November 10, 2014

Andrew Bonar, in his own words

been possible (radiation, medication, etc.). I was informed that if the tumour must be removed, it would be unlikely to safely remove the tumour without causing permanent damage to good brain cells. I was warned that I may never get strength back to the right side of the body and possibly lose other physical and/or mental capacities.

Many more tests were conducted over the weekend, including a MRI of the brain to allow doctors to get a more detailed look at the tumour.

In 2007 at the Canmore Highland Games.

On Monday morning, Dr. Gary Redekop (surgeon) enters my hospital room. Dr. Redekop did not attempt to make anything look pretty. Dr. Redekop stated that from his analysis of the MRI data, getting a sample of the tumour through a biopsy would just be slowing us down. He wanted me in the operating room in two hours. In my mind I was thinking that this tumour is now growing so quickly that it comes out now or never.

Due to other emergencies entering the hospital, my operation was moved from Monday morning to Tuesday afternoon. On Monday morning I was terrified. By Tuesday afternoon I had become confident that Dr. Redekop was going to help me get better.

The operation appears to have gone well. The next morning, the physiotherapists had me on my feet walking. The right leg had already started to feel better that it had in weeks. For the first time in years, my ears did not feel plugged.

I will still have lots a treatment ahead. The tumour was sent to the Cancer Society to be studied. I will be going for further treatment (radiation or chemotherapy) to attempt to get at any remaining cancerous cells.

My brain had been slowly getting dislodged by this growing tumour for years. There is now a hole in my brain that the brain will want to shift back into. This shift will be quicker than the dislodging process. I have been warned that for a few months, I may feel strange as the brain attempts to adjust back.

I am now at home recovering. It is unlikely that I will return to my job until 2016 (the government will not want me talking to airplanes any time soon). The support that I have received during the past week from family, co-workers, and the piping world has been touching.

Thank you, everyone, for your concerns.

We thank Andrew Bonar for this piece, and wish him a fast and full recovery.


  1. Wow. just read this to my wife Tina and she said oh my god about five times. Best wishes to you and your family Andrew. Thank you for sharing
    Euan Anderson

  2. Glad to see that you’re on the mend. Thanks for sharing your story. It has helped me to understand what had happened to a colleague of mine who was in the same situation a while back. All the best in the future.

  3. Andrew , what a story! Thank God for people with such skills as Dr Redekop. I am sure that he has given you a completely different life perspective. May the future bode well for you.Reay Mackay

  4. Hi Andrew,

    I don’t think we’ve ever met, but your name is well known to me. That’s quite an ordeal you had, but it sounds like you’re on the right road back. Good luck and happy piping ahead!


  5. What a life changing ordeal and your spirit appearing so good. All the best to you and hope for quick recovery and back to enjoying playing music……



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