Brain Tumour Support saved my life
After two rounds of brain surgery and chemotherapy, Richard hit an all-time low and felt suicidal. But he says that attending one of our Support Groups as well as specialist support from our Brain Tumour Support counsellor saved his life.
Richard was diagnosed with an oligodendroglioma brain tumour in 1999. At first it was monitored with no treatment but then the growth of the tumour accelerated in 2004 and he was treated in Bristol’s Frenchay Hospital. Unfortunately the tumour returned in 2009.
“After the second time it grew back, I had an awake craniotomy and I thought I was fine at first,” said Richard. “But I did hit rock bottom really quickly and was offered specialist counselling from Brain Tumour Support. My counsellor saved my life – it’s as simple as that. She just said the right things at the right time. I still have dark moments, but they pass. My family and my Support Group keeps me going.”
Richard and his wife Sue
Adapting to a new lifestyle
For so many people, life after a brain tumour diagnosis can never be the same and they find themselves needing to adapt to a new life. Richard and his wife Sue have adapted their life many times.
They left the family farm to set up a bed and breakfast business, but after losing his driving licence, this became unsustainable for Richard. So they bought a hotel business which was more accessible. However after his second surgery, he found that he couldn’t cope with the stress of such a large business and he and Sue looked around for a new, more manageable, challenge.
Richard believes his personality has changed because of the tumour and that his family has suffered more than he has. Today Richard and Sue are happy running a business hiring out canal boats on the River Avon. They’ve come a long way from the period when Richard almost took his own life.
“My latest scan showed good results,” said Richard. “I had the scan result on the same day as my Support Group meeting and it was wonderful to be able to share my news with people who really understood. I now only need annual scans. Whereas before I was living my life in six-monthly blocks, I can now live in annual blocks!”
Richard and Sue used to attend our Bristol group, but now that we have opened a support group in Bath, they find this much more convenient. “It used take us nearly an hour to get to group,” said Richard. “But now the journey is much easier and the fact that the group takes place in the evening is fantastic for us. We love our Support Group. Everyone is so friendly and the atmosphere is so informal and relaxing. We’ve always got someone to talk to and if I manage to help someone else, then that’s even better.”
Richard and Sue with their nephew and niece
Read more about how we help
Brain Tumour Support offers support to brain tumour patients and their families in a variety of ways - support groups, one-to-one, counselling, telephone and on-line support.
For more information call our Support Line on 01454 422701 or email firstname.lastname@example.org