Sometimes life throws the unexpected at us, and because it’s unexpected it leaves us feeling totally lost. When you experience this sense of loneliness, vulnerability and overwhelming fear, it can take just one kindness to give you a glimpse of hope, a reminder that there may just be a way forward – however painful.
Up until the age of 22, I lived a relatively carefree, naive life thinking that everything would continue to go my way. I had a lovely home, a great teaching job and most of all – amazing love. Not just from family and friends, but the all consuming love that comes with meeting that one person who teaches you how to fall in love. For me this person was (and still is) Alex. We met in our first week at Loughborough University and have been together since day 7 of our first term studying Geography. Alex taught me how to truly love – and this has made it all the more painful now that he is the person I fear I have lost. At 22 Alex was diagnosed with a pilocytic astrocytoma (a brain tumour found on the hypothalmus). Since then he has undergone many operations to relieve pressure, insert VP shunts and de-bulk the mass. Each operation Alex took in his stride, and although recovery was never an easy process, nothing could have prepared us for the last 6 months of our lives.
In October 2014, Alex was re-admitted to the John Radcliffe hospital in Oxford to have another tumour de-bulk. 4 weeks later Alex was moved to Neuro-ICU where he stayed on life support for 8 weeks. After 2 months in a High Dependency Unit he has since been moved to the Royal Berkshire Hospital in Reading where he is waiting for a place in Neuro-rehab. The Alex that is with us now, is currently a very different man to the one who walked in.
I hope that by starting a blog like this, one day it may help someone else who is experiencing the same emotions and ‘life in limbo’ that I am. I intend to share our journey (past, present & future) and any advice I have kindly been offered along the way, whether it be emotional, financial or just a place for people to see that they are not alone in this. After all, hope can come from just a small kindness!