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Last Updated: Thursday, 25 November, 2004, 08:28 GMT
Tumour diary: Headaches return
BBC News science and technology writer Ivan Noble was diagnosed with a malignant brain tumour in August 2002.

Since then he has been sharing his experiences in an online diary.

Last year we celebrated our first wedding anniversary only a day after I got out of hospital.

This year on Tuesday we planned an altogether calmer affair to celebrate our second. It was not to be.

It would be terrible, awfully bad luck if the tumour were on the march again so soon after having such good news earlier this month.
I had some unpleasant but brief headaches over the weekend. Then Tuesday came and things got really nasty.

The headache became constant and the pressure in my head strong.

I could not think straight. I had trouble finding simple words and all I wanted was to lie down and for the pain to stop.

My Macmillan nurse has been here three times now, my GP once, and after talking to my oncologist on the phone we have got things under control.

I needed anti-sickness tablets to stop me being sick long enough to keep down a fairly hefty dose of steroids.

Bleeding a possibility

The suspicion is that I have had a bleed inside my brain.

The fact that it seems to have stabilised and that I can even write these words is a good thing.

Now I will see my oncologist on Thursday and see where we go from here.

I should not have spoken so soon about liking the MRI scanner.

It would be terrible, awfully bad luck if the tumour were on the march again so soon after having such good news earlier this month.

I have to hope that it was a bleed, that I am on the mend already and that it does not bleed again.

That may well be the case.

I want to get back to enjoying my remission soon.

There is Christmas, New Year and a birthday to celebrate soon.

And I already have a ticket to join my brother and his family for Chinese New Year in February. It is a date I do not plan to miss.

Send your comments on the form below:


It must be hard for you, but my thoughts are with you in your fight. Reading this gives people the courage to live and deal with cancer. Good luck on your journey through life
Mick Nixon, UK

Ivan - you are a very brave man and an inspiring one. You are leading the way where most of us have never been and can only learn from you. Know that you are surrounded by love which can, whatever happens, never be taken away from you. With love
Claire Pearcey, united kingdom

No more griping and whingeing for me on inconsequential things
Alessandra Dee Crespo, Malta
Have fantastic holidays! God knows you deserve them! If only for being such a positive influence...No more griping and whingeing for me on inconsequential things. God bless you and your family.
Alessandra Dee Crespo, Malta

I came across your diary today. Inshalla [God willing] you will be fine. Love to you and your family
Soofia, London

Good luck! I hope you and your family can stay strong no matter what the outcome is. I'd like to thank you for keeping a diary of your experiences, I've been an avid reader for a long time now, and your insights certainly helped me cope with the loss of my father from a grade 4 glioblastoma multiforme earlier this year. Keep your chin up!
Jenny, UK

Ivan, I read your diary on tumour and would like to say you one thing that keep hope and build strength and this is possible only having strong faith in yourself and God, as he is the one to approach when you find yourself in a situation where you could expect great miracles where no humans could bring that. God bless and Wish you good Health
Satish, Finland

Ivan, Good luck with your scan. I will be thinking about you. Your strength and courage makes my life's problems feel so insignificant. Here's hoping you can have a peaceful Christmas and the first of many joyous New Year.
Bill, Northern Ireland

Your honesty shows how precious every minute is
Kathie, France
I work with people who have cancer every day. It is such an inspiration. Thank you for sharing all your feelings with us. Your honesty shows how precious every minute is. Bless you Ivan. Thinking about you and praying for you today.
Kathie, France

Fingers crossed here in Italy too! Ciao Ivan, good luck, I sincerely hope everything's going the right way. With a warm feel of friendship. Love to you and your family
Chiara, Italy

My heart goes out to you, you must be so worried, it's so soon after such good news to experience yet another setback. I pass on my good wishes to your family and yourself and will be thinking of you on Christmas Day. Here's hoping it's a pain free and happy family day for you!
Victoria Finney, UK

Hang on in there mate. I had a brain bleed 3 years ago, and know how it feels and how scary it is. I lived to tell the tale and am back to normal. (whatever that is!) So let's hope it is that! Good luck!
Ian Gorrie, UK

You are an inspiration to others who are going through a similar experience
Elizabeth Currie, England
Dear Ivan, both you and your family have been in my prayers since I read the first edition of your diary. You are an inspiration to others who are going through a similar experience, and to those of us lucky enough not to be. You have the courage to voice the fears that we will all experience, in one way or another, during our lives. I dearly hope that what you are now experiencing is but a small hiccough in your condition. Keep brave, keep positive and good luck.
Elizabeth Currie, England

I think your interpretation of your problem sounds spot on, let's hope you are right. Chinese New Year sounds great fun and a wonderful thing to look forward to. I hope you and your family enjoy a healthy, happy and headache free Christmas and New Year.
Sarah, England

