As many of you may know if you have read my posts below….I am scheduled to have my brain surgery (partial resection) on Tuesday! Today is Friday….that leaves me with FOUR days until op day (*dramatic music*)

I wanted to post today just to try and get some of my nervous thoughts and energy out of my system and to try and give an insight into some of the worries that are going through my head. I want to use it to vent some of the uncertainty that is all built up inside of me, so then for the next few days I can put all those worries into a little box, pack it away and try to keep myself as busy as possible until Monday when I will be admitted to Charing Cross.

I am very much aware, particularly with the help from the lovely ladies at the Maggie’s Centre at the Freemans Hospital, Newcastle, that there is no point worrying about things that are completely out of my control, as it all just spirals out of control! If you have not come across the work of the Maggie’s Centre before, they are INCREDIBLE!

Built in the grounds of NHS cancer hospitals, Maggie’s Centres are places with professional staff on hand to offer the support people need and there are now 17 centres across the UK. I have now been to a few Brain Tumour specific support groups at the Freemans hospital Centre, and just popped in to relax and have a chat in between hospital appointments at the Centre at Charing Cross. The session I attended last month at the Maggie’s Centre has been able to help me a lot this past week….we spoke about how to deal with uncertainty, of which there has been, and still is A LOT of in my life at the moment. This session was invaluable to me, particularly as I am a complete and utter control freak and I hate not knowing exactly what is going on. Although having had discussions with my “super surgeon”, Kevin O’Neill, I still don’t really exactly know what is going to happen, how much pain I will be in afterwards, how big my scar will be, how much hair they will have to shave off, if there will be any major side effects….the list goes on.

The lovely ladies at the Freeman’s Maggie’s Centre explained how sometimes questioning each and every one of these worries and uncertainties can be detrimental to my positive outlook, because the likelihood is, that I don’t have the answers and these things are completely out of my control. Thereforee9dfb595a8289e373c0c7fb169eeb036 what it is better and more beneficial to concentrate on, is the things, albeit how small, that I can control. Writing my blog and using this as a means to release my thoughts is in my control, remaining as positive and upbeat as possible is in my control, and making a difference is in my control (with your support of course)….and that is the path I have chosen to follow!

Right, so control freak Anna – let’s use this post to vent my worries:

I think my main worry, that may seem silly to some of you who have had operations under general anaesthetic before, is the thought of not waking up! I have never had general anaesthetic before – my first biopsy operation was awake surgery; I was lightly sedated and had local anaesthetic injected into my scalp. The control freak that I am, I was weirdly quite thankful for being awake, as I knew exactly what was going on, even if I did have to endure the ridiculous noise of the drill :/!! Although the prospect of being awake during brain surgery seemed to freak everyone else out, I am in fact more nervous about being asleep this time around. The operation is due to take about 3-4 hours I have been told and I have been told to expect to be kept in a further 3-4 days to recover.

There are obviously risks, as with any major surgery, which again, if I dwell on would probably drive me insane and lead me to call off the operation all together! The main risk I have been warned of is that I may lose movement or feeling in the left hand side of my body. Currently, this doesn’t worry  me too much – to me, this is a small price to pay to potentially be able to live and spend a few more months/a year/years with the incredible people in my life. It would obviously affect my day to day life for the time I do have left, but I am almost positive this won’t be the case…always trust your gut instincts – see I do listen to you, Mother!


I do, bizarrely, feel very lucky to be in the position I am in, in terms of finding Kevin, and him being keen and confident to operate and partially resect a sizeable chunk of the Trev. Taking this into account, I am quite excited to undergo the surgery and see what kind of a difference, if any, it can make to my progress, future treatment results (i.e radiotherapy), and my prognosis . I am hoping to up the ante on the score card front and it look more like Anna 2 – Trev 0.

