How new friends helped Arvin get his confidence back
A serious car accident changed Arvin’s life forever. But it wasn’t the injuries from the accident that did it - they were minor. It was the MRI scan that he had as a precaution.
“They found six brain tumours,” said Arvin. “Six germinomas.”
Surgery to remove the tumours, wasn’t an option, because the consultant said the surgery would be too dangerous, one of the tumours had been on his pituitary gland, resulting in diabetes insipidus, while another had been on his optic nerve, resulting in temporary partial loss of eyesight, and radiotherapy has meant he now easily gets tired.
After radiotherapy, Arvin had a fluid blockade in the brain, he suffered from massive memory loss, he didn't even recognise his mum.
Arvin’s close family have been very supportive, his friends much less so. Several of them didn’t know how to deal with the news and he lost touch with them. “Before my first radiotherapy session, I had lunch with my best friend. We’ve been friends since nursery. I told him about my diagnosis and that was the last time that he spoke to me.”
Not able to work and with no driving licence, Arvin felt very isolated.
But then Arvin found his local Brain Tumour Support Group and things changed for him. “I have new friends now,” says Arvin. “Friends that understand what it’s like to go through radiotherapy; they understand that I get confused; and they understand why I get tired.”
One group member even encouraged him to play the ukulele again, something he hadn’t done since his diagnosis.
Louise Tully, Arvin’s Brain Tumour Support Worker at the Coventry Support Group, remembers the day he played his ukulele in front of the group for the first time. “Arvin’s confidence has grown so much since he first attended Coventry Support Group. Seeing him play was a special moment, for myself especially, as I could see how far he had come with his recovery.”
“Before attending the support group, I don’t think I would have had the courage to play in front of people,” says Arvin. “I would have been too shy to do that. The members of the group encourage me and they have helped me get my confidence back. I don’t know where I would be without my support group.”
Now Arvin is using his new-found confidence to help others. His blog features personal insights as well as hints and tips on living with effects of a brain tumour.
Arvin at Coventry Support Group with his uncle and sister
Our Coventry Support Group is run in collaboration with Brainwaves
Read more about how we help
Brain Tumour Support runs support groups up and down the country for brain tumour patients and their families. Click here to find your nearest one.