Brain tumours respect no-one

I was sad to read that Seve Ballesteros lost his fight against a brain tumour yesterday.

It inevitably made me think about my own dad’s battle against a similar type of tumour that he lost 2 and a half years ago.

There are always treatments – such as an operation, radiotherapy or chemotherapy, but ultimately few succeed.

What’s particularly cruel in the case of a brain tumour is the way it often isn’t diagnosed until its too late. In my dad’s case, the initial thought was epilepsy, before the glioma was confirmed.

By then, in spite of my dad’s continual upbeat prognosis, it was too late to have any genuine effect.

The slow loss of function is also painful to witness. Somehow, my dad worked until 4 months before his death, but I’m not sure how effective he was.

I’d regularly have repetitive conversations with him, or have to explain things again and again.

He also became quite moody but this was all part of the way his body was no longer really his own. It was slowly ceding control to the tumour.

Ballesteros’ death is proof that tumours are no respecter of talent, nor of fortune. He went at 54, in spite of a number of operations to remove the tumour and, doubtlessly, the best care money could buy.

My dad didn’t deserve his lot, either. He never lived a particularly hedonistic life, but that doesn’t matter when it comes to health. He, as I’m sure Ballesteros did, died a proud man, fighting till the last.

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