I know what you’re thinking…part three?! How many parts are there to this thing?! The honest answer is right now I don’t know.
If you’re read my previous posts, imaginatively titled My Brain Tumours Part One and Part Two you’ll know that I was diagnosed with my first brain tumour in 2012 and then with my second brain tumour in 2013. Although my first one was successfully removed and hasn’t returned, my second one lives on in my brain. I recently found out that brain tumour number two has grown. I was expecting this as it was inevitable, I just didn’t know when this would be. In my mind, growth would mean it would be big enough to remove so therefore a good thing. I could get rid of it once and for all and be brain tumour free. At least that was my plan.
But like all good plans, they never turn out like you think they will.
I’m always anxious when going to see my specialist because I never quite know what I’m going to get. Don’t get me wrong, I’m optimistic. I get my positive mental attitude hat on and I tell myself it will all be ok. I tell everyone else it will be ok. But deep down, I don’t really know until I get there.
I’m told that my current brain tumour has increased in size but that it’s not quite big enough to operate on just yet. I’m relieved there’s no brain surgery this year and I can live with more regular MRI’s. I’m getting quite good at laying completely still now. Trust me, it is not as easy as it sounds! This news didn’t really upset me because I was expecting it. It was the next bit of news that threw me.
I have a new brain tumour. It’s my third one in five years.
This one is in a new location and in a different place to the other brain tumours past and present. On hearing the news, I joke my specialist that every time I see her, she diagnoses me with a brain tumour and that I will have to stop coming to see her. We laugh. I guess it’s better than crying. I saved that for later.
She goes on to explain that they won’t be able to fully remove this one because of where it is and I may have to have radiotherapy after surgery to shrink the rest of it. I ask if it’s common to have multiple simultaneous brain tumours and she says it’s not. My mind goes blank and I really can’t think of what to say or what to ask. Basically my brain likes making tumours and I don’t know why. No one can tell me why either.
I am not sure how I feel about this and if I am completely honest, I try not to think about it because it’s overwhelming and exhausting. If I do start thinking about, it gets too much for my mind to understand and because there is nothing I can do it about. I don’t have any answers and I don’t know what this means. I feel ok and I don’t have any symptoms as far as I know, not including the sporadic migraines. But it could be worst and I know I’m lucky. So I am thankful for that.
The thing about life is that you think you have all the time in the world and then suddenly you don’t. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not dying nor am I planning to drop dead anytime soon. What I mean is that things like this makes me look at my life. It makes me think of my mortality. I appreciate my life more and the people I love. I even appreciate my work more, I want to continue to do what I love and not just work on projects because of the money but because I actually want to, because I enjoy it. My brain tumours have taught me lots of things like I’ve finally realised that it really isn’t worth sweating the small stuff. I mean, in the bigger scheme of things will it even matter to me? I try and see things from a different perspective, to be more empathic and understanding. I laugh more and would like to think I’m learning to let go of the crap stuff.
I am loved, I am happy, I am healthy (despite the brain tumours) and to be honest, what more do I need?