It seems obvious but, behind every mask there is a person. Every person has
their own story to tell but this story is interwoven with the stories of
their families and friends.
When a family member or friend learns of the diagnosis there are many other
questions and worries at the forefront of their mind which seem to obscure
their view of the person behind the mask.
The individual feels like life is spinning out of control as they become
another patient, another victim and another statistic. Decisions and
choices are removed as their new regime is dictated by hospitals, doctors
and treatment along with those well wishing relatives insisting, "you must
rest", "You should do that" or "We have to do this"
Behind this mask is a glimpse of a life that has now been changed forever.
It tells of the love between two individuals, united by a civil partnership,
their love of the stage and the art of traditional drag cabaret. With a
loving and supportive family around them and an act which wowed audiences
all over the UK.
Life looked rosy and the future looked fun and exciting. Or, at least it
did until September 29th 2010 when Steve was diagnosed with a Glioblastoma
Knowing the name of the tumour meant very little at the time and learning
the correct pronunciation seemed pointless once we were told the average
life expectancy of someone with this diagnosis is 12 to 18 months with less
than 20% reaching 2 years and less than 5% reaching 5 years post diagnosis.
There are no statistics for survivors who make it past 5 years; the numbers
are too few to be considered relevant.
Life has changed forever, two performers who will never perform again, two
families wondering if they will ever be able to laugh again and two lovers
grasping at the time they have, like watching sand run through your fingers
not knowing when it will stop.
As the partner of a Brain Tumour victim I am powerless to stop this
merry-go-round. I am on it too but very few people see me as I wave on my
way around. I don't like this ride, it makes me feel sick, but I don't want
the music to stop...