So here we go again… a year ago I did the Brighton Marathon so I’m really looking forward to doing Manchester again this April.

I have a benign brain tumour located between my left ear and my brain. It’s slow growing but making it’s way towards pushing on the brain itself so at some point I’m going to have to do something about it, but for now I’m on watch and wait. Options are surgery to remove it where there is a risk of facial paralysis and it will more than likely destroy the hearing in my left ear. Alternatively, radiosurgery might stop the littler blighter in its tracks….for now….but there is no guarantee it won’t start growing in the future and it’s not as easy then to deal with the scarred surface of it. There is also a risk to the surrounding tissue being damaged too.

(You can see that June 2023 it was 12.9mm and in March 2019 it was 9.1mm).

I had another scan in February 2024….my results are being reviewed on 8th April and I will find out how much bigger it has grown…

One of the biggest symptoms is fatigue. It’s really hard being in surroundings with lots of noise and trying to hear what is being said – my brain tries so hard to work out what is going on and I’m exhausted by the end. (Being a teacher is possibly not the best thing in this situation but the pupils in my school are usually very supportive and understanding). It’s likely whatever happens with the tumour that I will lose my hearing in my left ear and the tinnitus makes things difficult both in the day time and trying to sleep.

Ironically, doing exercise is one of the best combats of the mental fatigue, although it does wipe me out. That said, it is important I keep trying to do the things that I always used to be able to do. In 2018 I was doing amazingly well and had just ran under 20 minutes for 5km. Months later I was diagnosed and I took a bit of a hit.

Thankfully, I joined the Dragons running club just over a year ago and with their encouragement and support I have managed to make some progress back to what I was before. I’m struggling a bit at the moment so I have not been able to train as much as I had hoped (but that’s nothing new!)

Some people can be sceptical and others wonder why do I put myself through all of this… the truth… I don’t want to lose my former self. I want parts of the old me to stay with me and every time I run a marathon I finish I feel so proud that I have still been able to do it again and reassured that that same person is still inside. Running the Brighton marathon in 3h 44 mins 12 secs last year was faster than the last marathon I did before I was diagnosed and one minute from my PB! I never thought I could ever get that close again.

I have still been getting out for the usual parkrun every Saturday (with Liam and Owen supporting) and I have been able to do the odd 10km, with the Wilmslow half marathon being part of my training.

I can assure on the day I will give it a good go and hopefully it’s something I can again be proud of!

Thank you for reading my page and a double thank you if you are able to donate to BANA – this is a charity which supports those with the particular type of brain tumour I have. Being a small charity it is always more of a challenge to get the name out there. It’s a supportive bunch who arrange regular support group sessions and with more funding there is the opportunity to invest in more research into this rare type of tumour.

Donating through JustGiving is simple, fast and totally secure. Your details are safe with JustGiving – they’ll never sell them on or send unwanted emails. Once you donate, they’ll send your money directly to the charity. So it’s the most efficient way to donate – saving time and cutting costs for the charity.

Here are some pictures below showing the many times I enjoy getting out on runs and taking part in races:

(Oldham Parkrun)

Manchester half marathon (October 2023)

This was a great weekend in Colwyn Bay towards the end of 2023. We did the Nova Prestatyn parkrun followed by the Conwy half marathon the next day!

This was a last minute trip to Blackburn for their 10k in December. I managed a sub 45 minute 10k!

This I think was the Wilmslow Festive 10k with many other Dragons taking part!

A picture here after doing the Irchester Country Parkrun (the nearest one to back home – it was followed by a usual “lounge breakfast” at Castello lounge.

This was the Christmas day parkrun at the end of 2023!

Ribble Valley 10k in December 2024

Parkrun at Pennington Flash

Hyde parkrun! Liam wasn’t his usual smiley self!

This was the Four Villages half marathon in January 2024. I had to walk-run-walk-run nearly half of it as I was just too exhausted 🙁

I always make sure I can finish with a sprint and a smile though! 😀

This was the Daffodil Stockport 10k – I actually managed to run it faster than the previous year (45:11)

Chadderton hall parkrun was hard work – that hill 4 times!!!

Glossop parkrun – would recommend! One of the nicest ones I’ve done!

Liam was just not in a good mood that weekend – we also went over to sheffield for a crazy long run which was hard (I did feel as though I had overdone it that weekend)

And recently I did the Downsview parkrun in Toronto!