Over the last couple of weeks there have been a few troublesome turns but there is also good news and great news.

As you will remember I have been steadily reducing my anti-seizure medication dose, under the guidance of my neurologist, and as I did so I was worried about the effect the reducing of the dampening effect might have. And apart from a few little incidents things have been going really well.

A week ago, while helping Gary to refurbish my flat in Doune, I walked the 1.5 miles from the Stirling Bus Station to B&Q Stirling to buy some border adhesive. To save time to be able to catch the bus back to Doune again, I decided to ask where it might be in the enormous store and the gentleman I stopped to ask started to give me directions. But as he did so my mind scrambled the directions. When he said go right, he indicated left, and when he said go left, he indicated right and vice versa so the instructions were completely scrambled. I tried to confirm the directions but the assistant was quickly losing patience so I decided to go for it and got it completely wrong and then, not realising I was partially deaf, the gentleman became more and more frustrated as he shouted after me to correct me until I heard him. So three times I tried and three times I failed to find the right way. By the third aborted attempt the assistant was laughing at me believing perhaps that I was taking the piss. I was not of course, but as he teased me further two emotions flooded over me. The first to strike him on the nose hard, the second, once I quelled my rising anger, was to break down and cry. Thankfully I had the wherewithal to humour him briefly then turn and walk away looking for the border adhesive myself through increasingly misty eyes. Eventually I found it and while managing to avoid ‘Mr No Clue’, paid for the adhesive and walked the 1.5 miles back to the bus station to get to the flat in Doune and help as best I could . Frankly I wasn’t much good and was more of a concern to Gary than a help, but I tried to do what I could before heading home a little earlier than originally planned.

The following day I was returning on the bus to Stirling after another day’s work at the flat. This time, just after getting on the bus, as I looked for a seat in which to sit, my mind decided to play tricks on me. The floor suddenly moved as if the bus had accelerated forward. But then it stopped. Then the floor suddenly moved again as if the bus was accelerating backwards. Then it stopped. Then the floor suddenly moved as if the bus had accelerated forward again. But then it stopped. And as I looked up from the pole to which I was now hanging on for dear life, I realised that the passengers on the bus were smiling and gently laughing at me, trying not to appear too obvious. While I wasn’t flung to the floor it must have looked slightly amusing to see a man laden with rucksack and holdall, react and scramble for stability forwards and backwards as if the floor was suddenly moving, yet the bus was standing stock still. As I walked up the bus to an empty seat, I could feel every pair of eyes on me and as I settled on the seat the bus driver pulled away. I tried to remain confident in myself and pretend that nothing had happened but again knew that I was just not in control of my mind or my body. The same thing happened the following day but I was ready for it so on the first movement I flung myself into one of the sideways-facing seats and sat, looked forward and again the driver pulled away. I didn’t look up the bus. Instead I tried to focus on a discarded copy of a paper and gently boiled with frustration. Another day I had an incredibly sore shoulder as if I was suffering from some form of aneurysm or perhaps a blood clot. It was a deep burning pain that I had suffered from before 6 months ago and so intense that the NHS sent an ambulance crew to check me out at home fearing something serious. After the thorough assessment by every machine available from the ambulance and of course the crew’s own observations, they reassured me that there was nothing dangerously wrong with me, to take some paracetamol and rest and if it was still sore in the morning to go and see my GP. After the reassurance that I was absolutely fine, the pain receded slowly. This time, there was nothing that I could do to alleviate the pain which was once again in the same shoulder. But this time I understood that one of my neurological functional disorders was the sensation of pain, creating the sensation of chronic pain with no physiological reason for it. So this time I knew that the only way to stop the pain was to convince myself that there was nothing wrong with my shoulder, that it was simply my diseased right side of the brain convincing my healthy left side that I had a pain in my shoulder. So I ignored it and got on with some work with Gary in the flat and sure enough, the pain subsided and disappeared. The brain is an incredibly crippling organ when it goes wrong and stops supporting you and perhaps even turns against you, but to turn the brain, the healthy side of the brain against itself in the diseased right side of the brain, is an incredibly powerful weapon.

While writing this post on the train, heading once again for Doune to get more done in the flat, I noticed, out of the corner of my right eye, a tall grey, gaunt figure of a man dressed in rags of a business suit, grey shirt and tie was standing, dripping liquid onto the floor and with his long shoulder length black, dank hair and grey, long, gaunt face, was just stood and looking at me. I looked up and he was nowhere to be seen. I look down to the computer and he appears again. I look up and he disappears again. Once again I realised that this ghost-like apparition was simply another trick of the brain and continued writing because life has continued to improve markedly.

