Meet Mike Palmer: A driver who is determined to beat his brain tumour by giving it a nickname and writing poetry

Hellesdon man Mike Palmer who has taken to poetry after learning that he has a brain tumour. Photo :

Hellesdon man Mike Palmer who has taken to poetry after learning that he has a brain tumour. Photo : Steve Adams - Credit: Steve Adams

A 48-year-old Hellesdon man has turned to the power of poetry to help him stay positive ahead of a major operation to remove a dangerous tumour in his brain.

Father-of-one Mike Palmer goes under the knife on Friday after doctors found a 6cm meningioma in his head in August. But since his diagnosis Mr Palmer said 'words have appeared in my head', prompting a surge of poems which describes his battle against the illness.

'I've never written any poetry before but the words just started coming into my head and I had to get them onto paper,' he added.

'I've written several poems and it's helped me a lot in staying positive.'

Mr Palmer. who works as a driver for Norse, has even nicknamed his meningioma 'Tony the Tumour' in a bid to normalise the condition.

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He said by giving the tumour a name and writing the poems the illness has become less scary –although he admitted: 'I have some dark moments.'

Mr Palmer began experiencing headaches and was then told he had a tumour following an MRI scan.

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His diagnosis meant he was unable to carry on working and he said the tumour has cost him his independence – as he is unable to work and relies on the help of friends and family ahead of his operation at Addenbrooke's Hospital, Cambridge.

'I was dealt a massive blow and a massive shock,' Mr Palmer said.

'You can either wallow about what's happened or you have to accept it. Writing the poems makes me feel so much better.

'I shared them on Facebook and other people commented saying they really like them.

'I think there is probably a massive audience out there who can relate to what I'm writing about.'

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