Since I first started this blog and wrote the piece below a lot has changed and we now know that my tumour was actually Glioblastoma brain cancer which I am now aggressively fighting after surgery to remove 98% of the tumour itself with a whole badass tribe of doctors, scientists, family, many many friends, and even strangers from all across our beautiful planet.
I have and will continue to tell my story which is about my journey from first collapsing on 19th September 2019, to being rushed to hospital, to my life changing overnight, to being diagnosed with a brain tumour, to getting married, to having brain surgery, to finding out it was aggressive brain cancer, to having the darkest moments, to still loving and living my life, to going through treatment and everything in between including how I have been trying to process it all good and bad.
This story has more twists and turns than anyone ever expected, and it’s become what I feel like my duty to tell, in an honest, meaningful and truly cathartic way. It genuinely gives me strength and energy and for that I am thankful to every person that takes the time to read it.
You are my tribe.
Written when the blog was first started on 28th September 2018:
I still don’t know why I’ve set this up but I just have an overwhelming urge to write everything down. It’s not for anyone in particular, there’s zero agenda, it’s definitely not for capitalising on anything and it’s not even to help anyone else. It’s just for me and maybe a tiny bit is to help people I know to understand what has happened and how I’m feeling.
It’s also hard to start because of the above. If it’s for friends then I don’t need to explain who I am but then maybe I should if for any reason at all someone else reads it.
So. My name is Cordelia. I am 36 years old, I have a 2 and a half year old daughter called Lolita (Loli), a long term boyfriend / father of Lolita called Danny, 2 step-children and I have just been diagnosed with a brain tumour after I collapsed out of the blue.
It has been 9 days. (When I wrote this).
They don’t know yet if it is benign or malignant but whichever it is they need to operate to remove it. I had no symptoms at all before I suddenly had seizures, was rushed in an ambulance to hospital, had all the scans and diagnosed within 48hrs.
My world will forever now be ‘before’ and ‘after’.
In the week since I have had the scariest times of my life (obviously) but also hands down, without a shadow of a doubt the most positive time too.
I am a different person. I have almost no sense of time and it can feel like my life has skipped a year.
They still can’t say whether this is because of the tumour, the lots and lots of drugs, the post seizure effects or the fact I am still processing everything but I am absolutely categorically someone else at the moment.
The ways I have changed are currently overwhelmingly positive – I have lost most sense of stress, struggle to find negativity in anything and literally everyone is coming across as the nicest people in the world.
On the flip side nothing at all, even myself in the mirror, my daughter, my home, my family, my road, my city, feels recognisable. I sometimes don’t know whether to turn left or right out of my house.
It’s not totally unfamiliar but the only way I can come close to describing it is as if I have woken up in a different matrix. Maybe I have.
It sounds scary but it’s also been beautiful as I just notice so so much more. The intensity of beauty in everything has been amplified to such extreme levels that I am in awe of looking at everything in this new light and focus. Studying my daughter is beyond amazing. I find her fascinating and it is blowing my mind watching her all day everyday. It feels like she is 6mths older than I remember although my boyfriend and family are all promising me that as a complete coincidence she has just had a massive developmental leap in the last week as a complete coincidence.
I used to really struggle with parenting with all the stress but now I can’t wait for her to wake up in the morning so I can just bask in everything about her.
Obviously it’s not all great and I am having to face some pretty morbid facts about the risks of what might happen in surgery and beyond but it’s still hard for me to face the negatives in this. I have been contacted by people I never in a million years thought would which is just beyond lovely.
Before this happened, I was finding the world and its politics so bleak and overwhelming and yet now I have never seen how much love there actually is if people really need it despite any differences you might have.
So every day I think of new things I want to do following all of this. Mainly it evolves around doing things with people I love.
To try and sum this feeling up I, in all honesty, feel like this tumour has managed to tap into a deeper emotional part of me which has unblocked any obstacles to feeling numb or emotionally frustrated. Yes it could be because the tumour is where my emotions are. I actually asked the surgeon if that would go as it’s so amazing to have.
Reading this I know I sound crazy and I know I am at the moment so you really do have to laugh. I even feel like I can see into people’s eyes / hearts more and have a deeper connections. This has been everyone from my best friends, to the neurosurgeon, to the coffee shop attendant to the travel insurance customer service lady and even the Indian call centre man helping me set up this website. I also have zero concept of how I am coming across to these people or how I look although for some reason I feel like everyone including strangers I walk past in the street just know and can see into me. What is fascinating is what you get in response and even when people don’t know what I’m going through the genuine kindness and helpful attitude is overwhelming.
So yes I feel like a huge aura bubble of love projecting on to everyone. Maybe this is why I am getting it back so much although I have always always tried to make a big point of being understanding and polite to people so it must be more than that. Or maybe this is all just the drugs. I hope not but if it is, by god they need to give it out more.