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Communication between the brain tumour patient and their family and friends (part 2)

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In this post, I will be discussing the more intrinsic 'side-effects' that run alongside having a brain tumour. Some people may find this level of honesty triggering but I believe it is important to be honest with an audience who do not know what it's like to be the patient.




Scars and bald patches:A lot of people who have had brain surgery will have a lifelong scar on their head; I have no doubt that you will have seen one before. Some are big and cover one side of the head to the other, some are small, some are healed and some are fresh wounds. A lot of people, like myself, are inoperable and do not bear one; but we may have a bald patch due to radiotherapy or various chemotherapy treatments. 
Scar after care can be tricky sometimes: they can be itchy, dry, oozy, stretched, keloid, hypertrophic or even be numb. Some patients forget they have them and some just can't. Everyone' s healing process is different and this is why they vary so much in aesthetic. It also dep…

We're Climbing for a Cure!

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On the 9th to the 11th August myself and a large group of friends & family will be climbing Ben Nevis in aid of The Brain Tumour Charity: we want to find a cure, improve quality of life and raise awareness of Brain Tumours!

All Brain Tumours are still currently incurable which is incredibly scary but especially when yours is inoperable too. There have been little to no advances in Brain Cancer Research since 1980, yet it is the biggest killer of all people under 40! Please help me find and fund a cure that can prolong my life and the lives of so many others too. 

Having a Brain Tumour is just like embarking on a climb: it's an uphill battle with unexpected moments of intense fogginess. You're carrying heavy baggage throughout the journey and you're always wary for the next trip or fall; you just hope someone will be there to pick you up. As there is currently no cure, having a brain tumour is a lifelong journey with peaks and troughs just like a mountain. I was declared …

Mental Health Awareness: Panic Attacks and Anxiety

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This is quite a personal post this week. I had a really severe panic attack in the middle of the night where I genuinely thought I was dying or about to have a seizure.It started with a headache that wasn't being controlled with any painkiller; including codeine and Amitriptyline. My brain tumour is something that frightens the life out of me anyway so when I can't control a headache I often jump to conclusions. I realised I was on blood thinning injections that have been known to cause aneurysms in Brain Tumour patients so I basically concluded I was having one of these and was about to start seizing.Commence the rapid heart rate, high blood pressure and shortness of breath. It literally felt like my lungs had disconnected from their affinity for C02 and only my gasps would keep me ticking. I was genuinely so frightened and it's bizarre to think that this all comes from the thoughts and fears in your head. My headache had already gone by this point and I couldn't bre…

Communication between the brain tumour patient and their family and friends (part 1)

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Last weekend, myself and 20 other Young Ambassadors of The Brain Tumour Charity met for the first time. It was both fascinating and emotive being around so many other young people like myself who were so heavily affected by Brain Tumours. Most impressively, it was amazing to experience how motivated we became to make a massive difference in the world of brain tumour research.
We all had the chance to share our stories, the amount of variation in these was astounding: every brain tumour story has it's unique differences and certain sets of challenges. We were able to help each other through these thought processes and contribute whatever advice or lessons learnt from experiences that we had had.

One of the major issues that almost everyone had a resounding issue with was the communication between the patient and the family and friends. In some cases it felt awkward, in most cases it felt un-equipped and in a few instances patients were left isolated. We felt this really needed to be …

My brain tumour turns 1

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It's been a full year since my diagnosis and if I do say myself, it has actually been overall a good year. Going into this journey, especially with the state of shock not wearing off for a few months, and no sense of expectation for my future...I feel like I've achieved quite a lot in 12 months. Being a very practical person, I remember the first thing I did was sort out my finances and name my LPA's so I didn't have to worry about anything should I have a worst case scenario. I found myself worrying a lot more about living as a 'vegetable' than I did about dying. I'll be the first to admit that this journey isn't the easiest but there have been so many fantastic things that have come out of Year 1. Having this Brain Tumour has opened so many doors for me that I otherwise would never have explored. I truly believe that my quality of life and the quality of my relationships has improved so much because of it. I really live in the moment and enjoy everyd…

How To Not Drive Yourself Mad When You're Off Sick!

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First of all...I would like to apologise for my absence as I have been on bed rest for four weeks feeling quite different on codeine!  About 6 weeks ago I was at a party and intended to slide into the splits but instead my leg impaled the floor before I had the chance to show off my dramatic skillset: this resulted in a traumatic fracture to my knee and a patella dislocation. Ouch!
For me this was really bad timing as it was the day before I was due to start my dream role on Harley Street! Luckily, they were really kind about the whole situation and unfortunately six weeks later I'm still on unpaid sick leave...but my job is waiting for me when I get back on my feet.
I had reconstructive surgery four weeks ago to repair the damage and in true Chantal fashion: this is genuinely the second time in ten years that I've done this so I'm a bit of a professional now.
I have found that I've been going slightly mad not knowing what to do with myself over the past four weeks, es…

Officially a Young Ambassador!

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I am so pleased to say that for 2019 I will be officially working with The Brain Tumour Charity as a Young Ambassador. The Young Ambassadors are a group of handpicked 18-25 year olds who have been affected by Brain Tumours and subsequently utilised the resources of The Brain Tumour Charity and want to show dedication and passion to ultimately finding a cure!

This role is something I never thought I'd be doing this time last year but it is absolutely my calling! Just 10 months on from my own diagnosis I feel like a completely different purpose bound individual and I will work hard in this team to help secure a cure for all people with Brain Tumours young or old.

My journey will begin later this month as I go to an Ask The Researcher event in London to find out what the current projects are for Brain Tumours and ask a few more specific questions. If you want to attend this event you can still buy tickets here: https://asktheresearcher2019.eventbrite.co.uk/

If you cannot attend then…