Thank goodness no one treated me as if I had been given a death sentence.

Good positive vibes is what you need at a time like that - so today (2 years ago) I went for pre-operation tests. You know the ones, blood pressure, xrays, ECG. I passed on 2 out of 3 and received a royal telling off for thinking I could treat myself.

It was back home on a high dose of medication to sort myself out! My guilt was incredible!

Monday, July 14, 2008

How It All Started

14/7/2006 - Having visited my doctor 2 days previously with a stange complaint I was back to see him again, not feeling ill but with a mystery complaint. That is when it all started and by the end of the day I was told I had my very own space invader.

So how do you know whether the strange things that are happening to you mean you have a brain tumour? The truth is we don't always recognise symptoms because people experience different things. Raised intracranial pressure can cause headaches, visual problems and vomiting. Mood swings and changes in behaviour are general signs of a brain tumour and many people experience epileptic fits as an early symptom. I don't think I experienced any of these but I did have something funny going on with my left leg!

Sunday, July 13, 2008

My Birthday

It was my birthday on 30th June and although normally this would be nothing too exciting to write home about, I am willing to share with you that it was my 50th Woo Hoo!!

Birthdays and anniversaries come and go and we either sing and shout or hide away for the day. I celebrated in the normal fashion but didn't go over board because I have an even bigger anniversary coming up next week and I really do want to sing and shout about that:

July 19th will be two years since I had my Brain Tumour Removed!

I certainly think that is worth a laugh!

Check back into my blog on Monday 14th and I'll give you a preview into my life two years ago.

Bye for now

Saturday, June 28, 2008

A Bit Of Brain Tumor Research News

This year there have been a few items in the news worthy of note. This one did not, in my opinion, receive enough coverage:

The International Journal of Cancer, which is published online, reported on a study undertaken in Finland. This study backs up another research report into the increased risk of developing a brain tumour for many regular cell phone users.

The study firmly correlates phone usage with an increased risk of developing a brain tumour called a Glioma and it reported that the risk of developing this brain tumour rose 40 - 270 percent on the side of the head preferred by modern cell phone users who have used their phones for more than 2000 hours in their lifetime.

Now that fact alone will scare many people out there. Many of us have anxiety attacks if we suddenly realise we have left the phone at home and business' rely heavily on this form of contact. The interesting thing is though that the study shows that the risk was highest among people under the age of twenty.

We are cautioned by other scientists that this does not mean that as soon as you reach ten years of cell phone usage you will have an immediate tumour but there is a high risk of this showing up at a later date.

As is always the case where money is involved, the mobile phone manufacturers proclaim that their phones are safe having funded their own research, which is open to interpretation.

Personally, I feel that I will definately take a closer look at my phone usage and where possible make use of hand free options. Surely it makes sense? And parents should have some cause for concern about their children and teenagers. If it's not really necessary, why have one? Make it emergency use only! This decade, it's very grown up and cool to have your own mobile phone - I hope it doesn't become a regular trend to be comparing brain tumour damage!

This is not hearsay, this is the second study of its type and it firmly correlates cell phone usage with an increased risk of developing certain brain tumors.

Consider your options.
Regards, Lynda

Friday, June 20, 2008

So What is a Meningioma?

Well, put simply, it is a tumor of the Meninges.

Where are the Meninges? The Meninges are membranes that protect our brain and spinal cords. They consist of thin sheets of body tissue and act as a protective shield to our brains and spinal cords.

Nobody has yet come up with a conclusive reason as to why they occur and research continues to unravel the mystery. Certain possibilities have been put forward, such as mobile phone usage and hormone replacement therapy recently, but as yet nothing is a certainty.

Research so far has concluded that meningiomas make up nearly 1 in 5 of all primary brain tumours, they are most common in women (A strike for me) and they are most likely to be found in people middle aged and older (Another strike for me - middle aged I mean!). Not a lot to go on really considering this affects a large proportion of the human race.