The periods in between these incidents are becoming increasingly more stable as the anti–seizure medication dose continues to reduce in size and wear off. And on Saturday the dose was reduced further all the way down to 1g twice a day. This is a dose over 40% lower than before and the effects have been amazing. I am seeing clearer, I am thinking clearer, I am much happier in myself and am full of energy once again. The big wild cats of tiredness have fallen off my rump and are no longer trying to drag me to my knees. While I do not quite feel normal, I feel a whole heap better than I was before. So much so that I find myself starting to question whether or not I still have epilepsy at all. I definitely had it before, triggered by the tumour, there was no disputing that, but with the tumour gone and the brain settled back into place, perhaps the epilepsy has gone too. In which case that makes it increasingly likely that many of the episodes that I had been experiencing, while neurological dysfunction, not epileptic episodes, were perhaps being triggered by the high dose of anti-seizure medication on a damaged brain.

This is clearly very exciting news, but still I have the issue of the neurological dysfunction to try and beat and so I started to research how perhaps I could alter my diet and my exercise plan, my lifestyle, in order to remain firmly sat on the brain tumour that my oncology team’s experience tells them is likely to want to try and come back with a vengeance, while attempting to rewire the brain to bypass the damage and improve brain health. I perhaps needed a new strategy for my eating and physical exercise. But my research revealed something far more troubling yet something very exciting:

My balanced daily lifestyle was already doing all that it could to repair and heal the brain while preventing the onset of dementia. The Alzheimers Research UK website confirmed that regular daily exercise of a good 20 minutes of moderate intensity exercise, like brisk walking, twice a day, coupled with the eating of fruits and vegetables known to have an anti-inflammatory capacity such as blueberries, carrots, tenderstem broccoli, red grapes, cherry tomatoes, green leafy vegetables like a spinach, rocket and watercress salad, nuts like brazil nuts, whole grains like oats, pumpkin and sunflower seeds and green tea, along with the consumption of foods known to contain significant quantities of the Omega 3 brain healthy fatty acids such as ground flaxseed and white meat eaten twice a week, and oily fish eaten once a week, and, even better, a small glass of red wine once a day all help to prevent the onset of Alzheimers.

Being at the top of the risk spectrum for contracting Alzheimers due to the damage to the brain, and having already exhibited some of the symptoms of the early onset of dementia, I can only thank God that my many mistakes with my battle with the brain tumour eventually brought me to developing the balanced daily lifestyle of food and exercise that I follow each and every day to defeat the brain tumour which has also been protecting me from the early onset of dementia.

But that is not the end of the story. I still have a fight on my hands and today, while trying to help Gary in the flat again I managed to screw the cupboard door handles on each door on the wrong side and discovered this when I closed the doors and then realised that I couldn’t open them! My brain was once again scrambling basic understanding of front and back, up and down, left and right. I am still at risk. I am at risk of the tumour coming back at any minute and I am at risk of developing Alzheimers, but rather than sitting and waiting for the silver bullet in the shape of the poison on the back of a tree frog hiding in the Amazonian Rain Forest that will never be found, and allowing myself to slowly slip into a cognitive and motor function vegetable with dementia, I continue to exercise and eat and enjoy the delights of life thanks to my balanced daily lifestyle.

I am convinced that my balanced daily lifestyle will not only help you to prevent the onset of Alzheimer’s, but also cancer, circulatory disease, respiratory disease, arthritis, musculoskeletal disease, mental health issues, and obesity. It really is that simple, eat and exercise as I do and you will have a much, much better, happier, healthier and longer life. I am not trying to sell you anything. I hold no shares in any company, I am merely trying to improve the lives and life chances of as many people as I can by sharing with you my simple balanced daily lifestyle and raising sponsorship for 5 wonderful charities. So follow my balanced daily lifestyle and you will beat the demons of disease and ill health that are lurking just around the corner. It really isn’t that hard. It requires no crazy and mega expensive health supplements of dubious quality and benefit, no foods only available at a marked up price in a health food store, no specialist equipment or gym membership, just a pair of comfortable shoes to walk in and a supermarket or a high street with a greengrocer, butcher and fishmonger, along with some very subtle changes to your daily life to accommodate two short walks and the additional, critical disease-busting fruits and vegetables, nuts, seeds, protein, calcium and carbohydrate sources to be eaten every single day. And if you are fighting ill health or disease, of any form, start now to follow my balanced daily lifestyle in reinforcement to your medical treatment and you will greatly improve your outcomes. I am absolutely convinced of this.

