This has been a difficult post in the making and at the time of writing I am still not sure whether I will publish this.
Some of you reading my blog know that I left my job last July to take some time out to basically figure out my next steps not just in my career but also life, get some stuff sorted that’s been lying around for ages (hello tidying and clearing out!) and simply take some well-deserved time to myself to do the things I’ve been putting off for years. I imagined this break to be anything from 2 to 4 months, ready to start working again towards the end of last year. As life has it, I am still on that break, or rather the continuation of that break after another, different kind of break.
I mentioned in my first blog post that life has thrown me a major curveball. That curveball presented itself in form of a benign brain tumour, also known as a meningioma.
It all started way back when in May last year, at work, I started noticing some blurriness (lack for a better word, it was more like a grey film) in my lower right eye when looking at the screen. Like any contact-lens wearer, I tried removing the smudge under water in the bathroom at work, changed my lens at home, and decided on some sleep because in my mind it was stress-related. Anyone wearing glasses or contact lenses knows that fluctuations in eye-sight can be caused by various things such as lack of sleep or too much screen time.
On I went with my life, when one Sunday the blurriness bugged me particularly. I went to Moorfields Eye Hospital at St. Georges and the staff there ran every possible test but didn’t find anything. I was told I probably needed to rest and sleep. Good timing for that resting and sleeping part, as at that point I had quit my job and had a hiking trip in the north of Sweden waiting and a wedding to attend. Fast forward to beginning of August, you guessed it, blurriness was still there. I decided that I needed to see a specialist to fix whatever was going on with my eye. The ophthalmologist was amazing and I’ll be forever grateful how quickly he got me through all sorts of tests (eye tests, blood test, MRIs, etc.) between Friday and Monday, followed up with me over the weekend and had me referred to another specialist by Monday, a neurologist.
You might think that with all of these tests done on me, I’d have guessed that it was something serious. The poor neurologist had no idea how clueless and naive I was when he announced I had a brain tumour that needed to be taken out and in my head I was thinking “ok, then prescribe me the pill that’ll get rid of it”. Only when he said “potential loss of sense of smell” it hit me. Bizarrely, what also popped up were Grey’s Anatomy scenes with Dr. Shepherd (Amelia, of course!) saving the day.
Writing my journey down has been in my head for months, partly for my own sake as a form of processing what happened and partly because I wanted to make sure that someone else can find some more information about how it really felt and feels like, thoughts included. I certainly could have used reading about more stories about other people’s experiences and what it looks like on the other side without seeing all the bad horrors or things so much worse; something more realistic. I am aware, that there are many different types of brain tumours and that no journey is the same, but it is strangely comforting to know you’re not the first one going through something like this. So this is only the beginning and I will write a few more blog posts about the specifics of my meningioma, things I found useful doing during this time, how it was at the hospital and the recovery afterwards.
I can tell you that listening to Adele whilst writing this is certainly not of big help, so I’ll turn that off now. But it’s certainly been healing taking the first step in getting these lines out there and out of my head.