GUIDE TO WORKING WITH SOMEONE WITH A BRAIN TUMOUR

 

I wanted to do this blog to be able to provide updates on my situation and what I’ve been through but also thought it would be good if it could provide some guidance on lessons learnt along the way. As part of that I thought it would be good to get an input from someone else’s perspective.

 

I am a bit apprehensive about guest writers as no doubt they will be better writers and a lot funnier than I am. However, if it makes the blog better I’m willing to give it a go.

 

This post has been written by my first victim….. sorry I mean kind volunteer. So let me introduce my first guest writer…… Her name is Christina, she is someone whom I have worked with for a number of years and knows me well both before and after my diagnosis of Albie, my Grade 4 Glioblastoma Multiforme (GBM) brain tumour. She has seen me through all aspects of my fight and is in a good position to provide some insight into any changes that Albie may have had on me.

 

so here is Christina’s guide to working with someone with a brain tumour…….

 

In my vast experience of people with brain tumours (one person) I thought it important to write a guide as to how to treat them. Establishing a baseline is key.

 

  • Before Diagnosis: Makes tea – After Diagnosis: Makes tea
  • Before Diagnosis: Positive Mental Attitude – After Diagnosis: Positive Mental Attitude

 

Differences in lifestyle and appearance will occur.

 

For example, a person with a diagnosis (PWAD) will not be able to drive. Although this has a massive impact on their lives, independence and personal state of mind, there are plus points.

  1. You get to have a captive audience for the entire journey to and from work to tell that person the most interesting facts about your interesting life. However, this is balanced with the unavoidable fact that they will backseat drive.
  2. You get to leave work early to take them home. However, this is balanced with the unavoidable fact that they will backseat drive.
  3. You get to take a work car home overnight thus saving yourself petrol. However, this is balanced with the unavoidable fact that they will backseat drive.

 

A PWAD is likely, in my vast experience, to grow long beards. You have a range of options to deal with this.

  1. Like me, you can grow your own moustache. Don’t go crazy, keep it simple so as not to be seen to be going into direct competition with said PWAD.
  2. Listen to Mumford and Sons and engage PWAD in conversation about them.
  3. Compliment them on their long eyelashes.

 

A PWAD will embark on many holidays. Despite slaving away in a boring job in an office with rubbish air conditioning, it is essential that you adhere to the following:

  1. Be positive about yet another holiday to yet another amazing holiday destination. This guy has seriously earned it and deserves the break. He’s going through a shit time. Remember – while he’s away he can’t backseat drive!
  2. Thank him for the sweeties he brings back. Only take one sweet when he’s looking to be polite. Wait til he’s gone home and load up later.
  3. Avoid eye contact in case he has created a PowerPoint presentation of his recent trip that he wants to show you. He will have improved his PowerPoint skills for work reasons and this can be dangerous.

 

A PWAD will still drink alcohol. There are many positives to this element:

  1. A PWAD will be a cheap night out
  2. A PWAD will never be sick as they have have anti sickness pills for the morning after
  3. A PWAD can drink as much as they want without fear of being the designated driver.

 

However please be mindful that:

  1. It will never improve their dancing skills
  2. It will never improve their singing skills
  3. It will not stop them being a back seat driver

 

A PWAD will work from home more. This has its pros and cons:

  1. They will talk to their cat a lot and take their advice on important work and life decisions
  2. They will have less washing to do as they spend the day in just their underpants
  3. They will not be able to make their colleagues cups of tea

 

 

In my vast experience I have come to find that a PWAD is generally a nice person, albeit hairy and occasionally underdressed. Therefore, adherence to this guide, while not mandatory, is advised.

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