When you have cancer you read lots of medical advice about avoiding stress, well when you are told you have most likely got secondary breast cancer in the brain then told you cannot get a MRI for a week to confirm it, then left for a further week for the results. Booked in for a CT scan the following week to see if the cancer had spread to my liver, lungs or abdomen and left for another week what else would anyone be but stressed. Believe me those four weeks were the worst weeks of my life. I had been put on steroids and anti seizure tablets immediately and had started to have side effects from these as well as the swelling on the brain I had a constant tremor, no concentration, loss of short term memory, hot sweats and just a general feeling of being dazed all the time.
As soon as I had been diagnosed I was advised I was not allowed to drive although I knew myself I was not fit to drive. To deal with the anxiety of waiting on scan results I had also been taking diazepam so spent a lot of time in bed or in my room on my own just not feeling normal. I hated the feeling I wasn’t in control of my own body and could hardly climb the stairs I felt so weak. As well as dealing with the physical symptoms I had to come to terms with the mental aspect of being told I had secondary breast cancer in the brain. I remember looking at my wardrobe of clothes one day thinking well I won’t need all those clothes as I won’t be here this time next year, I was truly in a very dark place at this stage and it was at this stage my friend took me to her church. It was so peaceful it was a lovely summers day and the church smelt of all the dozens of flowers which were arranged around the church it really was a beautiful place and there I prayed to God for my life. I have been back to this church on numerous occasions as I feel it is a place of peace and calm where I can sit, gather my thoughts and pray.
Although I had been brought up going to Sunday school and believing in God I had not been in many years since having my kids, working and busy with life. Since last August I have found great comfort in going to church as well as having visits from my minister. People may find it hypocritical that I’ve only turned to the church since I was faced with illness and believe me I have thought that myself. However someone recently told me they had listened to a sermon when they were in the same situation as me and the minister had said that turning to the church as this time is good as when life is going well and we think that we have everything sussed and we don’t need anyone’s help or guidance then you may not go to church with the same openness.
Well I am thankful for the support and guidance I have got from all denominations of churches over the past 18 months. I have had people pray for my health the width and breadth of the country and I continue to be on many prayer lists and nightly prayers. I thank my friend for taking me to church that day last August and introducing me to this church. I also thank another friend who has had her own family tragedies who has taken me to her church, has lit numerous candles for me and has been such good support when I really needed it. Every week she visits me or offers to take me out for the day or just generally been there, I will never forget what she has done for me.
My daze continued until I met my neurosurgeon on 8th September. DR J had told me that the tumour was in a position which was operable so had referred me to neurosurgery. Knowing I was going to have brain surgery I had done my research on all the neurosurgeons experience so when Dr J told me who he had referred me to I was pleased and said “oh that’s good as I’ve done my homework and had picked him” to which he shook his head and said you are unbelievable” so my reply was “well if someone is going to operate on my brain I want to know they are good at what they do.”
Although I had been informed at the start of September that my CT scan was clear meaning thankfully the cancer had not spread anywhere other than my brain and the tumour there was small I was still anxious and was still having side effects from the medication one of which was starting to look like a chipmunk from the steroids. So when I met my neurosurgeon and he was so confident and matter of fact about the surgery he put me at ease straight away. He advised me that I would have my surgery the following week and told me I would have my pre op assessment that day to save me coming back to the hospital a few days later. I came away from the hospital that day as if a massive weight had been lifted off my shoulders. Just the confidence he portrayed gave me confidence, he looked me in the eye and said “Lynette people have this operation and live for years so don’t think this is the end” those few words from him were enough to give me hope for the future it was a turning point for me that day and I started to see light at the end of the tunnel.