Everyone wants to know about the 'brain thing'. That's fair - So here it is...
Firstly I just want to say that telling people you have a brain tumour is really hard. So many people are afraid of illness, or know someone with illness - they are fast to project their own emotional response onto you. Cue brave face - I quickly learned to be prepared for this. I also found, that (much the same as being pregnant and soon to face giving birth) people love to tell you a story or three. They know someone; a friend, family member, neighbour - that had a brain tumour - and the horror story that followed. So asking people not to tell me of anyone they knew with a tumour became part of my spiel.
The thing with brain tumours (and most illnesses) I've come to learn - there are rarely two the same. I wanted my story to be my own and the belief of a positive outcome against all the statistics became my strength.
I was diagnosed in early 2014. After many trips to my GP she referred me for an MRI scan - a torturous week later I was sitting in a neurosurgeon's office discussing brain surgery and wondering if I was stuck in a surreal dream. 15 minutes after this I found myself sitting in an alleyway - my heart cracking wide open.
The reading on the internet was terrifying; I stopped reading after about 6 minutes of google surfing! But my stellar hubby stepped up here - and with the support of some very dear friends and extensive research - he found the best surgeon for what and where my tumour was, he was (and still is) my rock.
I was soon scheduled in to remove what they 'believed' was a benign Meningioma (but couldn't be certain until post surgery). The weeks leading up to surgery were a haze. The only thing I was really certain of - was I had the most amazing cheerleading squad by my side, my family was incredible - and the unconditional love of an amazing man and my two (thankfully, unaware) babies - that made me certain I was going to pull through and be ok. Their little faces gave me more courage than I knew I had in me.
+ I had THE best surgeon (and maybe the most intimidating man I've ever met) in the world for my tumour - and the outcome was unbelievably good - smile.
+ My prognosis is very positive. I have MRI's every 6 months (which I'm trying to learn to meditate through - I'll keep you posted!)- happy (but teeth grinding) sigh.
+ I'm still recovering ... It takes a LONG time. I thought I could be superwoman and be the exception but it turns out I'm human after all ... I expect I will be be back to my 100% by the 3 year mark - lesson in patience and acceptance.
+ I'm more than happy to talk about my own story and experience - from my point of view and the amazing impact it's had on me and my life, I believe there should be one less horror story out there to share for those facing a health challenge. Please feel free to email me with any questions or speaking opportunities if you believe my journey may have a positive impact one someone you know.
+ Please don't call me a 'survivor' - the term grates me. I've been in wards I never want to be in again, I've seen first hand the strength and courage of those fighting every single day with different outcomes to mine and those that care for them; these people are the true survivors. I am without words for them, only love and admiration.
+ I don't want to be defined by my 'illness', but it has defined how I view life. It's precious, it's temporary - time is our greatest gift, I choose to spend mine doing what I love,
while surrounding myself with those I love and that value life as much as I do xx
* My hubby & I called my tumour the 'Blip'. we spoke about it a lot... and felt the need to call it something that was neither positive nor negative... but most certainly something temporary that in time would fade from our radar.
... and yes, one day I'll write a book about it.