Taking all of that out of the picture, and just being completely emotional….I AM SO NERVOUS!! I think it is only hitting me at certain times, on certain days, what on earth has gone on, is going on and what will be happening next week! It really is crazy! I am a bit worried as I haven’t had a breakdown over the past week and a half. Comments and messages I have received off the back of my blog etc have made me shed tears, but mainly because I cannot get over the kindness of my family, friends, blasts from the past, or complete strangers! But an absolute sob, I haven’t had. Although, as I am sure you have got the gist of by now, I am a very positive and strong person, I also believe it is important to be weak at times and have a good cry….although it helps with nothing, changes nothing, everyone needs to have an emotional release to keep you sane! I wonder if one is due to arrive before Tuesday…?!

When I was coming around from my biopsy operation at the beginning of February, I could not control the tears. I was lying in my hospital bed, with either my Mum or Dad in the seat beside me so I could grasp on to their hand (they took shifts so their hand didn’t end up falling off! ). I would be lying there, head throbbing from the surgery, but perfectly quiet and calm, eyes shut, and the next minute, tears would be streaming down my face! And this would then have a domino effect on the parent in the chair! The people on my ward must have thought we were absolute nutters! The emotion just crept up on me each time and came from absolutely nowhere. At least this time I am prepared for the tears to turn up without warning!

Speaking of my parents, I am fortunate, particularly with my surgery being in London, that they are both 7c30dc9a4a71e4c3b3c33bbcb05450e3going to be able to be with me the whole of next week. I hate, more than anything, trying to imagine myself in their shoes, particularly when I am wheeled away on my bed and during the 3-4 hours when I am in surgery. The worry they must and will experience is horrible to think of. Furthermore, with my surgery being in London, the remainder of my family will not be able to visit me in hospital due to us all living up in the North East. Again, I don’t like thinking about what they will be going through and how helpless they will feel being so far away. Although I know these scenarios are not my fault and are completely out of my control, I almost feel like I am inflicting these horrible feelings on to the ones I love the most and a feeling of guilt creeps up on me when I think about it too much

On a lighter note, if anyone has any suggestions for how I can wind up my loved ones when I do come out of surgery fine, I would appreciate any ideas on a postcard!…. I was thinking of, as I heard it has happened…to pretend that I can only speak a foreign language (leaning towards mandarin as they would have no clue if what I was saying is right anyway – and I was learning mandarin at work before my diagnosis!).

If I have to think of the worst scenario, and if anything is to go completely wrong (again, I know it won’t – gut feelings are the best), I just hope that I am still in a position, health wise, to be able to keep raising awareness and money for brain tumours and BTRC. If I am not, PLEASE continue to help this cause so that in the future, nobody has to even contemplate processing these types of thoughts that are going through my head right now.

Thank you for lending me your ears today, and I will be sure to make my sister, Victoria, (would hate to see my parents have a go at uploading anything on here) updates you all when I have come around from my operation.

me and sis

I have a general Just Giving Page now, so for those who feel so inclined….Even if it just a £ 1 donation, I will be so grateful!!!!





  1. Anna,

    I just wanted to say how much I admire you. I’m 23 and I have 6 small but inoperable brain tumours and a big spinal cord tumour. Simon (My big T) has been debulked twice, in 2008 when I was 16 (I fojnd out I had a tymour 10 daya before surgery!) and 2012. My second operation left me paralysed in the left leg, but after 3 months in hospital and rehab, I left walking (Kind of).

    It wasnt what I wanted and it certainly wasn’t what my parents and family and I had planned for. But you get through it, because you have to.

    You have to control the controllable, leave everything else to either him upstairs or fate. You will be fine because you’re courageous, proactive in your efforts and you’re clearly loved. That counts for a lot in these situations.

    Best of luck, I will be thinking of you on Tuesday! If you wanted to talk, get in touch.

    Also, a great wind up is the languages thing! Or thinking your name is Gerald or something!

