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Beat The Beast Challenge

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As I am sure that you will remember, even though they can no longer find my brain tumour, and have been unable to since it disappeared on that wonderful day in September of 2016, I have been told by my Oncologist “that this rare type of Glioma (Grade 3 Anaplastic Oligodendroglioma) that I have, has a nasty habit of returning. That it is impossible to rid the brain of every single tumour cell, and that it only takes one cell to be the catalyst for its return. That they do not know what the trigger is for the regrowth, but that they expect it at some point in each and every case such as mine. That it is not possible to ever be completely rid of my tumour.” Clearly this was a bitter pill to swallow. I sort of knew what they had just told me, but it had never been told to me in such stark terms before. In terms that had gone from could or might to WILL.

Western General Hospital Location Board

So with this warning ringing in my ears, three months ago, when my scan showed an anomaly that had appeared in the same area as that which had been occupied by my tumour, I was really struggling to keep the faith, believe that I really had made the impossible possible, believe that with God’s help we really were going to prove that this tumour has been defeated for good. After all, if God had healed me, wouldn’t he have done it properly the first time? I hung on to that thought as I covered mile after mile under my own steam while consuming the fruits, vegetables, nuts and seeds, protein and calcium sources as prescribed in my balanced daily lifestyle. After all, I had managed to knock my epilepsy into touch too and that can, surely, have only been done with God’s help, couldn’t it? I hung on closely to my faith, even though I questioned it frequently. I relied heavily on family and friends but kept the news secret from most, because I did not want the children to find out, because they really did not want to be worrying about me during their exams, so as they sat at the dining room table revising heavily and so brilliantly supporting each other through questions or theories that they were struggling with, over the Easter holidays, I sat at my bureau to work on the various ideas for future employment that I was working on, but also to keep an eye on them, and to be on hand to answer any questions that they were stuck on, and to look busy and confident. Confident in their abilities and confident in my health. Secretly I spent quite some time worrying and praying not for the children, they were doing brilliantly, but for me as I had to take a fifteen minute walking break after every 45 minutes at the computer in which the fog started to roll in and I knew, that if I didn’t stop, get outside and blow the fog from my mind, it would overwhelm the brain and it would start to shut me down: sight first, then hearing, then speech, then swallowing, then eating, then balance, then motor function and all the time never knowing when it would stop. This anomaly was too small to be able to confirm or deny that it was the return of the tumour. Yet with my Oncologist 's warning still clear in my head my expectation was that this was the start of the tumour returning and would be confirmed by the next scan 3 monthly later in May. I had heard from too many people of people that they knew that had a brain tumour and never made it.

But I resolved to follow my balanced daily lifestyle religiously, because I just couldn't fathom how, with the food I ate every single day attacking any cancer cells and with an immune system reinforced by my balanced daily diet and daily exercise, also attacking any cancer cells, how the tumour ever could come back. Reinforced with daily prayer my balanced daily lifestyle was surely never going to allow my brain tumour to even think about coming back. But then that nagging doubt, the nagging question, what else other than a brain tumour can grow in the brain cavity of a 46 year old man? Sure as hell it can’t be new brain so there are very few options. I kept my head down and fought and prayed hard to ensure that this beast could not come back, that the anomaly would have disappeared off the scans completely.

Three months later, on the day before the confirmatory scan, the telephone rang. The MRI scanner had broken. So the confirmatory scan was delayed by two weeks. I clearly wasn’t delighted by this and found the wait a little more tense than normal because I suffered a couple of minor neurological seizures on the way and found myself wondering what on earth it was that triggered them. Was it the tumour? I found myself conducting some planning for a selection of scenarios and came down hard on the side of business as usual. As business is to beat the beast of neurological dysfunction while trying to keep the beast from ever returning, and if it does, to beat it back again, well surely nothing would change. Life would just become a lot more urgent and perhaps intense on the front line.

On Monday 13th May I had the scan. On Wednesday 15th May I received the results.

Department of Clinical Neurosciences Western General Hospital
Department of Clinical Neurosciences Western General Hospital

The scan was clear. The anomaly had gone. We will never know what the anomaly was but it had gone. Clearly we were delighted, but then, during the clinic, in response to pointed questions from myself, I received the same warnings as before. That I will never be completely rid of my tumour, and that I will never recover the cognitive function that I once had. The expectation is that I will die because of this tumour, not despite it. We do not know what the trigger is, how quickly, how aggressively or when. Maybe tomorrow, next week, next month, next year, the next decade, nobody seems to know other than it will happen. I remain locked in a vicious, perpetual, cyclic battle with my brain tumour that can only ever end in one way.

However, the results of this scan have given me hope, have answered my prayers and given me the blessing of life, more life with my wife, my children and my friends. So far from curling up into a ball on the mattress, pulling up the duvet, and waiting for the lights to go out, I keep up the battle with the beast and seek to make the impossible possible once again. To beat this beast of neurological dysfunction and ensure that my brain tumour NEVER returns, and if it does, to beat it back again. On the way perhaps I could become strong enough to compete in a professional golf tournament, act on a stage, or in a movie or lots of movies, have a book published, or perform on the keyboard while singing a song that sells as a single track and, all the while trying to raise as much as I can, to save the lives and improve the life chances of as many people as I can, for as long as ever I can, through the Disasters Emergency Committee. So please challenge me to beat my beast of neurological dysfunction and to prevent my beast from ever coming back by sponsoring me for just £1.00 a month. All the details on how to sponsor me can be found here on my website under Sponsor Archie.

 

  • I guarantee you that every penny raised will go to the Disasters Emergency Committee.
  • I guarantee you that I will never call, email or contact you in any way to ask you to increase your sponsorship.
  • I guarantee you that I will not pass your details on to anyone else because I do not hold your details. The standing order is a private and confidential agreement between your bank and the Royal Bank of Scotland who are providing an account for the Challenge.

 

In the meantime I also seek to provide hope, inspiration and encouragement to fight back, with my balanced daily lifestyle, for an improved treatment outcome for those stricken with disease. If you know of a friend, family member or loved one who might benefit from a little hope, inspiration, encouragement, and an introduction to my balanced daily lifestyle, I would be delighted to arrange to meet him or her personally if possible, or over skype and email if distance is too great, on a one to one basis as a living and breathing example of what can be achieved. Then do please get in touch with me via email at archie@beatthebeastchallenge.co.uk I promise you that nobody else, other than my wife, has access to my email account and I will treat all emails and subsequent conversations with complete confidentiality.

There are One Billion, Five Hundred Million people whose very lives are at risk from climate change related natural disaster.

There are 65 million active current accounts in the UK. If I can convince just 1% of those account holders to sponsor me for just £1 per month, I can raise a life-saving and life-improving £650,000 a month for the Disasters Emergency Committee.

May you be blessed with health, happiness and success. Please challenge me, and bless those caught up in disaster, with your sponsorship.

Thank you

Yours aye

Archie

Deo Juvante

I will beat this beast

Keep Eating the Tenderstem!

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