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About Film & Animation / Professional Premium Member Leigh WayMale/United Kingdom Groups :icondamalgam-universe: dAmalgam-Universe
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Hey Everybody! Just thought I would post a quick update since we have found out more news from the biopsy.

So the official diagnosis is that it is stage 2 cancer. The surgeon managed to get rid of as much if not all the tumour as possible, but there could still be some traces left so the next stage is radiotherapy to try and blast as much as possible so that we can be as safe as we can for the future.

Obviously this was quite a shock to hear, so anyone out there who has any niggles, pins and needle sensations, sharp pains in their back, if it persists for more than a few days get it checked it out as soon as possible just to be on the safe side. I was told for 10 months that I was wearing shoes that were too small, that it was my sciatic nerve, or that I needed in soles. That's what doctors know!

The important thing though is that I am now home and comfortable. No more being propped up in a hospital bed waiting for meals and getting blood pressure tested. No more around other sick people and being able to have a good night's sleep, it makes a difference for sure!

In the meantime, my wife Hannah has me attempting to grow a beard which is looking abysmal, but we thought we would try it since I am I hiding out during my recovery. All it has done is confirm I should never try Movember in the future.

Now I am catching up on all my old xbox 360 games and dvd boxsets, as well as all the kickstarter boardgames I have been buying but not playing yet. I still have pains and needles in my fingers so could be some time before I'm picking up a pencil and doing serious drawing, but hopefully that will get better with time. 

All the best to everyone and thanks again!

Leigh

Hi everyone!

Sorry for leaving you all in the dark after last week's update. I've been overwhelmed by everyone's support and well wishes and it means the world me, so thanks from the bottom of my heart. It's was a scary night and morning going into surgery but I'm pleased to say that the operation went as well as it could have possibly gone. I was operated on for around 5 hours in which the surgeons managed to completely remove the tumour from my spinal cord and have sent it to biopsy to see if it's anything that may come back, but hopefully because of the relative ease of the removal, with the tumour not fused onto the nerves or bones, so hopefully we are past the worst of it.

The operation I had effected my C2 to my T4 vertebrae so it was hitting a lot of scary functions. Luckily now I just feel pins and needles and a general weakness which is to be expected. Hopefully I'll be seeing some physios today who can access my mobility and pain. It does hurt like hell just sitting up and walking with assistance, probably to do with the pins and plates they have had to put in and muscle they cut away. Honestly it feels like I am strung up by meat hooks. But the doctors are being positive and think I could even be home in the next few days just so that I can be more relaxed and comfortable, so we'll see.




Until then, I just have a lot of recovery ahead of me. I don't think there is a time frame for being fully fit so will just have to take each day as it comes. But thanks again everyone for the support. I wish my long absence from dA wasn't just to inform you guys of bad news. When I do get home I'll be sure to post some artwork I've done as well as anything new as I'll probably have to teach myself to draw and strengthen my grip anyway.

But I will ascend!



Thanks again!
So it's probably time that I finally tell people that I have a tumour.

On Tuesday I will be going into hospital for an operation in which they hope to take the as much of the tumour out of my spine that they can safely do as well as doing a biopsy so that they know what they are dealing with. What we do know is that it is a large tumour from my neck going down to the upper back of my spine, and will be a complicated procedure. The operation could leave me paralysed from the neck down.


I have been feeling something off for close to a year now. First it started with pins and needles in my toes and feet which the doctor's first excused it as tight shoes. A couple of weeks later the pins and needles were in my legs and I had a tingling feeling in my back. I went to hospital for a few quick tests and they diagnosed that it was sciatica and gave me some exercises to do. When these weren't doing anything, I booked myself it to a chiropractor for some massages for a few weeks who always thought it could be sciatica and maybe that I needed in-soles to correct my footing.


After around 5 months it was time for my wedding to my gorgeous and amazing partner Hannah. The day before was lousy, but the day of the wedding someone was looking down on us and gave us amazing sunshine and weather and the day was perfect. Hannah looked so beautiful and it was great to have family and friends together. Sure it was nerve-racking, especially doing a speech and the first dance, but it was a wonderful day. We then spent two weeks on our honeymoon in the Maldives which was a paradise, and visited Dubai which was a great experience, even it was just for shopping for loads of comics and toys.


During the honeymoon my legs were killing me. The pins and needles and numbness were up to my knees, and all that walking would take it's toll on me at the end of the day. When we got back I booked myself in to the doctor's once again who gave me muscle relaxant medicine which may help with my back which were useless, and was put on a 4 month waiting list to see a consultant.


4 months pass and things were getting worse, but I couldn't do anything more than wait. Then I get the call, go to hospital, go through a few tests, and they are still none the wiser. They booked me in for an MRI scan which was maybe a week or two after the meeting and I started to feel like we would get the the bottom of things. A few days later, I get another call from the hospital for another MRI scan which I'm told was routine. So I sat in that MRI scanner for an hour and a half and once I came out I was still no nurses or doctors would say anything, I was still none the wiser.


