Radio silence

It has been two weeks since my last post. I’m not slacking – I have been devoid of my ability to write. Sounds dramatic, but true! Fear not, Eleri is doing well. She has continued to grow stronger physically and mentally. Her anxiety has started to subside now she is no longer in pain and she is coming to terms with her hair loss. The histology of the tumour has shown that they removed all the malignancy and, more significantly, there was 20-30 percent necrosis (death) of the cancerous tissue. This is very positive especially as they believed the drugs were having little or no impact. The doctors have decided that this encouraging response should be capitalised on and they are now continuing with the remainder of the chemotherapy protocol; he second surgery has been schedules for later this year. In the last few weeks we have started to see fleeting glimpses of our vivacious girl and we are now daring to hope that she will return to full form soon. As you see, she has not been the cause of my radio silence.

In 2012, Rob fell down a flight of stairs on a night out and suffered a traumatic brain injury. It was so serious that they didn’t expect him to recover. I was told that he probably wouldn’t wake from his coma and if he did her would have permanent, life changing neurological and physical injuries. However, anyone that knows Rob, will understand when I say that he never does what he is supposed to do. He always does exactly what he thinks is right and, in this case, it was exactly what he needed to do. He proved all the medics wrong. First, he woke from his coma, then began to move, then began to talk, then began to walk and within three weeks had discharged himself from hospital. He received rehabilitation through the RAF at Headley Court and within three months had outstripped their capability of rehabilitation; the only option was for him to return to work. He presented with no permanent injuries, other than a loss of smell and taste. We were, and still are, incredibly lucky that he has returned to a normal life. We will be forever grateful.

We always knew that there was a chance that he could develop seizures. The risk decreases steadily every year post injury and we were quietly confident enough time has past to rule them out permanently. It would seem that fate had other ideas. In the last two weeks Rob has suffered three seizures which the doctors believe have been brought on by stress, anxiety and lack of sleep. There is probably a link to the previous injury, even though there has been a significant period of time since his accident. Our current situation and Rob’s inability to switch off has been too much – his brain has said ‘no more please, I need to rest’. Like I said, we always knew it was a possibility, but hoped it was a bullet he had managed to dodge – obviously not. In the days after the seizures he was left dazed, confused and very tired. He is returning to normal and it shouldn’t change his everyday life too much, however he will be unable to drive for the next year while they monitor this new condition.

So how do we feel? How are we moving forward? How are we picking up the pieces? I have no answers to these questions. I’m angry that it has happened to Rob and our family. It doesn’t seem fair that we now have to deal with another, almost Shakespearean, drama at a time like this. Cancer has a lot to answer for! I feel like I’m living someone else’s life and am struggling to come to terms with my reality. I’m trying to find something profound and insightful to say, but I have nothing. I have been trying to make sense of it, but I have nothing. I wanted this blog to be an honest and transparent account of our journey – our current truth is that we feel broken and are taking things a day at a time. I know we will get through it all, we have before and we will again. I believe in picking yourself up and dusting yourself off, but its going to take a little longer this time. We need time to feel sad and shocked – it’s important that we do. Things will get better but its a little way off yet. We are uncertain of the future and what our life holds but, whatever that life is, it will be ours and we will cherish it.

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