Friday 9 November 2018


So here's the explanation of what's going on. You may have seen a few posts that feature my youngest son [below] I'll start by saying he's fine and doing well, all things considered - we've won the battle, we just need to now win the war.

He'd had a routine eye test  for new glasses on the 18th October and the optician noticed his optic nerve was swollen and suggested we should take him to A&E to get a scan. After the CT scan showed a growth in his brain they transferred him to Alder Hey Hospital (one of the best children's hospitals in the country, and it's in Liverpool so only 30 minutes away) that evening.

The next day an MRI scan showed it was a 3cm brain tumour, a lot smaller than they would usually see and with no other symptoms we'd been really lucky to catch it; ordinarily they'd find tumours the size of a grapefruit in severely ill children. The doctors arranged for its removal the following Wednesday and just six days after the eye test it was removed. By the Sunday he was home and physically he's made almost a complete recovery from such extensive surgey, you can hardly even see the scar.

Unfortunately we're not out of the woods yet though. There's still more treatment to come as there are some secondaries on his spine (they won't operate on those) but having caught it so early we're hoping we've got a good head start on beating this. We've been back twice for tests but there's still no conclusive diagnosis of what it is. Some presentation of high grade (bad) and some presentation of lower grade (not as bad) cancer cells. Without a definitive identification they don't want to commit to treatment he doesn't need (radio or chemo). As he isn't presenting symptoms they feel they have time to get it right. So it could be another 2-3 weeks but he'll have an MRI inbetween so they can see if anything has changed. Until then it's back to the waiting game...

My blog hiatus and 8 year blogaversary post highlighted that my blog is a personal 'diary' first and foremost. As such it has covered a number of personal things outside of the hobby, ironically the blog was initially something I suggested for my wife to do when she was going through a difficult time. She never did anything with it and I just repurposed it. Going forward I'll need to use it as an occasional outlet, which I appreciate isn't hobby related so if I need to 'share' thing in future I may preface all those posts with a 'personal' title. Blogging will continue to be low on my list of priorities.

Understandably the hobby was not something I could entertain during the treatment - painting involves too much reflection, too much time in my own headspace when things were in the balance. As we await the next stage and the illusion of normality has been cast I've been ticking along with finishing my second Knight build but I've zero expectations on my To Do List as of right now. In the grand scheme of things none of it matters. There will be time where the hobby will help me through this challenge, there will be times where it won't. I'll continue to take pictures but when I share them will very much be as and when I feel the need.

I'm grateful for all those I've 'met' through the blog that have become friends on Facebook and who've contacted me to show their support; it's far from obligatory and this isn't a pity post it's just to inform everyone of the situation as I can't abide those cryptic statements that leave people hanging.

Lastly a huge big up and thank you to the staff at Alder Hey hospital. In a world built on celebrity and rife with 'super-heroes' it truly astounds me that miracles are being performed, without fanfare, every day by the amazing, surgeons, nurses, healthcare assistants and even the cleaning staff who would happily chat to help reassure us. The NHS is an amazing institution, offering such great care and with their support I hope we can kick this cancer's arse!

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