I was worried about two things mostly:
- The photo. Of course. I've been having odd dreams about what the photo would look like. In it's natural state, my face is quite grumpy (and has big cheeks), so I have to make an effort to smile. But it didn't seem quite appropriate to be grinning like an idiot... so I think I grimaced a lot for the poor photographer. Also I could see my reflection in the lens (it was a huge terrifying lens) and it made me cringe. Would I be cringing out of the pages of G2?
- Up until now there has been at most, I reckon, two degrees of separation between me and readers of Henrietta. If you know me (or my family) it's harder to be rude and, to date, everyone has been very lovely. Suddenly, people who have no idea who I am could read this. Let's be honest - will read this. What on earth will they think? Guardian readers are hardly known for their compassion below the line...
Disclosure: I used to work at the Guardian some years ago. (It is still a favourite pastime of mine to read commenters ripping into each other and journalists and the Guardian itself).
In the end though I decided not to care (my dodgy-photo dreams aside). I would just let it happen, and not be hurt by any nasty comments, or ridicule myself about the photo. I no longer care what people think. Repeat: I no longer care what people think...
Ironically the one negative comment (so far) was, in part, about me being positive. At first I wasn't too bothered but when people started to endorse it (until it was inexplicably removed - I'm not sure why as it wasn't breaking any rules), I forced myself to really think about the authenticity of my positivity. What a mouthful.
But no, I was right the first time. I still feel incredibly lucky. It's 'unlucky', I guess, to have a tumour at all, but I really think I am in a better place because of it. That's not to say I'm happy that it happened and I certainly wouldn't want it again, but I now know where the best things lie in my life. I'm really not sure I would have discovered that without a proper wake up call.
One thing I didn't expect from this publicity lark, was the sheer number of people that would get in touch. I've felt a bit of a fraud at various points throughout this experience, and here is another reminder of that. I've had it easy (relatively) with my tumour as well as my recovery. There are so many people out there who have it worse, and they are contacting me to wish me well. Wow.
I feel like we should all have a brain tumour party together and get drunk.
Also, I just read this tumour blog by finneyonthewing from start to finish - it's hilarious. Really made my day I should have read it a long time ago. Go on, read it.