On this day 20 years ago I woke up to the most amazing news, there was no brain tumour, I was going to live. After a long, delicate operation the amazing surgeons had uncovered, drained and cleaned a huge abscess from the edge of the back of my brain. For a few weeks this monster had been squeezing my brain and my sight was going, I was down to less than 50% vision and had issues with balance. I had difficulty conversing and finding the words which scared the socks off my lovely flat mates and me.
I have to say that the hardest part wasn’t being ill, for me the scariest part was getting better. Every time I woke up my sight had come back a little bit more, I had painful flashing migraines daily as my brain tried to heal itself. I needed to wear a hat as the surgeons had shaved half of my head and a huge square scar, that we lovingly called my ‘cat flap’ was visible to the world. As a family we used to joke that my catching was even worse than before and that I would always walk into old ladies and small children as I just couldn’t see them!
My family and friends were amazing, I went back to work after 3 months (way too soon!) and my colleagues were so great, supporting me and now here we are 20 year later! My scar still hurts from time to time, the flashes appear infrequently now and my sight is pretty much 100%, I still can’t catch and I have rubbish balance but I am so grateful for the second chance I was given. My world is full of love from my two beautiful children and my lovely husband and my family and dear friends. I don’t let life pass me by and I have a great deal of respect for the doctors and nurses that cared for me. The amazing family doctor who wasn’t happy about my headaches and sent me to A&E is sadly no longer with us and to him I will always be indebted – he actually saved my life.
What have I learned from this? I have learned a great deal in the past 20 years. I have become a Mummy twice, I have made mistakes, but I have done good things too. I have brushed shoulders with anxiety, I have been so happy I could burst. I have learned it is important to live your own life, love deeply and truly and laugh often; be kind to each other; don’t worry about things, worrying doesn’t help. Say sorry when you are wrong and when you hurt another’s feelings. Learn from your mistakes. Life is precious, money and status is not. Food is fuel and smiles are contagious. …. Happy Christmas everyone!