The Wight Brainy Bunch

The Wight Brainy Bunch is a small charity on the Isle of Wight providing a support network
and financial assistance to local families affected by Brain Tumours.

Mike Sizer-Green’s Poem

It was 2013, the middle of November
Formed in my head was craniopharyngioma
I was flying at the top of my game
But life would never be the same again

Headaches shocking, shift I could not
Doctors unsure, I was getting scared
An optometrist though, she really cared

That Saturday in MRI I could be found
Making melody from clicky clanky sound
The look on the radiologist’s face told a story
Knowledge then things were gonna get gory

Given results the following week
News so scary it was hard to speak
Sorry, it’s a lesion on your brain
A lesion’s a tumour she had to explain

My legs are shaking, my body feels weak
Confused and frightened, no sense could I speak
You’re being taken now by ambulance
To a place where you may stand a chance

That evening the surgeon assessed
And shown a scan of this thing in my head
At this point weakness there in my knees
Tell me I’ll survive this, please, please!

Visits from all of those I dearly love
And a rare prayer uttered to good Lord above
Wheeled down to theatre, count backwards from ten
I don’t remember a thing, not after then

The next morning I awake about 3
I can read a poster there opposite me
My eyes feel good, my vision’s ok
Surely all this trouble has gone far away

A visit later that day from surgeon
We want to speak to you, your wife – it’s urgent
During operation your heart it stopped beating
See a cardiologist, we’ll arrange a meeting

OMG thought I, what else can go wrong?
Come on Mike says Gemma, you’ve gotta stay strong
How on earth could all this have happened to me?
It’s happened says Gemma, concentrate on recovery

Too long then waiting for release
Got to get back to my job in the police
Home eventually by the start of next week
All over the place though, so weak I can’t speak

Look in the mirror, no hair, massive scar
Banned for now from driving the car
Lots of time then watching TV
Is this really how life’s now gonna be?

A visit from boss, my welfare at heart
Is it time Mike, from constabulary to part?
Ill health retirement, you might want to consider
I’m not ready to leave, was all I could mutter

The process started though, what could I do?
The police was my life, that hurt me right through
I was though taking teaching degree
So thought I, that’s the new path for me

Hold on there Mike, put those thoughts on hold
Six weeks of radiotherapy we need to resolve
Daily trips over Solent to Southampton again
So they could put gamma into my brain

Another experience then, let it begin
A few weeks in, it’s got really grim
I can’t stand coffee or smell of the bus
Let’s get this thing over, hurry up – rush

To hide alopecia, I wear a flat cap
Trying not to show that I just feel crap
So tired, yet determined to normalise
This treatment though I had to despise

The light of the true Mike though, it never dulled
Over teaching degree I continuously mulled
And plans to swim Gibraltar Strait with Oz
No real reason, just because, just because

In swimming pool and college I spent that spring
Doing my best to defeat this awful thing
Then the news that I had as a lecturer qualified
Mostly distinctions I was told with great pride

In August, the destination Spain
Oz and I boarded the plane
Four hours 30 minutes, swim Tarifa to Morocco
Way to go Mike – WAY TO BLOODY GO!!!!

Find work as a college lecturer
A lot of experience from which to refer
I don’t know though, just didn’t feel right
Hypopituitaryism, such a toughie to fight

Resignation followed, I need to work less
To find my norm in this hormonal mess
An educational project, unique in our nation
Some aspects provided real inspiration

Next undertaking a masters degree
Research unique, big challenge for me
Loved it though, broke some new ground
Passed with a prize, boy was I proud

Two years in and again riding high
Work project award winning, felt recognised
But redundancy then, I couldn’t believe
From all of these losses there’s just no reprieve

Referred to services psychological
My problems more than just biological
A new normal I’m told I must find
Some aspirations I must leave behind

Very insightful this trip inside mind
Take foot off accelerator of daily grind
Respect for yourself Mike it surely must be
Just calm it down, I’m sure you’ll agree

So having navigated through tumour storm
Recognition, understanding of new norm
Try real hard to transform and adjust
Accept what’s new, accept it I must

That’s still not easy, far from it in fact
Just gotta move forward, keep sanity intact
Constant health monitoring, injections, scans, blood
Hormones non-existent, affecting the mood

Occasionally fatigued, down I must lay
Last thing on mind embracing the day
In a darkened room, want to be alone
Desperate for company of one – only my own

Thankfully though this isn’t so often
Life doesn’t have to be that rotten
I do what I did, just a little bit less
That way assured I can be at my best

Life’s there to enjoy, go out and make most
Long walks with dogs, tasty Sunday roast
Surrounded by people who with me have journeyed
Still far too young for last ride on gurney

Happiness in self, once more I have found
In education I am breaking new ground
Life’s good again, happy, striving to adapt
Understanding now, with self-made new contract

Don’t over stress, some things matter not
See yourself how others do, you’ve achieved such a lot
With this attitude now on right track
Thank goodness, I’ve got some life back

The journey though ploughs on and on
The next drug prescribed, human growth hormone
The effects I’m told well worth the wait
To get the old energy back, that would be great!


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