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Please follow Anna's Journey
Hi I am Anna Louise Swabey, I am 23 years old and I have recently been diagnosed with a brain tumour. (It still feels bizarre when I write that down or say it out loud.)
Who I was:Up until January 9th 2015, I was living a completely ‘normal’ life (although, if we are being honest, I don’t think anybody would have ever of described me as ‘normal’!)I studied Languages and European studies at the University of Portsmouth, and was delighted to graduate with a First Class Honours degree in 2013.I have always been a very active person, and have a particular love for netball. My fondest memories from University involve the amazing times I shared with the girls from the University Netball Team. Not only have I enjoyed playing sports, I am a keen spectator also. I am a MASSIVE Rugby Union fan, and had a season ticket for Leicester tigers since I was 8 years old. Living down in Portsmouth made it more difficult to get to matches, however the 3 hour drive was always worth it! My parents and I have travelled Europe supporting our team also. My football team is Stoke City, so all in all, when it comes to sport, I am a bit of a lad!That isn’t to say however that I am not a girly girl when it comes to fashion, make up, taking “selfies” etc….as I most definitely am!I was a very sociable person, a bit of a chatterbox and friends often compared me to my comic idol, Miranda – tall, a bit clumsy, and always getting myself into awkward social situations!I have always been very family orientated. I am very close to my parents, my sister, my brother, my niece and my four nephews. The only difficulty being, that as I chose to go to University in Portsmouth, the majority of my family all live up in the North East of England.
On the 9th January 2015 I had a seizure at home
(gutted because I was getting ready to go to the pub!) and I was taken
into hospital via an ambulance. When I was in hospital I suffered a
further two seizures, I had a CT scan and an MRI scan and this was the
day my life changed forever….
Who I am now:I’m still Anna Louise Swabey, i’m still 23 years old and I still have exactly the same passions and ambition as detailed above. I am still exactly the same person, however, unfortunately after receiving my biopsy results on February 3rd 2015, I have been diagnosed with a Grade 3 Glioma, Anaplastic Astrocytoma Brain Tumour.Due to the intrinsic nature of my brain tumour I was told from day one that the tumour is unfortunately inoperable, so I was just about coming to grips with the fact I would be living with it forever, regardless of what treatment could be offered. On receiving my biopsy results that day however, I was then told that it is also terminal and I was given a time scale of months to a maximum of 3 years to live. No words can describe how hearing that news felt, however I will be writing a post to at least try and express my emotions that day and onwards regarding the prognosis.I am very lucky to have an extremely supportive family and set of friends around me and I am now living with my family in the North East after having to leave my life in Portsmouth. Again taking the positives out this horrific situation, I am loving being able to see them every day, even though it is under these circumstances.I have always been a ‘tough cookie’ and I am trying to remain as strong and positive as possible, but I certainly wouldn’t be in this positive frame and mind without the love of my nearest and dearest. It is true what they say, it is at times like these you realise how blessed you really are!Now I am ready to give ‘Trev the tumour’ – yes that’s right we have named the bugger- a real good fight!I have been banned from driving for 2 years because of my seizures.I am signed off sick from work and I am awaiting news of when my treatment can start.
Who I want to be:I want to defy my prognosis, I WILL live till I am old, I WILL get married and I WILL have children and I WILL have the life I have always dreamed of! But I am by no means naive, and I understand it’s going to be very tough and some compromises will no doubt have to be made.I want to make a difference in the world and leave a mark. Now this issue is so close to my heart, I want to raise awareness about brain tumours and the devastating effects they can have on people’s lives.I want to raise lots of money for brain tumour research charities to ensure that, in the future, nobody has to experience this awful disease and many more treatments are readily available.