I live in Hervey Bay. I’m a member of several social groups. I have adult children and grandchildren, and many lovely friends. I love to write. Most importantly I love The Lord Jesus Who has been my strength, bringing me through the good times, the not so good times, and the, ‘I’m throwing in the towel’ times.
I was first diagnosed with a brain tumour in 1997. Prior to knowing about the tumour and for some time after its removal I had little or no memory of events. The tumour was a left Frontal Meningioma (benign). For some time afterward I was partially [End Page 189] paralyzed. Now there is only some weakness on the right side of my body. Epilepsy too became part of my life. There are different types of seizures, which are rarely, if ever, amusing.
Humour is very important. If you can’t laugh at the things that happen life would be a constant tale of woe. I’m very blessed. There are so many people who are much worse off than myself.
In July 1997 my husband went to see if everything was okay because I wasn’t up out of bed yet. I was lying across the bed in a disheveled state. After being cleaned up I was taken to the local hospital. The duty doctor, who hadn’t even seen me, told my son that he didn’t think there was much wrong and to take me home. My sons refused and insisted that the doctor admit me. He did.
I was diagnosed with a urinary tract infection. My memories of this are scattered. I learned some time later that I had had a Tonic Clonic seizure (formerly known as “grand mal” seizures which are commonly associated with epilepsy). After I came out of hospital I saw my general practitioner (GP). She sent me for an x–ray, and then to see a Neurosurgeon. An MRI was taken and there was a large tumour in my brain.
My memory of this time is poor. I do recall a friend phoning and I told her I was going into hospital to have a brain tumour removed. After fifteen years she is still saying I was so matter of fact about it. I now know that my emotions, like my memory, was at a very low ebb due to the tumour. There was no caring or worrying. If there was, in the next minute, probably second, it was forgotten.
Before going into hospital my late husband said to the kids “better take a photograph of your mother in case she dies.” I was told about that comment some time later. What a comfort! Then one day the photo turned up. It was so ugly I tore it up. You’ll note I said the photo was ugly!
The operation took place in Canberra hospital, at the end of August. It was to be earlier but they deferred it because an emergency came in. They were going to defer it again, by which time I was mute and non–responsive. My daughter Maria arrived from Melbourne and my daughter Katrina and her husband Kevin came from America with their 3–month–old baby. My son Libe arrived from Sydney. Marcus, my youngest, lived locally, as did my daughter Tania. On hearing the operation was to be deferred again they took action informing hospital staff they were going to the local MP and the A Current Affair television show. So l had the operation—it was much easier to put me under the scalpel than battle the bureaucracy!
I have only one film from that MRI. Where the others are I don’t know. According to Dr C, the tumour was very large. But to me, what does size matter—it was no longer there. Most importantly, I survived. The ten days I was in hospital are mostly forgotten. The few people I remember are like snapshots. No one moved, or so it seemed to me.
In 2006, the second tumour was removed. It was discovered by the same lovely GP, who found the first one. I was getting dizzy, off...