So, just thought a celebratory blog was in order… It’s no secret about my little brother having a brain tumour. And it’s even less of a secret that he had it removed today. You guys have been messaging me, donating money for my run, praying, thinking about, and sending love to us all, and I’ve never felt so supported in my entire life.
Some people might find it hard to understand, but I’m gonna try my best to put the experience into words. Because it’s been the best lesson of my life, and I hope others can learn from our journey too (Oh my God, I sound so deep and thoughtful, haha, but it’s true!) .
I found out three years ago nearly he wasn’t like everybody else, he had a little extra (in the form of his tumour)… When he first had a fit, I was holding him, and boy, did that scare the shit outta me.
Time went on, and we learnt that it was a tumour. My world came crashing down. This sort of thing only happened to the families on the adverts, and friends of friends of the people down the street. But this was real, and it was happening to us. Wow, fuck.
Time went on. Hospital appointments passed, and it was either more drugs, or a new therapy, or something else to try. And I just carried on as normally as I could. There was nothing I could do about it- I couldn’t change it, so I might as well get on with it.
So, as we move on with our lives, I became a little more used to it. I was happy to talk about it, quite open to the fact, but I was, I think, a little blasé about it all. I was scared, and I don’t think I let it really hit me. But this past week, I’ve felt like a train wreck; like it’s all just hit me again and every day I woke up was like a realisation he had cancer. And was having major brain surgery.
All that filled my head was morbid thoughts of “What if this…. What will happen if… This time next week…” It stressed me out at home, at work, in my relationship. Tense was the understatement of the century. But, does worrying have ANY benefits? Not really…
So, his ten and a half hour operation to remove his brain tumour was completely successful. The lovely lady surgeon was just about to sew him back up, when she decided to go back in for one last try to remove it all, and she did. George is cancer free.
Dad and Sarah hadn’t told him where he was going. Hospital has been the norm for him for months, and so it was just another trip to see the doctor. It was better that way… As he was in the bed, wheeling his way to the operating theatre, he said “Daddy, where are we going?”
He and Sarah looked at each other, no idea what to say. “To the shop,” he replied. George thought… “For some choccie?” They nodded.
So, the wait was painful, and I tried to preoccupy myself. And then I felt guilty for not thinking of him. I thought of all the times I thought I was having a rough time, and realised that I’ve been selfish, and take things for granted.
But the call came from my step-mum Sarah. Telling me he was fine. My heart lifted about 5 tonnes. He was fine and awake, and his first words after coming round were “Can I have some choccie?”… (You can tell he’s my brother!) He’s experiencing a little temporary paralysis in his leg, and is battered and bruised, with a tube coming out of his throat and a huge scar on his head… but he’s alive and well (not to mention doped up on baby Morphine!)
There’s still a long way to go in his recovery, and I don’t doubt that there’ll be a few complications and things holding us back, but my Mini is alive and fighting. He’s my inspiration without even trying.
I’ve never felt this alive; this priviliged to be breathing and happy and healthy. I could have lost one of the most precious things in my life today. Instead we just lost a tumour. And gained a sense of life I’ve never had before. I’m exhilierated. I feel like I’ve learnt from him something that he doesn’t even really know himself.
I’ve learnt that when it hurts, is when it matters to be strong. It’s easy to be strong when the going is easy, but not when it’s tough. He may not have even known how he needed to be strong, but by God, he’s making one hell of an impression on the staff at Alderhay. Who I also owe the biggest thanks to.
So, if you take nothing else from this story, then please go away with the sense of strength to get through your days. Please realise who and what really matters, and what should be left to the wind, out of your mind. People won’t always be here, and it’s cliche, but you really don’t know what you’ve got till it’s gone.
Tell people you love them, and take loads of photos. Have fun, but don’t be a dick. Don’t live everyday as if it’s your last, live it as if it’s gonna be the best.
Thank you all for the incredible and breathtaking support. I could not have got through this without each and every one of you.