Seve Ballesteros joins the club

Seve BallesterosFollowing his collapse last week, it’s sad to hear that Seve Ballesteros has been diagnosed with a brain tumour.

The reason I’m more interested in this than any other normal health/sports story is that my dad also has a brain tumour.

Brain tumour conjures up lots of images and, to be honest, I’m still not sure I totally get it. Basically, there’s some sort of mass growing inside your head that slowly starts to cause problems as it puts pressure on various other bits of the brain.

Sometimes, they can be operated on, but more often than not brain tumours are treated using radiation therapy and chemotherapy.

Many shrink, often enough to be removed through surgery, but not all do. My dad has been through radiotherapy and one-and-a-half lots of chemo, until the consultants in charge decided to stop, because his particular tumour is resistant to the chemo.

Life expectancy is hazy. It can be as short as 1 year and sometimes as long as 10-15 years – it’s a bit ‘how long is a piece of string?’ I’m not even sure how long my Dad’s had his – it was diagnosed about 18 months – 2 years ago, but was obviously there before it was eventually picked up.

I’m sure Seve will have access to top specialists, but that may not be enough. Even if they do get it once, tumours have a nasty habit of reappearing and you can never be sure you’ve got it all the first time.

Good luck, Seve!


So my Dad’s recently started chemotherapy to try and remove his pesky brain tumour (does that make it sound like something out of Scooby Doo? Good!)

He’s very matter-of-fact about it all. He got through the radiotherapy part of it fairly easily, with a few tired spells, but not a lot of other bother.

This time, though, I don’t think it’ll be quite as easy. I spoke to him last night and he’d had to take a couple of days off. It’s sucks so much that something that is meant to be making you better actually makes you feel like crap a lot of the time.

I can’t begin to pretend I know how he’s feeling. It’s bad enough knowing that you’ve got this lump inside your head growing and making you act slightly weirdly.

That a doctor then gives you a bunch of powerful drugs that are only hopefully going to reduce this lump, but also make you feel like shit simply compounds it.

The fact that my dad seems to be quite stoic about it all doesn’t surprise me, but it makes me feel just so helpless. I can do nothing other than talk to him regularly and offer words of cold comfort.

What makes it suck even more is that I was meant to see him and my step-mum this weekend, but unfortunately, as my little girl has a cold, he is very sensibly staying away.

Let’s just hope the next few months go as well as can be expected.