    Love, Katie x


    1. Hi Katie,
      So lovely to hear from you, but obviously gutted to hear that someone else so young has been effected by this awful disease! I would absolutely love to get in touch….might be easier for me on Facebook if I am being honest. Do you already follow Inside My Head page on there?
      Lots of love, Anna x


    2. Hi Anna,read your blog.Slow down!Leave some of those worries to the Surgeon and Anesthetist.Don’t worry about your family and friends worrying-they will no matter what you do.You are in safe hands and surrounded by love.I’ve had surgery and like you that’s what worried me most not waking up,but I did.You will have good pain relief and its going to be sore.You don’t sound like a wuss to me!As for possible side effects after the op-cross that bridge when you come to it.There may be none or insignificant.You know you have to be told the worse case scenario-in case you sue!
      Anyway control freak-let go a little and share that load.I’ll be thinking and praying for you .Ignore all this if you think its a load of old rubbish but all best wishes.Joanne x


  2. Wow Anna – yet again an amazing blog. I have a son your age… have told of both my sons to read this… be grateful for every day – I wish we could all say everything will be alright, but we can’t. You will be in amazing hands who are going to do their best for you. With your positive outlook in life you are giving yourself the best chance. We will all be thinking of you next week and will wait for that bing in the inbox when your post op blog comes through – best of luck and lots of love x x


    1. Hi Jo,
      Thank you so much for your lovely message! I always say that I think positivity is half of the battle! I think the post op blog post may all be in capital letters because I will be so excited….so hope I don’t shout too loud :P.
      Thanks once again, your support means a lot.
      lots of love, Anna x


  3. Hey, in the interest of your mental prep. You will get a massive bruise on your face. No one told me that and I freaked out something chronic when it came up and drove everyone nuts getting them to check its normal! Oh and get used to telling people where you are and what your date of birth is. They ask you that a LOT 😆


  4. Hi Anna.
    What a lovely and very brave young lady you are. I’m very sorry that you have to face this awful thing at such a young age. It’s good to try to stay positive. My son Paul (31 today, 13th March) was diagnosed with the same thing just over a year ago. Grade three…I can remember the day they told us.
    He had an awake craniotomy on 28th February 2014. He was fortunate enough to be eligible for the 1P/19Q codeletion trial, and had simultaneous radiotherapy and chemotherapy hopefully raising his life expectancy to 7-15 more years. He has been through so much. Having seizures and losing the right to drive has taken away his independence to some degree. He has a young son, Harry (4) who moved an hour away from him with his mother last year. He cannot see as much of him now, but does see him regularly every fortnight. He lost his job as a delivery driver, but now after 18 months he is working again at the same place as his dad. He has been through lots of different stages including depression, but now he’s focussed again, and everything he does is for little Harry. You probably don’t want to hear about him, but I can tell you that reading your experience has helped me, a normal mother, who is watching her son fight for his life….the biggest and most important thing he will ever do. I am so proud of him and everyday that he is here I am grateful for. I wish you all the best as you face this traumatic time, and hope you and your family can stay positive. I hope you can tackle this head on and never give up. Hope your surgery goes well Anna. Love to you all. Debs xxx


  5. Hi Anna, I really can’t find any words that I feel will express how what you and all the family are going through , I have had many a moment that my eyes fill with tears and can’t stop thinking of when I first met you as a bump 😊 in your mum tum and the times we all got together when you were just a little girl. And it’s that girl that I hear when am reading your blogs and it makes me smile 😊 when i met your mum in hospital before I had William and then your mum had you, gave us a bond and a connection and it makes trev all the more real to me and it hurts that such a young lovely person that you are has to go though this fight! Like I say, words don’t say enough but I had to say something because you are very much in our thoughts lots of love xxxx


  6. Hi Anna, i find your strength amazing. My husband has had 3 tumors removed over the last 9 years and various other treatments, pleased to say he is in good health at he moment, he nearly wasn’t as the last time he woke up from surgery he told me he couldn’t feel his legs (his idea of a joke)…his sense of humor was obviously better than mine!!lol best of luck for your


  7. Best of luck for your surgery tomorrow. I had exactly the diagnosis as yourself last year. I had a biopsy at the beginning of November which came back as grade 3.
    Since then I’ve had a 6 week course of Tomotherapy at The
    Freeman, luckily I haven’t had to have Chemo.
    I’m back to work and have to see my consultant next week, hopefully it’s not more bad news.
    Stay positive, nobody knows what’s round the corner.
    Take care, thinking of you xx


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