Monday, April 08, 2013


The last 18 months have been completely mental. In the best possible way, but with a few shocks and quite a lot of stress thrown in.

They say that the three most stressful things you do in life are get married, move house and have a baby. Add in a brain tumour for good measure, and we'll have done the lot in the space of a year and a half.

That was me trying to announce in a low key way that we're having a baby.

It feels like I've been hogging the news cycle for quite a while now, so it's taken a bit of time to decide if and how to drop it in to conversation. Obviously we're totally overexcited about it. If a bit nervous. Me that is. I think I mentioned before I'm not that good with pain.

I don't want this blog to become all about pregnancy and babies and stuff that, until a few months ago, bored me stupid. But I thought I should mention it as it has such relevance to the way I'm feeling and recovering. There's a good chance that Henrietta will in fact move away from the subject of brain tumours and recovery as I get further away from the experience, and I plan to use it to explore my thoughts and way of coping with what unfolds in my life. Pregnancy is just the thing that is fuelling my thoughts at this time. I'll try not to go on about it.

In terms of recovery though, it has been a great diversion from the trauma of last year and something to look forward to and focus on. I really think that it has helped me move on faster - especially mentally. I don't define myself so much as a brain surgery recoveree any more. Suddenly the brain tumour is old news, and we're on the the next episode already.

So last week we were at the hospital for a baby scan, and had some time to kill as they were running late. We sat in the hospital canteen contemplating that there aren't many positive reasons to be in hospital - we were probably the luckiest people in the room. It brought back a lot of feelings of the speed and confusion surrounding the week I was diagnosed. I'm so glad that it's over and we got through it and we're out the other side.

Although the contrast between our types of hospital visits are stark (I'm back in on Wednesday for an MRI), there is the same underlying feeling of not quite being in control - having to trust in the professionals. It's like I'm being carried inevitably forward on a conveyor belt towards whatever is going to happen next. Brain tumour or baby?

I feel like I have learnt a life lesson from the tumour drama - that despite my best efforts, I can't control everything. In fact there is very little I can control, but that's it's ok not to be in total control. It has given me confidence to let things just pan out, and chilled me out about not having a plan. That's not quite it, I still have a plan but it's pretty loose. I'll amend it as we go along. It's actually quite exciting!