Tomorrow is another day - and who knows what will come for any of us? There is some certainty though, that whatever happens you have enlightened and enriched people's lives - and I'm not just talking about your family either! We're rooting for you mate - big time - you'll soon be enjoying your remission.
Jacks, UK

I really hope you're feeling better soon, and that you're able to enjoy Christmas with your family! I'm pleased to hear you're being looked after by a Macmillan nurse. Mac nurses are the real Florence Nightingales of our cancer services. To anyone reading this who's feeling charitable this Christmas - look no further for a charity to support. Ivan - have a good Christmas and New Year!
Cary, England

Good luck, and let us know how you get on. Your extended internet family are worried about you.
Kate, London

Good luck Ivan. I'm pleased to see you still coming out of the corner fighting, despite this setback. Be strong, positive and determined and continue to enjoy your life. Best Wishes
Richard W, UK

Hi Ivan, sorry to hear about your headaches - hope it goes ok on Thursday. I hate MRI scans but I can understand what you wrote about the soothing noise! Keep Strong
Penny, UK

You've got an awful lot of people rooting for you - in the karma stakes that must count for something!
Carol, Scotland
Dear Ivan, I hope luck is one your side. You've fought so hard and so long, I'll be thinking of you and hoping you get the all clear from your oncologist and go on to have a very Merry Christmas with your family. You've got an awful lot of people rooting for you - in the karma stakes that must count for something!
Carol, Scotland

My young daughter had a serious head injury recently, which she has recovered miraculously from. You too deserve good luck and my thoughts are with you. It cannot be easy but you are obviously very brave and determined - a lesson to us all. Best regards to you.
Neil Charlton, Belgium

Ivan, your diary is always an inspiration, putting the daily worries and irritations in perspective. With all best wishes and support.
Huw Pritchard, UK

God willing this is a bleed. The thing is, our mind is a cruel thing it always grabs the worst case scenario. I had a stroke at the age of 24, for a long time after, every time I was slightly dizzy I thought I was having another. It is now 19 years later, and while I still worry, the immediate fear has lessened. Look to the positive, look to the future, and plan what you will be eating in February.
Catherine Morris, Lincoln, England

Ivan, I have just read a portion of your diary. Life sometimes puts us, and our loved ones, to the test and the only way we can respond is by courage and positive thinking. I wish you well and a speedy recovery. best regards, m
Mandup Gill, UK

Hopefully it is a blip and you can continue to enjoy your well earned remission and happiness with your family
Bunny Pordage, England
My heart literally sank this morning when I read your latest entry. Hopefully it is a blip and you can continue to enjoy your well earned remission and happiness with your family. I have great faith that there will be many, many Christmases, New Years and birthdays on the horizon for you and yours. I, like so many others wish you health in abundance.
Bunny Pordage, England

Ivan, thank you for taking the time to update us, it is really remarkable that you find the time and strength to do this. I wait to read your columns with interest, hoping and wishing you well. I continue to think about you and your family and send you my love for the festive period.
Kate, UK

As ever, your courage inspires me. All life's trivia, that yesterday seemed so important become insignificant once again. Thank you for sharing your experiences and for being so positive. I wish you well, and hope you enjoy the Chinese New Year trip.
Lynne , UK

Wishing you a wonderful Christmas and New Year. Keep thinking positively, you are an inspiration to us all. Live for today and before you know it you'll be celebrating many more anniversaries, birthdays, Christmases and New Years. Keep strong, we are all thinking of you and praying for you.
Amy, UK

Hi Ivan, my father has had cancer for nearly 4 years now. Today is his 70th birthday. The ups and downs of good news/not so good news are hard for all concerned but my father is an inspiration with his positive outlook. I feel sure it has helped him and will also help you. All the best.
Mark Tingley, UK

With everything you have gone through so far, I deeply, deeply hope it is a small setback That you and your family will enjoy a peaceful and a very happy Christmas. I am sure you will enjoy the Chinese New year in February - look how far you have come already ! Hope its good news today.
Valerie Flood, Scotland

I will keep my fingers crossed that the news is good. Hearing your story over the past few years has helped me understand how some good friends of mine have had to deal with cancer coming into their lives. Good luck!
Geraint, UK

Thank you for sharing something so terribly personal and often private
Cerian Henshaw, UK
I am sure I am not alone in wishing there was something more we could do to ensure you are permanently on the road to recovery. Your words above were brief but so full of what you are going through. Stay strong. Do stay positive. It could well just be a temporary blip, and like you said, there is so much to look forward to. Thank you for sharing something so terribly personal and often private.

