My name is Stephen, and I am a Lancashire lad. I have lived in the South of England since leaving college in 1978, and am married to Jo. We have two married children.
“I realised very early into my diagnosis that I had two choices; either to feel sorry for myself or say to myself I am going to try and be the best I can today.” – Stephen
I have had a varied working life – in the early years in Agriculture – the middle years working in the finance office for a Christian Charity and latterly working in food retail for a well-known Partnership.
We enjoy an active lifestyle, cycling, walking, camping, and have an allotment. So, it came as a complete shock in June 2016 to be told that I had a brain tumour, and just as devastating for my family.
We started a new journey together – over the next two years I underwent surgery to remove the tumour followed by radiotherapy when it started to grow again.
Life has not been easy since. Brain tumours tend to dominate your thinking; but I have been determined to enjoy each day and not look too far ahead. I do have goals that I would like to achieve but equally I am happy with life as it is.
I have found it easier to live with the physical issues that a brain tumour can cause rather than with the physiological issues. The medical profession can offer you anti-depressants, but I did not want to go down that route.
“I immediately signed up for my first meetup in Guildford which was being held the next day. This opened up a support network for me and I have never looked back.” – Stephen
After I received an email from Helen encouraging me to join the brainstrust community I immediately signed up for my first Meet Up in Guildford which was being held the next day. This opened up a support network for me and I have never looked back. So I would encourage you to go along if you can. You do not need to talk about your brain tumour, and I can assure you of a warm welcome.
And to finish – I realised very early into my diagnosis that I had two choices; either to feel sorry for myself or say to myself I am going to try and be the best I can today.
I have finally learnt to pace my life; I’ve stopped winding up the old Stephen and instead began to concentrate on the new me. I am learning to do things in a more sustainable way.
I decided to embrace my brain tumour and work with it rather than fight against it.
To register for brainstrust Meet Ups, workshops and open up your own brain tumour support network, like Stephen did, call us today on 01983 292 405, email firstname.lastname@example.org or visit www.meetup.com/brainstrust