But you must stick at it. An analogy I have come up with to try and convince you to keep up with the balanced daily lifestyle is as follows:

Imagine that you are standing in a small circular, bright but breezy room in which there are shelves and shelves of photographs all around the room. These photographs represent your brain health, organ health, circulatory heath, respiratory health, musculoskeletal health, mental health, metabolic health and your many chances at life. This breezy room is built around a deep dark well and in this small circular room is a large helium balloon that is being buffeted around the room by the breeze. If a photograph is knocked down by the balloon you will be on the slippery slope towards an early demise and if a second photograph is knocked down by the balloon the lights will more than likely go out. So you have to kill this balloon of ill health. The chances are massively stacked in the favour of the balloon of ill health but you can beat it in two ways. Tethered to the balloon is a long strong string, and tethered to the string is a large wicker basket. This basket represents knowledge of my balanced daily lifestyle and keeps the balloon within reach. But to kill the balloon of ill health you need to force the balloon to the bottom of the deep dark well where the pressure of treatment and the balanced daily lifestyle will kill it. If you have contracted a disease or suffer from ill health, your medical treatment placed into the wicker basket will submerge the basket and start to drag the balloon towards the surface of the well but no further. That treatment needs reinforcing. So every banana, bowl of whole oats with pumpkin and sunflower seeds and walnuts and almonds and 40g of blueberries and a heaped tablespoon of ground flaxseed, and apple, swilled down with a glass of vitamin C laden, not from concentrate fruit juice, will add weight to the basket and tug the balloon down further. Every 100g of carrots, 50g of tenderstem broccoli, 60g of cherry tomatoes, 60g of red grapes, couple of brazil nuts, poached egg and slice of wholemeal bread seeded with pumpkin and sunflower seeds, served with a small handful of spinach, rocket and watercress salad followed by 2 squares of 85% dark chocolate will start to drag the balloon under the water and towards the bottom, but the balloon is fighting back and threatening to win, so every 20 minute walk conducted, and every evening meal consisting of a protein source and at least two further vegetables served with a 75ml glass of organic red wine, followed by an orange and a yoghurt with a heaped teaspoon of ground flaxseed and another 2 squares of 85% dark chocolate will drag the balloon a little deeper down, and every mug of green tea will drag the balloon further down still. And if you keep going and keep going and make it a lifestyle for life for at least 6 days a week, then you will eventually succeed and either greatly improve the chances that serious disease and ill health will never happen to you, or if you are already fighting disease or ill health, the balanced daily lifestyle, in reinforcement to the marvels of modern medicine, greatly improve your outcomes.

But if you stop, so the treatment, food and exercise credits in the basket will start to rot, start to corrode and start to lose their mass. So the balloon of ill health begins its ascent back to the surface and we either lose our fight or have to start all over again.

So start now and follow my balanced daily lifestyle for a much, much better, happier and healthier life. Do not expect to notice any difference immediately. Remember, we are trying to unpick many years and even decades of neglect and poor practices in our previous life, so the balanced daily lifestyle will take a while to start to take effect but it will. Remember, I was not supposed to be here anymore but I am, by following and continuing to follow my balanced daily lifestyle each and every day. I am a living and breathing example of what can be achieved so get started and never, ever give up.

If you wish to learn more about my balanced daily lifestyle and start to follow it, wonderful, please follow this link.

If you decide to go for it and would be happy to let me let others know by publishing your name in an increasing list of balanced daily lifestyle followers on the website in order to encourage others to save themselves, then do please email me your name at archie@beatthebeastchallenge.co.uk

If you then have an inspiring story as to how the balanced daily lifestyle improved your life or even gave you life and would like to share it on my website in order to further inspire others, please email it to me on archie@beatthebeastchallenge.co.uk


if you would like to sponsor me to encourage me further on this journey and help improve the lives and life chances of so many more people through every penny of your sponsorship going to the 5 wonderful charities I support, please follow this link, even just £1.00 a month will make a difference:

Sponsor me!

Thank you and Deo Juvante, with a little determination and strong will we can all beat the beast of disease and ill health.

Yours aye

Beat the Beast!