My brain tumour turns 1
It's been a full year since my diagnosis and if I do say myself, it has actually been overall a good year.
Going into this journey, especially with the state of shock not wearing off for a few months, and no sense of expectation for my future...I feel like I've achieved quite a lot in 12 months.
Being a very practical person, I remember the first thing I did was sort out my finances and name my LPA's so I didn't have to worry about anything should I have a worst case scenario. I found myself worrying a lot more about living as a 'vegetable' than I did about dying.
I'll be the first to admit that this journey isn't the easiest but there have been so many fantastic things that have come out of Year 1. Having this Brain Tumour has opened so many doors for me that I otherwise would never have explored. I truly believe that my quality of life and the quality of my relationships has improved so much because of it. I really live in the moment and enjoy everyday with a heightened sense of being present.
Obviously, not everyday is glorious and I am still battling quite crippling anxiety. Some of the negative experiences of having a brain tumour over the past year have included:
- Having to fight for my driving license and now having to review it annually
- Not being able to travel internationally without a hefty insurance bill (or just going away uninsured)
- Randomly crying when I remember what is happening to me and the sadness of the unkown keeping me up all night
- Struggling to plan far in advance without a hint of fear that I won't be around to do it/see it
- Having to come to terms with the fact I might need to use a surrogate to have a child in the future (due to pregnancy hormones often causing tumours to grow rapidly)
- Doing basically anything that means I have to declare my brain tumour and being told I can't take part, this has ranged from using leisure facilities, having a massage, doing sporting activities etc..
- Any time I read about a young person not surviving a brain tumour and wishing I had literally any other illness or cancer but this
- Having the regular scans that work up so much fear in everyone around me for a good week before they happen
- The fact there's still not a cure!!!!!!
However, there are so many incredible positives that have come out of this year, and they massively outweigh the negatives. I try to see the negatives as things that just aren't worth worrying about because if I didn't know that I had my brain tumour, I wouldn't think twice about them! Some positives are:
- Living with a much higher sense of presence and trusting in my Faith that this journey was designed for me- an overall greater appreciation for the gift of life
- Being more conscious about how precious your body is, understanding the things you put in it and the paces you put it through. My conscious stress levels are lower than ever and my skin is clear and glowing: what more can you ask for?
- Helping over 20,000+ people with this blog and 50,000 people across all of the Facebook support groups
- Spreading brain tumour awareness across the radio, TV and newspapers internationally and being able to put the money it earnt straight into finding a cure
- Becoming a Young Ambassador for The Brain Tumour Charity and making 20 new friends for life. Having access to pioneering research and treatment facilities through the charity and seeing a real difference being made!
- Pushing myself to have broader life experiences and travelling despite what I'm going through; having damn good friends that support me on these trips
- Getting my dream job on Harley Street and having lots more hard earned money in my pocket to enjoy life and buy a house in London!
- Making new friends online in the same position as me who understand all of your worries and weird homeopathic and holistic rituals and remedies!
- Still being alive and totally asymptomatic one year later! I'm so lucky and I count my blessings every morning and night. I'm still able to raise thousands of pounds for finding a cure and will continue to do so
- Having the most amazing partner Ryan, parents and friends who are so supportive and encouraging every single day. I don't feel like there's nothing I can't achieve.
- Raising £2000+ over the last year and having so much fun in the process
If I had to sum it up I'd say my brain tumour has really humbled me. We all need a reminder that life is futile and precious; this journey is just a continuous reminder of that. Until it becomes any more than that I refuse to make a fuss of it. I'm looking forward to what year 2 has in store for me...I hope it's a puppy
By 2020 I am aiming to have raised £5000 for The Brain Tumour Charity to help #FindACureSooner and ensure continued support and readily available resources for patients and families of those who have Brain Tumours. Please click on the link and donate, if all of my readers donated £1 I would have met my target already! https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/moneyforbrains