An Inspirational Story of Aloysius & Denyse…

My fiancée & I were making plans for marriage when I met with a cycling accident in December 2013. I passed out from the accident and was admitted to hospital. Brain scans picked up a mass in my brain. The MRI confirmed the tumour and I was diagnosed with a Trigeminal Schwannoma. As I was not experiencing any symptom, I could not accept my condition. Over the next nine months, I sought medical advice from various doctors; the consensus was to have surgery. It took me some time for me to accept that I had to take this step, through a combination of support from my fiancée and my parents, my new found faith in God, friends in church, and finding out more from others who had been through the journey such as Melissa Lim, founder of BTSS.

On September 2014, I went for the operation to remove my tumour. Over the next six weeks, I had to re-learn even the most basic of human tasks such as walking through twice-daily physiotheraphy sessions. I suffered the after effects of facial paralysis, loss of hearing, double vision, dry eyes, walking unsteadiness, nausea, vomiting, dizziness & headache. I am pleased to say I am healed of most of these symptoms and my health is getting better as the days pass. I am no longer on medication but I still have regular visits to the neurosurgeon for follow-up. I was very fortunate during that period to have support and encouragement from my parents, fiancée and the BTSS members who took turns to come visit me almost every other day. Their encouragement and advice for gave us more information and insight how to go through the entire process.I have stopped cycling and have switched to light exercises such as stationary bikes and jogging. I have also picked up more therapeutic and stress relieving hobbies like reading and playing the piano.

Denyse and I were married on February 2015, 5 months after my operation. Before my diagnosis, we have been together for 12 years. We have been through many ups and downs, although my medical condition was a major life challenge, it wasn’t something we could not overcome together. I am blessed my religion has helped me through this journey. Now I have a new role as a husband, I have to live strong not just for myself but also my new family. I am feeling great and appreciate every single day.

BTSS has helped me in understanding that I am not on this journey alone. Through meetings with other survivors and patients, we share our stories and motivate each other during this journey. Sometimes it can be tough to share our feelings and thoughts to our family and friends who have not been through this. The talks and the sharing from the nurses during the BTSS meeting has also helped me to get more insights into what brain tumour is all about, the things to look out for, what can be done to improve the quality of life.

I am often reminded of this quote:
It ain’t how hard you hit; it’s about how hard you can get hit, and keep moving forward.” ~ Rocky Balboa