There is no rhyme or reason for why these things happen. Just promise us that you don't use energy and words for our benefit if they could be better spent on yourself and family. All my thoughts on continuing strength and courage to both you and your family. I hope you all have a peaceful but wonderful Christmas and New Year.
Cerian Henshaw, UK

I wish you well Ivan. Thank you for sharing your experience with us - I find it inspirational.
Ronnie, Scotland

Hang in there Ivan, I look forward to hear about your Chinese New Year shenanigans...
Lucy, UK

Ivan I really hope things work out for you and that the festive season finds you in remission and high spirits.
Richard Ingram, Scotland

Thinking of you today (Thursday) and your family. Hope all goes well and you can soon go back to celebrating your remission.
Julie Craig, England

A CD recommendation: 'Door of Faith' by His Divine Grace Very Great Krishna Das Kagel. Music can help heal and relax.. Listen to Jai Uttal in spare time. Thanks and Regards.
Sam Rupani, USA

As always, I have everything crossed for you Ivan. I hope you are able to enjoy Christmas and the other celebrations with your family, and that the headaches do not return. You are an inspiration to us all, and if anyone deserves some luck it's you. Thank you for writing again, even though things got tough. I hope to hear more good news soon.
Bill, UK

Glad to here that you're looking forward to events in the future, and that your focus hasn't shifted since you were first diagnosed - the future. I think I can safely say that I speak for all of us when I say that we look forward to your next diary entry.
Greg Robson, England, UK

Keep your hopes alive man! My thoughts and my family's thoughts are with you. You are still writing - you are still thinking. You are still a person. No tumour or bleeding can stop these things now. We're with you no matter what!
Jonathan Traynor, Northern Ireland

I'm no spiritual person, but I'm thinking positive thoughts for you - a great Christmas and Hogmanay to you and your loved ones.
Mick, UK

I wish you well and send you healing. With so much to look forward to, you are better equipped to fight this. Love and Blessings
Chrissie Chevis, UK

Good luck on Thursday mate. I will be thinking of you.
Stuart, Australia

Ivan, Thoughts, prayers, blessings, fingers crossed, hope - they are all with you today. I'm looking forward to reading about your magical Christmas and your enjoyment of Chinese New Year with your extended family. Best wishes
Julie, England

Dear Ivan, Thanks for this great column and all my best wishes for a peaceful, happy and healthy year 2005. It was great to read from you in an altogether different column talking about the pros and cons of 3G phones and I dearly hope you will write plenty more such columns in the years to come.
Pascal Jacquemain, UK

My little sister, aged 14, was also diagnosed with a malignant brain tumour in August 2002. It has been a harrowing experience for all the family, and I'm sure we'll never be able to comprehend her own frustration and fear at the changes to her body, speech, and thoughts. Still, she has been a source of strength for all those around her, always with a bright smile and an 'up for anything' attitude. She has taught us what's important in life. Keep focussing on your goals (Christmas, New Year's, birthday) and know that there are untold numbers of people in the world, whom you may never even meet, who are thinking of you all the time. With the very best wishes for 2005.
Katherine Hughes, UK

Keep going Ivan, and best of luck, you and your family certainly deserve to have a fabulous Christmas and New Year.
Julian Evitts, UK

Hi Ivan Let's hope it is as you suspect. Keep looking to the New Year. We're all with you. It's hard to think of anything inspiring to say, but I hope that just knowing that so many are thinking of and upholding you helps.
Lesley, UK

Good luck kiddo, I have my fingers x-ed for you. My mom has cancer and I know how bad these good / bad news waits can be.
Andrew, London

Have a wonderful Wedding Anniversary. Love to you and the family.
David, London, England

Your courage in writing this online diary is an example to everyone. I sincerely hope that you have a wonderful festive season.
Neil Macaskill, UK

Keep up the positivity and enjoy your family
Sarah Harrison, UK
Hi Ivan, I have just stumbled across your diary today. My dad died of a brain tumour six months ago and I can remember only too well the pain and suffering. I think your life is an inspiration to us all with your courage and determination and the feedback you are receiving globally shows you have touched people's lives and made people think about what is "really" important in this world. Keep up the positivity and enjoy your family. Thank you for sharing your experiences. Much love x
Sarah Harrison, UK

Sorry to hear about your setback Ivan, I hope all will be well when you visit the oncologist & that you can then continue to enjoy your remission.
Ceri, UK

Hang on in there Ivan - I've read your diary for a long time now and you write with such courage and maturity I know you will find the strength to deal with this latest problem. Be brave, be strong and I hope your visit with the oncologist goes well - I have everything crossed for you. Take Care.
Nicola, UK

Good Luck for Thursday Ivan! Fingers crossed that the tumor is not "on the march" again. I know your spirit and attitude will carry you through, as will the love of your family! Happy Anniversary! Love Tara
Tara, UK

Fingers crossed! Wishing you and your family some good luck
Tracy, England




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