Where there’s smoke, there’s fire — even if no one else smells it.
A mysterious stench he couldn’t shake has led one man to discover a life-changing diagnosis.
In Dec. 2020, Neil Danziger started feeling lightheaded and experiencing “phantom” smells that reminded him of matches or fireworks — which produce an indicative scent of sulfur.
“Often if I’d been doing something I’d need to sit down, and it was followed by a strong sense of smell,” Danziger, 47, told South West News Service.
Concerned, the father of two went to the doctor thinking his strange symptoms could be related to a possible blood blockage, noting he had suffered from high blood pressure and cholesterol in the past, and that his grandfather died from a heart attack at age 60.
However, tests revealed that Danziger actually had a pea-sized glioblastoma, an aggressive type of brain tumor, measuring less than half an inch.
The UK job recruiter was optimistic as the tumor was “so small.”
“I’d heard of people having plum or apple-sized tumors and I had a pea. So, I thought ‘I have a pea, I can do this,’” he recalled.
Praying it would be the end of the ordeal, Danziger went to see a neurologist, who scheduled an operation to remove the tumor on Feb. 8, 2021.
“As far as they could tell, they had got it all. Everything went pretty well and they were happy with my recovery,” he recalled. “The next day I was feeling OK, but a bit sore on the side of my head, where they’d operated.”
After his surgery, a biopsy of his tumor was sent off to be tested, where doctors found the cells surrounding the tumor were due to a mutated gene more commonly found in tumors of the primary central nervous system, and worried that worse days were ahead for Danziger. That’s when doctors recommended a more aggressive treatment plan consisting of combined radiotherapy and chemotherapy, followed by six months of chemotherapy.
Danziger is now being monitored with regular scans. Meanwhile, he and his wife Victoria have raised $19,400 (£16,000) for brain tumor research by taking part in the Brain Tumour Research Walk of Hope fundraiser in 2022 — just days after finishing his fifth round of chemotherapy.
“The Walk of Hope was such a rewarding and enjoyable experience,” he gushed. “I was joined by lots of my friends, including several who used to drive me to my radiotherapy sessions and then walk around Regent’s Park with me after, so to walk 13 miles across London with them was fantastic.”
The enormous effort earned Danziger and Victoria an invitation to the charity’s Center of Excellence at the Queen Mary University of London, where they spoke to scientists working on the research into glioblastomas, and placed six tiles on a Wall of Hope, each representing the $3,300 a day it costs to fund the research.
This article was originally posted by The New York Post.