Meanwhile work has been going great. I've been promoted to Lead Layout Artist and have a good team of guys, we've moved to a new building, me and Hannah have bought our very own house after a couple of months of looking and doing all the paperwork, and it was feeling like everything was going right. Then on the last but one day of work before finishing up for Christmas, I get a phonecall at the beginning of the day. It was the neurology consultant, saying that the MRI scans were bad, a lot worse than expected, and they advised me to come in straight away as they didn't want to discuss the subject over the phone. However, we had a deadline in work, and I didn't want to leave everyone hanging so stayed for the rest of the day with this weight hanging over me. It was stupid of me, and I should have been adamant about the urgency of the situation, but I felt it wouldn't do any harm staying to get the job done.


So I get to hospital that night to stay over. The consultant's assistant does a few quick tests, the same that I've had before, but he didn't really know why I was in and that I would speak to the consultant the next day. That next day is when they delivered the news.


A tumour inside my spinal cord. They showed me the MRI scans which were shocking to see, and they said they were surprised that I wasn't in more pain, and that I could even walk. The way the doctor was talking, how upset she seemed, and apologetic she was, even though she didn't say it, it felt like this was terminal. I have no other choice but surgery, with the risk of paralysis. Of course it was a sad day for everyone and a crappy way into to spend Christmas with this hanging over the heads of everyone thinking about me and my health. Talking to the surgeon, he seemed a little more optimistic, and said that I should enjoy Christmas and New Year's with my family and we'll do the operation after that.


And so here we are. I'll go into hospital tonight for an operation tomorrow to try and get rid of as much of this tumour as possible. It is really scary and I can't imagine how everyone else is feeling close to me. They're all being strong just like I have been strong for them, but the closer it is now it's a little more real. And I don't want to be a burden on people. I don't want people to look at me and feel sorry for me for the rest of my life. I want to be strong, be positive, look to the future. To starting a family. Being there for others. I love my family and Hannah most of all very very much, and I believe we can beat this.


I know I haven't posted in a long time, but I just wanted to get this off my chest. I have kept my eyes on everyone, and still need to comment on all your journals and artwork. I've still got some pieces of artwork to post to show you guys.


But for now, if I can just get people's support and positive vibes from everyone to help pull me through, then that's all I can ask right now. Hopefully I can post something later this week telling you all that everything went well.

Anyway, thank you for reading.


Leigh

Hey Everybody! Just thought I would post a quick update since we have found out more news from the biopsy.

So the official diagnosis is that it is stage 2 cancer. The surgeon managed to get rid of as much if not all the tumour as possible, but there could still be some traces left so the next stage is radiotherapy to try and blast as much as possible so that we can be as safe as we can for the future.

Obviously this was quite a shock to hear, so anyone out there who has any niggles, pins and needle sensations, sharp pains in their back, if it persists for more than a few days get it checked it out as soon as possible just to be on the safe side. I was told for 10 months that I was wearing shoes that were too small, that it was my sciatic nerve, or that I needed in soles. That's what doctors know!

The important thing though is that I am now home and comfortable. No more being propped up in a hospital bed waiting for meals and getting blood pressure tested. No more around other sick people and being able to have a good night's sleep, it makes a difference for sure!

In the meantime, my wife Hannah has me attempting to grow a beard which is looking abysmal, but we thought we would try it since I am I hiding out during my recovery. All it has done is confirm I should never try Movember in the future.

Now I am catching up on all my old xbox 360 games and dvd boxsets, as well as all the kickstarter boardgames I have been buying but not playing yet. I still have pains and needles in my fingers so could be some time before I'm picking up a pencil and doing serious drawing, but hopefully that will get better with time. 

All the best to everyone and thanks again!

Leigh

deviantID

AngelCrusher
Leigh Way
Artist | Professional | Film & Animation
United Kingdom
Welsh professional storyboard artist and animator with an MA degree in Animation.

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:iconiandwalker:
IanDWalker Featured By Owner Oct 21, 2014  Professional Traditional Artist
Where is the AFL? White Ninja Guy is itching for a fight...
Reply
:iconangelcrusher:
AngelCrusher Featured By Owner Oct 24, 2014  Professional Filmographer
It is being planned to be as good as it can be with enough excuse as to why it has taken me so long to post anything. ^_^
Reply
:icontherealjoshlyman:
TheRealJoshLyman Featured By Owner Dec 31, 2014  Professional Traditional Artist
AFL grad battle royales anyone? lol
Reply
:iconiandwalker:
IanDWalker Featured By Owner Oct 24, 2014  Professional Traditional Artist
Haha well let me know. WNG ia planning a long overdue retuen to DA and I wanna do it during AFL if possible.
Reply
:iconaegypius-x:
Aegypius-X Featured By Owner Edited Sep 22, 2014
Hi! Checking in from OCTFollowers. Is this group still active? (Or rather, is it still active AS a group?)
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