Hi, I’m Scott I am 24 years old,and this is my story. In May, 2013, I was diagnosed with a brain tumour; a cerebellar astrocytoma (a tumour that grows in the area of the brain called the cerebellum, responsible for complex motor functions like coordination and balance). Due to the location of the tumour, I was told it would be challenging for the surgeon to successfully remove it without any complications to my health. I woke up from surgery with the majority, if not all the tumour removed. It was difficult for the surgeon to avoid damage to the delicate tissues surrounding the tumour, and this has left me with some complications.
Since the surgery, I have completely lost the hearing in my left ear, I have facial paralysis on the left side, I have a condition called nystagmus (uncontrolled movement of the eyes) and my balance has been significantly effected. Six weeks post operation, I had a condition called hydrocephalus (a build up of fluid on the brain); this put pressure on my brain causing me to hallucinate and throw up all the time. Due to this complication, I had to have a second operation to release the brain fluid, an operation which seemed simple and easy; the surgeon would drill a small hole between a couple of ventricles to release the pressure. When I woke up from surgery, I was told that the operation had damaged a part of my brain, a part of the brain responsible for movement of the left limbs. I couldn’t raise my left arm or leg, and this took months of hard work and patience to re-gain strength.
Three years on: my balance, eyes and strength is improving. I have accepted that recovery may never be 100% for me, but that’s ok because I am still here to tell the tale. Recently, I completed a half marathon, travelled to Australia and Thailand and applied to University; I am slowly getting my independence back. My friend once told me that life is 10% of what comes your way and 90% of how you deal with it, and it’s true. I have tried to remain as positive as possible. Learning of other people’s stories of how they deal with life’s challenges shows that I am not alone and with help from dedicated friends and family, I am able to remain positive.
To anyone suffering similarly, I would say be yourself and try your hardest to be strong throughout, do not feel ashamed when you feel upset or down because we all get days like these; talk to your friends and family if you are worried about something and most importantly, focus on YOU.
Thanks for reading my story.