So, this is not meant to be an emotional blog. I do not write to sort out my own issues, or achieve personal growth in any way. I write to discuss what I deem to be important worldwide issues and current affairs. I do it to highlight the particular way in which I think about the world. I do it to shift the debate. However, something has happened recently that straddles this divide quite neatly: 9 days ago I was diagnosed with a brain tumour.

But first off, some background information for those unfortunates who are only stumbling across my blog for the first time. My name is Joshua Nicholas. At the time of writing I am a 22 year old Australian University Student on semester exchange in Hamburg Germany. I am a non-smoker, relatively frequent exerciser, and, as is the wont of most students, an occasional binge drinker. My family hails mostly from Sri Lanka, but also from Germany, and (through historical colonisation) probably from Great Britain and the Netherlands as well. As far as I am aware there is no history of epilepsy or brain tumours in my family, and I am unaware if I ever came into contact with some sort of virus that imparts said conditions, although, there is a history of cancer (and quite horrific cancer) in my immediate family. I am unaware of ever being cursed by a shaman, or directly earning the ire of God, however, to be honest, even a cursory glance of this blog will show that I am a frequent God denier.

And now on to the main event: on the fourth of May 2012 I was studying in the Hamburg University library when I had a rather serious seizure. This is the first seizure I have ever experienced, although, to be honest, I did not exactly experience it. I am unaware of the exact timing, but I lost consciousness for a number of hours, and have no first hand recollection of the event itself. All I know is that I woke up in the intensive care ward of Hamburg University hospital a number of hours later. Apparently I had been so out of it that the paramedics, doctors and nurses were able to stick me with a whole host of vile implements without me noticing, let alone the entire journey from the library to the hospital itself.

Soon after regaining consciousness I was wheeled into a “CT” scan, where the doctors thought they found evidence for a tumour in my frontal lobe. I was checked into the Neurology department of the hospital, to await further tests. Over the course of the next few days I endured two “EEG’s” and an MRI, all of which apparently confirmed the original diagnosis. I have a tumour roughly the size of a lime in my right temporal lobe. I am now on my way home to Sydney where I have been advised I will need to undergo surgery to extricate the tumour, although I have only had two opinions so far and I am sure my family will advise me to obtain several dozen more. And so ends the first update on my wonderful tumour journey, expect more soon as I learn more about this condition (I have already downloaded a number of books and I am foreseeing many meetings with doctors in my immediate future), and encounter more wonderful side adventures on my journey to recovery.