I think Henrietta is coming to an end. When I started writing it was cathartic and helped me work through how I felt. It swiftly grew to be fun, something that I looked forward to and spent most of my time thinking about. And then it became informative and finally entertaining, I hope, for some.
It has worried me along the way if I would know when to stop. When all I have to talk about is the mundane then it isn't fun to read, and no longer worth writing. I think that time has come. For now.
After nearly two weeks in Brighton getting stronger and fitter and managing to stay awake for whole days at a time, I am finally getting back to some semblance of normality. And I'm going to book a hair appointment later too, as hair is growing over my ears in an unnerving manner. Nowhere else of course, just over my ears.
I will continue to post updates if anything interesting occurs to me, but for a while at least this will be my last post.
My parting thoughts are about people, and support. From the beginning of this experience I have been incredibly lucky with the people that I have come across. Firstly the GP who recognised something was wrong and sent me to A&E, and secondly all the staff at King's - they were fantastic. Without such good care it would have been a much scarier and negative experience, so I'm very grateful.
And then friends and family. I don't know where to distinguish in some cases, friends have become family. The early part of this blog talks a lot about how I felt alone. That stopped after a while, and looking back it happened after my dramatic facebook announcement. I was shocked by the deluge of support in response, and knowing that support was there, and people were thinking about me, really helped. Thanks everyone.
I can't fit all the get well soon cards on the mantelpiece, and I know some people even sent two. At one point the house looked and smelled like a florist, and there were even some balloons...
After the extract went in G2 I got some really thoughtful emails from fellow tumour patients around the world, as well as scores of people wishing me well. It was emotional to read other people's stories, much worse than mine, but heartening that I had had a hand in starting a conversation. There is a sense of community about it, and it's great to be a part of it.
My immediate response to all this support was self doubt. I have been very lucky in that I am recovering quickly, with few side effects and little pain. I don't really feel deserving of all the nice things people have said. I've battled with this, after many discussions / arguments, but I know it's a common feeling with others in this situation.
You just have to deal with what happens in life. It didn't feel like I was being brave, or strong, or anything out of the ordinary. I was doing my best to get through the experience as I would any other obstacle. I can see that it must look different from the outside, but from within, I was just doing what anyone would do (and countless people have).
I remember throughout having a general confidence that everything would be ok in the end. Not that I knew what the outcome would be, just that I would deal with it and it would be ok. And that confidence came from the support I knew was behind me. I feel really touched, and grateful and incredibly lucky. Thank you.
Have a happy Christmas everyone!
Thanks for reading,