Had I been writing this a little more than three weeks ago, I would have struggled to find an explanation for my absence, apart from a general lack of enthusiasm to commit my thoughts to print. Today, I have more information; information which sheds some light upon my recent literary shyness. It seems that I have been unwell. More than that; I have been - and currently remain – what is generally considered to be ‘seriously’ ill, thanks to the presence of a moderately-sized tumour deep within what passes for my brain.
My wife and I have tried to come up with a name for the tumour; something appropriately combative or disrespectful through which to convey our lack of appreciation for its existence. Sadly, perhaps, I keep reverting to ‘Timmy’….it seems to be suitably demeaning (with my apologies to anyone out there by the name of Timothy) and ever-so-slightly silly. Timmy is approximately 3cm in diameter (which sounds fucking huge to me, but I’ll nevertheless try to be modest and stick with ‘moderately-sized’ for now) and resides on top of my hypothalamus and pituitary gland.
I’ll resist the temptation to bore you with a description of the symptoms and the short story of the discovery of Timmy (the wittle wascal), but suffice to say it came as a complete surprise, and not a very nice one at that. It’s the kind of thing that normally only happens to other – usually anonymous or at least unknown – people; the kind of thing you only hear about third hand. The kind of thing you find yourself thinking “Shit, glad that’s never happened to me!” about.
Well, now it has indeed happened to me.
I suppose there was no reason why it shouldn’t. That doesn’t mean that I feel any less victimized, however. Over the last few weeks I’ve ridden the same emotional roller coaster that so many people have found themselves upon; the one that makes us realize how fortunate we have been, how many things we are grateful for, and how much we would dread leaving them all behind.
Currently, my thoughts have centred round the most valued things of all; my loved ones. I have cried a great deal at the thought of being gone and leaving them in grief (they’d better be grieving, or else I’d be haunting them) and the prospect of the process of leaving them in full awareness of what is coming down the line. The horror of such thoughts is overwhelming and even now, far too painful to revisit with you. Let’s leave it here; a possibility that is acknowledged without further attention being given to it.
Today, I’m awaiting my surgery day (I was originally told that it was probably inoperable) with no little trepidation and steadily worsening symptoms. My eyesight is deteriorating, and my short term memory seems to be faltering a little. I’m devoid of energy (this is the second attempt to finish writing this short post) and experiencing a number of other niggling annoyances which plague each day. I sleep a lot, but my night time rest is disrupted and unsatisfying. I’m unable to work and so we will have to explore the mysteries of the welfare system and discover what we can ask for in support. Shit.
So, please forgive me if my posts are less than frequent (!) but I will try to keep you up to speed and share my thoughts of the process with you (hopefully without becoming too dramatic or maudlin) and hopefully emerge on the other side of the treatment process as a beautiful butterfly (now there’s a weird idea) with the rest of a long life to look forward to…
It is, as they say, all part of life’s rich tapestry. I suppose.