My husband Alan was diagnosed in 2007 with a brain tumour, following a seizure. It was just five years after his younger brother, James, passed away from the same devastating disease. Alan, 46, has been told that the tumour has now become very aggressive and, following recent further surgery at The Royal Victoria Hospital, Belfast, he is currently undergoing chemotherapy, under the care of The Cancer Centre in Belfast City Hospital.
For two years, Alan was monitored with regular MRI scans and in November 2009 they noted growth in the tumour and advised Alan surgery would be needed. Following his craniotomy, Alan was advised that it had only been possible to remove approximately 50% of the tumour and so a complete a course of radiotherapy was recommended. The tumour was at this stage diagnosed as an Oligodendroglioma.
Further MRI scans were carried out regularly and in 2009 another separate tumour was picked up and noted as being aggressive due to the timescales and its size. Surgery was carried out and a course of chemotherapy followed.
MRI scans again were carried out regularly and in 2013 another tumour was detected, again very aggressive. Further surgery was performed in August 2013 and at present Alan is undergoing more chemotherapy.
This illness has affected the Williams family previously as Alan's younger brother was diagnosed with a brain tumour in 2001 after months of misdiagnosis. Despite two operations, radiotherapy and chemotherapy James died in May 2002 aged just 31 years. Consultants said they had never seen a more aggressive tumour in anyone so young. This was a devastating blow to the family and impacted greatly when Alan was then diagnosed some five years later.During our journey through this illness, Brainwaves NI has been our rock, offering advice and information when needed, as well as absolutely invaluable support from both the committee and members, all who have been affected in some way by this illness. The people behind this charity work tirelessly to raise funds for research into brain tumours which I believe will benefit so many people in the future who are affected by this terrible disease.