Thursday, 15 September 2011

You don't die from a broken heart... only wish you did.
I know this to be true as I am still alive to write this for you and yes, I have wished I could be with Steve, whatever it takes. 

The past few days have been tough.  I mentioned a few days ago the anniversary of Steve being admitted to hospital.  One year ago today he was discharged from hospital.  He was discharged following an appointment with a Consultant Neurosurgeon.

The meeting was at a different hospital, the one near our home so, we collected Steve's belongings and drove over to the hospital.  Steve's Mum had decided she wanted to go too, even though Steve didn't want that, (he just didn't want the fuss), he was beyond putting up an arguement and just accepted it.

We waited outside the ward for our appointment.  A very secure ward with restricted doors etc so only authorised personnel were allowed in.  We were shown to an office and asked to wait.  Steve was sat alongside me gripping my hand tightly, he was SO scared but put on a brave face.

The Consultant entered the room, a friendly looking older gent closely followed by a nurse, in uniform but holding a leaflet.  One glance at the leaflet and I saw the word "Macmillan" across it.  My heart sunk and I guessed what might be coming.  She placed the leaflet face down on the table next to her.  It was too late, I had seen it and Steve had too.

The meeting seemed a bit of a blur to Steve, he engaged with the consultant but although he heard the words he didn't remember.  I had to go over it again for him when we got home.

The consultant told us that at present the only diagnosis he could give was that it was a cystic tumour.  This meant that it is a tumour which is of indeterminable substance.  He couldn't say if it was cancer or not and would not be drawn to make a comment as to his opinion of it.

The tumour appeared, from the scans, to measure around 3cm by 5cm, around the size of a large egg.  He showed us the scan and we could see how large it looked, it seemed to take up almost a quarter of the space his brain was occupying.  It explained the headaches.

He told Steve that he would be admitted to hospital the following week for major brain surgery and that he would be performing it.  He explained the procedure, called debulking and explained the risks, death from anaesthetic, death from complications death from etc etc.  We asked about the alternative, it wasn't very attractive, it was death. 

It was odd that he knew this tumour could kill Steve but didn't know what it was.  With hindsight I think he probably had a pretty good idea what it was but wouldn't commit until absolutely sure. 

Steve asked about out holiday, remember we were due to go on holiday early in November for 3 weeks.  All he would say is that he can't advise one way or another until the biopsy has been done.  He said if it is benign then a holiday may be just the thing he needs to relax and recuperate, if it is malignant then further treatment would continue as soon as possible to provide him with the best possible chance.

As a young, fit and healthy man he said Steve had a very good chance of making a full recovery.  He did say though that he could expect to feel tired for around six months as brain surgery can affect energy levels for quite some time.

The rest of the day we were numb.  We were grateful to be reunited at home but we were numb.

Twelve months on from that and I feel numb again.  I am brutally aware of what happened next and of my current situation but I'm managing to stay relatively composed (almost).  I cant think of very much else at the moment but I am trying to be strong.  Steve was and remained so thoroughout his journey.  I can't call it an illness as he refused to let it make him ill. 

Stephen showed more courage than I ever thought imaginable.  He called me his rock.  He was mine too.  His courage and determination was a constant inspiration to me and still is. For that I am grateful and always will be.

1 comment:

  1. *hugs*

    One day, one hour, one minute at a time. However you need to see it to go on.

    Sending you thoughts and love from across the pond.