My name is Dan, and I have just turned 22.
Just over a year ago I started feeling unwell, on and off....visiting my GP and the emergency department of my local hospital.
My symptoms were so vague, and constantly changing, and I was so tired, that in the end, after various tests, I was told that it was all in my mind.
I remember it was an awful time, I didn’t go into work, and my parents were at their wits end, not knowing if I had returned to my teenage years of “crying wolf” at school, or not.
After weeks of this, I became really ill one weekend, and my mum called an ambulance and after a CT scan, my mum was told I had a brain tumour. I don’t remember that day, but it was the start of a long round of drug treatments and hospital visits whilst I waited for my seizures to come under control, and the pressure on my brain to go.
My surgery date arrived and I remember feeling calm, even though they told us that I would be awake during a lot of the surgery, and that my speech, memory and movement could all be badly affected.
After coming round properly , later that night, after my parents had been sent home, I sat up, and asked one of the nurses if I could borrow her phone. I dialled my dad, knowing his mobile number off by heart, and I remember my mum crying and laughing in the background with relief that “ I “ was still there.
It turned out that the tumour could only be partly removed, and sadly, because the remainder is cancerous, the surgery was the easy part. I recall sitting on on my hospital bed, waiting to be discharged just four days later, on my 21st birthday. I made it home by the evening....
The year since then has been hard, with radiotherapy and chemotherapy, constant journeys to London, and I’m still not finished with that. It has been a year of highs and lows, sometimes it seems like it was yesterday, sometimes the days when I could drive my beloved car seem a lifetime ago.
The journey is not over yet, my scar will always be there to remind me, and my mum carries the scars in her heart.