Meningiomas tend to favour the cerebral hemispheres of the brain but can start in any part of the brain or spinal cord.

On the positive side (the side I obviously favour), malignant meningiomas are VERY rare. Most meningiomas are benign (non cancerous) and grow slowly and the cells do not spread from the original site. It is often possible to completely remove meningiomas with surgery but it depends on the location and accessibility.

Until next time - Enjoy Today.

Monday, June 16, 2008

Chapter One - Setting the Scene


'I have had very little sickness in my life and have never been in hospital for any reason other than to work as an admin clerk for 6 months. So, yes, you have it right, I have my tonsils and my appendix and I have never broken a bone in my body or had food poisoning or a baby. Remarkable isn’t it that I escape a hospital visit for 48 years? But, boy, when I do it, I do it big! No messing around!'
After waking up one morning in Mid June, I stretched, as you do at the start of a new day and realised that certain parts of my body were out of control. A little episode that lasted all of 30 seconds, although it did feel like 10 minutes to me. So, what was all that about?

I found a very interesting video on 'YouTube' for anyone out there that may be confused about their brain tumour diagnosis. A consultant oncologist explains the difference between Benign and Malignant brain tumours and the treatment options. I found it very clear, to the point and with no jargon :-)" type="application/x-shockwave-flash" width="425" height="349">

See you later for further information posts on the mystery Meningioma.

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Today Is The Day

Hi everyone

Back again to tell you all my Ebook has today gone live for purchase. I'm looking to make as much money as possible for Brain Tumour Research so I hope you will find time to visit my website and consider a purchase. I promise you will find a full account of my experience from start to finish and hopefully you will enjoy a few giggles and some dramatic photos along the way. (It is an 'uplifting account' I promise)

Just in case you are wondering what this is all about, my Ebook is called:

My Brain Tumour - One Womans Uplifting Story

Here is the Introduction to give you some insight and I will post an extract from Chapter One next week:



My name is Lynda.

You are probably desperately searching for answers having recently been told that either you or someone very close to you has a meningioma. My thoughts and good wishes are with you all.

Your journey is just about to begin and the purpose of me writing this book is to share with you my journey in the hope that it will help you a little to understand the emotions, shock and sheer terror that such news brings and to offer some encouragement.

The one thing I have learnt though throughout my research is that nobody has the exact same experience and it is therefore my aim to include the resources to find good information and associations that have forums for you to ask questions of other meningioma survivors. Please remember what I said above though, that everybody has a different story and we all experienced different things. Your story will be different again and one of your best friends at this time will be your doctor. If you haven’t already, find one that has time for you, one that you trust and respect and ask as many questions as you need to.

Being diagnosed with a brain tumour is a nightmare. It turns your world upside down and is both scary and worrying for both the victim and their family. I use the word ‘victim’, because that’s how I felt at the time and I hope that by reading my story it will help you in coming to terms with your own situation.

My very happy world was hit by a thunderbolt on the 14th July 2006 when I was diagnosed with a brain tumour. I had a brain tumour; I had it surgically removed on 19th July 2006 and was back in my own home on 29th July, relieved that I had made it through safely, thankful for a second chance and wondering what all the initial fuss was about.

I don’t mean to be flippant in any way. I know that I was probably luckier than most with regard to the position of my meningioma, I had a fabulous doctor with in-sight, I had a top rate neurosurgeon, I had my hero and the love of my life by my side, I had the love of family and friends and I also had the will and determination to overcome this hiccup in my life. I am a survivor.

Take a look at the website for more information.....

I'll be back next week.

Regards Lynda

Sunday, June 1, 2008

My First Post - Nearly Ready To Launch

I am so excited. I have just completed my first ever E-book, all on my own, on my very favourite subject at the moment - my brain tumour and it will be ready for launch next week and hopefully making some useful cash contribution to brain tumour research.

I am really hoping it will help any of you out there in Blog land who may have been diagnosed or know someone who has because it is a very scary time and this is a positive account to offer you some encouragement. I will be back during the week to let you know more....