Robert, 80, Tonbridge Wells

Robert was treated by Peter Bullock for a long-standing, benign meningioma.

What and when were the first signs of your illness?

A severe headache. I woke up with it at 3.00am and thought of calling an ambulance, it was so bad. I told my wife at 7.00 and she arranged for me to see the GP. The headache lasted three or four hours and I only had it the one time.

How was it diagnosed, and by whom?

By my GP, who sent me for a scan at the local hospital.

How did you come to Mr Bullock?

I was referred from Pembury Hospital following the scan – the person who did it recommended Mr Bullock.

What has your treatment involved and how long did it take?

I went to see Mr Bullock about a week later and he ordered more scans: I was scanned out, really – CTs and MRIs, you name it. The headache had been because the tumour was bleeding, but Mr Bullock couldn’t operate as soon as he wanted to, because I was on blood thinners – we had to wait three weeks to get my blood back to good levels.

Mr Bullock also couldn’t take out the whole tumour as it was wrapped around a blood vessel and too close to the optic nerve, so he had to leave a bit of it in place. But I’ve had no chemo or radiotherapy, because it was benign and slow growing. If the bit that’s left ever needs treating, it can be done with Cyberknife®, Mr Bullock is also trained in Gamma Knife® and Cyberknife® radiosurgery.

What has been the outcome?

It’s eight weeks since my operation and I’m a bit wobbly but I haven’t needed any physiotherapy. I’m now getting gently back into ballroom dancing and doing bowls twice a week: I also start gym next week. My daughter also says I’m much improved on the memory front – the tumour had been pressing on my brain and she says we’d been having some random conversations, but she’d put it down to transient global amnesia, which I’d had a couple of times before.

Post-op I’m on Phenytoin to prevent fitting, which I’m hoping to come off in six months – I can’t drive till I get the all-clear.

How have you found your time as a patient with Mr Bullock?

We had total faith in him. He is a very capable man who gives both the patient and the family confidence in his ability. Our thanks go out to him for bringing me back to full health.