Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Meningioma Awareness Day

Brain Science Foundation Patient Education Event for Spring.
In April, the 5th Meningioma Awareness Day is scheduled for Friday, April 27 and Saturday, April 28, 2012 at the Joseph B. Martin Conference Center at Harvard Medical School.

The event features a full day of educational presentations, lectures, and opportunities to meet others. The Friday evening program will provide one-on-one discussions between patients and medical experts who can answer their questions.

Meningioma Awareness Day brings together physicians and other health providers, researchers, Meningioma patients and their families/friends for mutual learning about the causes, detection, and treatment of the disease. This completely patient-centered event provides information and strategies for coping with this most common form of primary brain tumor.

While the exact program is still in its design phase, some topics covered will include the following themes:

Latest epidemiology research — what causes meningiomas and why?
Patient stories and experiences.
Treatment options.
Complete care—your path to wellness.
How the latest advances impact patients.
Managing symptoms.

Meningioma Awareness Day aims to be a completely patient-focused event that covers all the key topics for patients and their loved ones. Time will be set aside for participants to meet and discuss issues with each other as well as with medical experts.

Online registration is currently open, and more information available by clicking here:


Or contact them on 781-239-2903 should you have any questions!

Friday, January 20, 2012

Meningioma Brain Tumor Symptoms

One of my friends half-jokingly estimated that brain tumour symptoms account for far more medical problems than actual brain tumours. As a neurologist, he was referring to the volume of patients who come in afraid for their lives as soon as they get what they think is a symptom of brain tumours. The problem is that almost any complaint, from a headache to partial paralysis of the body and beyond, can be a brain tumour symptom.

Nonetheless, there are many brain tumours symptoms, he explained, that should cause concern. If, for example, you suddenly start to have chronic and unexplained headaches, it is a good idea to see a neurologist. Although there are many things that can cause severe headaches besides tumours, still, they are one of the most common of brain tumour symptoms. Out of all the things that cause headaches, brain tumours rank towards the low end, so you do not need to panic. Nonetheless, it is always better to be safe than sorry. A neurologist appointment will calm your fears, and help you to get rid of your headaches.

Paralysis, trouble swallowing, troubled vision, seizure or other problems like that are much more common as brain tumour symptoms. You see, a tumour can affect any area of the brain. Usually when it does, it will cause some kind of functional impairment. That means that if you are suffering from brain tumour symptoms, you will not be able to do something that you could do before. Perhaps you will have trouble recalling things all of a sudden. Perhaps you will have trouble speaking. Perhaps you will have trouble moving your body. No matter what the issue, all of these can be signs of brain tumour symptoms. And even if they are not symptoms of brain tumours, they are obviously serious enough problems that you should go and seek medical attention.

The thing about brain tumours is that they do have a way of making their presence known. Brain tumour symptoms are generally things that are severe enough that you would go to a doctor anyway. You don't need to worry about brain tumours per se. You just need to be willing to go to a doctor when you start to feel bad, sick, or abnormal. All the studies indicate that, whether it is brain tumours, cancer, or flu, early diagnosis can be a great big help. Make sure that you get treated as soon as possible if you feel unhealthy or have abnormal symptoms. Listen to your body!

For more facts and information on my meningioma brain tumour symptoms, visit:


Tuesday, January 17, 2012

A Truly Phenomenal Woman

Hi Everyone - Happy New Year

Hope you all survived the festive season!
I would like to share a story with you about a truly inspirational friend of mine; Alison.

Alison and I go back a long way to when we were both bank clerks in Newquay Cornwall and struggling to prove ourselves career wise. We were both pretty strong women trying to make our mark in what was a very male dominated profession.

We became good friends and share a very similar sense of humour and dogged determination. I eventually moved away from Cornwall but we always kept in touch so I was in shock and very sad to hear this time last year (Jan 2011) that she had had a Christmas and New Year in pain, eventuating in hospitalization, to be informed that she had cancer of the lymphatic system and that the mass was too large to be operated on and removed.

Surgery did however follow to decrease constriction of lower organs and this surgery was then followed by 6 months’ worth of chemotherapy.

During this time Alison was stoic in her fight to beat this situation and continued her work as Area Fundraising Manager with the East Anglian Air Ambulance. Alison went through good, positive days and bad, dark days when she felt like she had been swallowed into a black hole.

Chemo was undertaken but unfortunately showed little results and this was followed by high dose chemotherapy, drugs and then further surgery to enable these drugs to be administered. All in all this was a harrowing time for Alison and her family but she battled on using all that determination she used to show in her twenties.

Alison had to go through the trauma of hair loss also but she was not prepared to let this get her down. Determined to make the most of the situation, she warned all her friends that if she was going to have to wear wigs, they were going to be outstanding! So, for Halloween she did her bit.

Good News was the headline for seeing out the Old Year and welcoming in the New Year!
31st Dec 2011:
PET scan negative meaning the cancer is no longer active and she is in remission for the moment! The road ahead is still a long one as far as treatment goes but they can now use her own stem cells for a possible transplant and Alison now starts on a rigorous regime of treatment throughout this month (January 2012) to harvest stem cells and continue with high dose chemo.

Alison you are an inspiration to anyone going through a gruelling time and fighting cancer. I am so proud of you and I'm glad you are made of good old Cornish Granite. Don't quit my friend and remember the anonymous quote I forwarded:

"I wish I was a glow worm, A glow worm's never glum.’Cos how can you be grumpy when the sun shines out your bum!"
~Author Unknown~

I wish you a more peaceful 2012 with less pain and fear. Believe in yourself - You are truly a phenomenal woman!