My problems started in Jan 2007, my right foot felt cold to me but was warm to the touch.
I went to see my g.p. who in turn sent me to see an orthopaedic consultant, he sent me for a m.r.i. scan after which I went to see the consultant again and he told me the scan was clear, but by this time my leg was going numb.The consultant then refered me to a neuro consultant.
By the time I had my appointment with the neuro consultant it was Oct2007 and my leg was really numb and I also had burning sensations in my leg, anyway the n. consultant did various tests on me and realised I had a problem. He sent me for another m.r.i. scan but this time the scan covered all my spine not just my hip area as before.
Some 3weeks past and I received a letter from the n. consultant telling me they had found a swelling on my spinal cord and to see my g.p. immediately. I went to see my g.p. who told me I had a tumour on my spinal cord; the word tumour frightened the life out of me but he told me it was probably benign. An appointment was made for me to see a neuro surgeon at a neuro hospital. Chistmas/new year went by and now I was having great difficulty in walking and could no longer lift my right leg. I got to see the neuro surgeon on 08/02/2008 and he explained I needed surgery to remove the tumour and if I didn't I would definetly end up in a wheelchair, he also explained the risks involved but the choice for me was easy.My op was arranged for the following Wed.
After my op I realised all the numbness had disappeared and I was able to lift my legs again, I was able to walk again ; at first with the help of physio's then with a walking stick. After leaving hospital I received physiotherapy for about 4months, then probably about another 2months before I had reasonable movements in my shoulders.
I returned to work (on light duties) after 9months after which I carried on as normal. I still have pain in my shoulders, around the op scar and especially in my arm pits but this is a small price to pay for being able to walk again.
I still see the neuro surgeon every 12months and have a m.r.i. scan every 2years just to make sure the tumour does't grow again. My tumour was a neurofibroma at t2.
As you can see from my story I have been very lucky and wish to thank all at the local hospital for all their skills and help when I needed them.
Update August 2018
It's now 10yrs since my operation and I have now been discharged from the hospital since numerous M.R.I. scans have shown no signs of the tumour growing again.
I still have pain in my shoulders but can manage with pain killers my doctor has given me. Some areas of my shoulders are still numb but this is probably a result of the operation.
I can now most things that I could before the tumour caused problems, but have to take it easy otherwise I suffer for my efforts, but when I think back to how I was just before the operation I realise how lucky I am.
I would like to thank all the team at "The Walton Centre" Liverpool, and will always be in their debt.
Finally I hope my story gives some hope and comfort to anyone out there who has been diagnosed with a spinal cord tumour and if anyone wants to contact me please ask Carole for my email address.