Thursday, October 18, 2012

What a thing to happen.

It's funny but, despite everything, I really am quite glad that this is happening.

Obviously there are some downsides but I wanted to capture this feeling of positivity that has come out of the experience overall. I've touched on it before, and it is definitely still there throughout the down days - but the underlying feeling for this entire situation really is a positive one. Odd.

Several reasons:

1) Timing.
There would never be a brilliant time for this to happen, but if I had to choose when would be best - then it would be now. Quite a few actually spooky things came together to make it all very convenient. Mum starting her MSc and being in London. It happened on the exact same day she started her course and was staying with us anyway. Last month it could have been Somaliland or Timbuktu.

And we're only six weeks moved into our brand new house, which has provision for me to sleep downstairs if I need to, post surgery. And can accommodate mum in the spare room. What if it had happened before? I don't think we'd have still got the mortgage to be honest.

Also, I'm still relatively new in my job but I almost accepted a contract offer instead. I chose lower paid permanent work with a company I believe in for a team that I knew would work well together. What a decision was that. Work have been immense in this entire situation and I have totally lucked out.

And the other thing is that Beka is on maternity so I get to see loads of them and the kids.

2) Time out.
This is forcing me to take a little time out of life, and try a whole new pace. It wasn't easy at first and didn't come naturally - I really missed work and the structure and motivation it gives me. But I'm enjoying it more and finding new ways to motivate myself now that I'm getting a bit stronger. It is a lull right now as I count down to surgery and finding out what side effects I will need to contend with - and I fully expect post surgery to be focussed on returning to work but I know it will take a while.

In the meantime, it has been a very positive experience trying something different in terms of structure and motivation. When else do you get the chance to do that?

3) Contemplation.
Time to think. I am being forced to think about what I really think. And I'm really enjoying it. I just spend time thinking, and I don't feel guilty about it being a waste of otherwise useful time. I don't sleep much and I don't get out much, and I've been just thinking. I love thinking! And then writing down my thoughts. And then moving them around a bit until they make sense. I think I will miss this when normal life resumes, and I don't have time to sit around in my pants all day thinking of things to think about. (I don't sit around in my pants, I have pyjamas on at all times).

4) And where am I?
This one is the real crux but I've banged on about it for ages already. I just can't believe how I have managed to end up here, with everything anyone could want. I don't need anything else, I have just really landed on my feet and although I knew I was happily sorted this situation has really hammered it home. I'm so lucky. If everything went totally tits up now, I would be happy to have reached this point. I think that it totally amazing and you all know who you are that got me here.

5) Created a milestone.
This was a complete surprise, and a real bonus. It happened almost immediately. I have been feeling kind of old recently, and a bit behind in my life goals. A bit pressured and kind of needing to get on with things. I'm 33, and I remember so vividly my mum turning 33 - I made her a birthday card. She was at university studying medicine and I was eight years old. She also had my sister, 10. That is just incredible what she had achieved by my age and this weighed on me as I reached my 33rd birthday.

On top of this I have really started to notice that I need to work harder to remember things, and stay focussed and hearing and general little niggles reminding of the march of time. I was starting to feel old.

But not any more - how weird is that? I'm only 33! In five or ten years time we can look back on this and say wow remember when you had a brain tumour - you were so young! You were only 33! This has created a big milestone in my life, and when you think of it in the grand scale of my (hopefully much longer) life, 33 is nothing. It's the beginning. This will be a huge milestone and something that we will always remember. In a good way. So just to clear things up, I'm not old - right?

6) It's so interesting.
Vain! But really, this makes me more interesting - especially to myself. What with the self contemplation and the whole process, it's just really interesting. I'm watching myself deal with this and I can't wait to read all this back when I'm done and think wow did I really think that - I'm mental. But I'll have a record of how interesting it is. I hope its interesting!

After surgery I will know what the full impact of this will be on my life, and that is obviously the big worry right now - what will I physically have to cope with and work through? But it's good to see that at this point I feel a positive impact of a brain tumour. I had always been pretty sure that I'm a massive pessimist, but worryingly / surprisingly / interestingly I'm not sure I am anymore. That's weird.

This time next week I'll be waking up about now, with a brand new space in my brain for more crazy thoughts. Get ready Uma, coming to get you.


  1. 'Created a milestone'? You can take the girl out of Basecamp...

    Really good post though. You have to read 'What Katy Did', you've reached similar conclusions to her, although like 150 years later. x

  2. (Basecammmmmp basecammmmmp. Whoever you are anonymous :) I hope you're doing the Basecamp dance.

    Thanks for the recommendation, I will read! xx

  3. So funny to see you say that thing about looking back on your 33 year old self; I completely get it!
    I remember feeling like I was so completely accomplished and grown up when I got ill, and I look back on getting meningitis now like I was a completely different person then ... poor little 22 year old me!

    There's something really strange for me about you knowing about this life-changing event in advance though ... can't decide if it's better or worse.
    In some ways I keep thinking about how you've had chance to process and prepare for everything ... but overall I keep thinking about how much better it is to just have to deal with this sort of thing in an instant, being given time to think is just a fucker!

    Know I said it before but I'll say it again ... you're doing great chick


    P.S. Pen and I have been having our long-awaited traditional champagne-thursday tonight ... we had a few for you ;-) x