Jeff

Categories: Patient Stories

I was knocked down by a taxi while cycling on 7 Dec 2012. During the emergency operation to fix my broken pelvis, spine and lower right leg, a CT scan showed there was some white mass on the left frontal lobe of my brain. The doctors thought it might be a blood clot due to the accident and decided to monitor it. I had another surgery in April 2013 and took an MRI after that. The MRI then showed I had a brain tumour, the diagnosis was “suggestive of a low grade oligodendroglioma”. As I was feeling fine and did not display any symptoms, I was advised by the NNI doctors to wait and see how the brain lesion progressed.

In Jan 2014, I started feeling unwell with giddiness, headaches and fainting fits. I was admitted twice and the CT scans/MRI showed that the tumour had already increased in size. I was devastated, as if recovering from my accident wasn’t bad enough, I was facing cancer of the brain. In February 2014, I underwent a craniotomy. A biopsy confirmed that the tumour was an anaplastic astrocytoma. My doctor quickly referred me to NCC for chemotherapy & radiotherapy treatments. At NCC, I started on daily radiotherapy with adjuvant oral chemotherapy for 6 weeks (30 times). After this grueling treatment, I rested for 1 month before starting another 6 cycles of chemotherapy. I have completed the treatment but continue to go to NCC for regular MRI every 3 months and I have to be continued on medications to prevent the occurrence of seizures.

My cycling accident and discovery of the brain tumour turned my life, and that of my wife’s, completely upside down. My wife, Patricia, had to quit her job to look after me full-time. An active sportsman before my accident, I can no longer enjoy physical activities such as rugby, jogging and sailing. I still cycle, but only along park connectors for short distances and with Patricia by my side. As for income, I now work from home, running my own paper trading business.

On the bright side, I have not felt nauseous since my brain operation. People say you can only declare yourself cancer-free after a 5-year period. I say each day is a blessing. It has brought Patricia and I closer, as we spend a lot more time together. Having a positive mind, building up your immunity, and keeping a healthy, organic diet are all important to people recovering from brain surgery. Drink plenty of water, this is the secret to life.

I am very glad for the monthly BTSS support group meetings where I meet other patients. Having to share my story, I have opened up about my misfortune and in return, I find that I am not alone in this journey, there are many others with greater need than I, and by sharing, I am in a position to help them.