Cancer and other stuff


It had to happen, I knew it was coming. That euphoric ‘thank God they got it out, thank God nothing went wrong and I didn’t wake up a vegetable, or worse, not wake up at all’ feeling has worn off a bit. Disappeared along with the anaesthetic. I’ve been home 5 days – loading up on medication, tentatively leaving the house and generally “resting” (which is killing me, I’m so bored). And it’s been OK, I’ve been fine so touch wood, surgery has hopefully done the trick. Please God let me never have to go through that again.

I’ve had SO many messages, cards, kind thoughts and words, gifts. It’s truly been humbling. I really do appreciate everything. But when I read my own blogs, a few days later, I realise how quickly things change, how situations become really bloody serious very speedily and your only option is to go with it. So this ‘brave’ stuff isn’t really true. I can’t believe it was only 3, maybe 4 weeks ago that this all started. So much has happened in that time. Which is great, it’s brilliant and so fortunate to have that level of medical care. I cannot fault the NHS, I have been amazed the past month at what these people do. However, no sooner had I even started trying to come to terms with the fact I had a brain tumour than it was gone. Just like that. In theory, I may never have a problem like that again. Doesn’t mean my head is not in a COMPLETE MESS about what just happened. Where do I even start? My default physical setting is ‘fight, fight to the death’, for the sake of the man I love, my family and friends. But I can’t deny that, mentally, this stuff is not easy to deal with, and sometimes it feels like I will never get a break. Even I have limits, I’m not Superwoman. Some days I am clinging on by my fingernails, perhaps this day is just one of them and tomorrow will be brighter. I know how quickly things change, once I have the horrible metal staples removed from my head tomorrow, and establish a plan with Alison on Wednesday, it may all be sweet again. I just know that the last few weeks have been really difficult, and that the after-effects may take a while to process (already it’s pissing me off that I can’t drive and I keep forgetting to take my pills at the right time).

I had a brain tumour. How do you get your head round something so horrific? This shitty disease invading your brain, the organ that makes you who you are, that could literally change you overnight. It’s not liver, or lungs, or bones, all of which I said I could handle. Anything but brain, I thought. I HAVE been lucky, chances are it’ll never come back, I still firmly believe that. But it doesn’t mean that, even just for today, I’m not shocked and upset about what just happened.

I am aware that this blog has become very frequent and there are times when I wonder whether it’s appropriate to share so publicly, so regularly, but then I remind myself of the reasons I started writing it in the first place. Not only as a way of keeping people up to speed on things so I don’t have to spend my life constantly repeating myself but also as a way for me to record every aspect of what living with (note “living”) cancer is like. Some days are amazing. The day you get discharged from hospital having had brain surgery mere hours before. That’s a pretty special feeling. The days following it, maybe not so much as you’re left with a lot of questions that, if you’re honest, you’re not ready to hear the answer to. There really are good days and bad days (well done Macmillan). Thankfully the good days outweigh the bad, by a big margin. And when a bad one comes along, all I can do is just keep scratching along, somehow, and hope for the brighter days I know eventually come. How we have managed to keep what is a relatively new relationship in tact through what has been a completely terrifying and surreal few weeks is beyond me. It’s a testament to him that I’m as sane as I am, God only knows how he must be feeling. But we’re clinging on and I suppose that’s the best any of us can do in these circumstances.

Anyway I’ll be seeing Alison on Wednesday and no doubt it’ll change again so I’d better get my head set for the next little battle. It’s exhausting this stuff. Till Wednesday…


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