Tuesday, 20 January 2015

Time To Tell The Family

On the Wednesday my hangover was kind enough to wake me up 3 hours before I was due in hospital. Less kind was the horrendous headache and sickness that formed the alarm call. When I was getting my stuff together to leave I came across a letter my dad had sent me which contained a paragraph that I will be living by until I’m given the all clear some time in the near future:



So I got ready and wandered over to the hospital to get myself ready for the MRI scan. Having had them before I knew what to expect and was quite excited to fall asleep for half hour in there. Sadly the headphones were rubbish and the noise kept me awake. As an aside the bass that it produces is decent, I’m expecting to hear it sampled in some quirky house track any day now.

I was expecting the MRI to lead to a fair bit of information but all I learned was that it was a fairly chunky tumour and that it was starting to block the brain fluid. Not ideal but not catastrophic either.

I was told to rest in a side room while calls were made to arrange for me to transfer to a specialist unit in the Heath, Cardiff. Luckily a nurse came along with some paracetamol and codeine in the meantime… If you’re going to have a stinker of a hangover anywhere, a building full of painkillers and beds is the place to be. I was even offered a wheelchair to move me around but I thought that it might be overkill for a hangover and decided to man up slightly and use my legs to get about. Such a martyr.

Eventually I was sent home and told to come back in the morning for more meetings and advised to have someone with me. Looks like I would finally have to bite the bullet and tell my parents what was going on. I knew this would be the toughest part of it all for me so I made a call to my dad first and prepared my brother to be on hand as he had known since the night before.


It is a strange thing, to phone up a loved one miles away with such news. Especially when you have been plying them with white lies for a day to stop them worrying. There is just no easy way to tell your father “I have a brain tumour, but please don’t worry”. Nevertheless it had to be done, there is no way to keep this sort of thing to yourself.

I had a treatment room to myself, primarily for the purpose of sleeping off my hangover, so when I was alone I checked with my brother who was at home before ringing up to speak to my dad. I broke the news to him and waited. He immediately offered to come up to Exeter but I thought it might be better that he handle telling my mother first and then arrange to come up the next day for the follow up meeting. 

A nurse then appeared offering me a wheelchair to transfer me to a bed... Best hangover service ever. But I declined and followed her up to the ward. I stayed for a couple of hours but left in the evening as I didn't need any treatment and was using up valuable bed space. Plus it would be easier to meet the travelling family at my own house in the morning as opposed to a random hospital ward.

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