Surviving Brain Cancer in a Precarious World

in #life6 years ago (edited)

Part 22: All Storms End Calm...

My first experience of an awake breakthrough seizure, shook me up big time so I had my MRI brought forward to make sure I was still in the clear. I felt much deflated getting this one done because I had been doing so well but I had yet to make it past my first year since this battle started.

I bought the MRI DVD again this time but I was at work when the disk and report arrived in the post. My fiancée was home at the time so she contacted me on skype to reassure me that the report again said “no change from the previous scan.”

When I went to get my results in person at the hospital I felt pretty weak from doing a lot more fasting to get into a deeper level of ketosis. The Oncologist came through to me and my fiancée and first questioned why I was wearing oversized shades with amber tinted lenses.

I explained they were to block blue light from indoor artificial light which can mess with natural human circadian rhythm. This was again to optimize my brains secretion of melatonin at the correct time before bed which is that very useful anti-carcinogenic hormone that makes you feel sleepy at night.

Trying to explain this science to an oncologist who is bound by old laws to only talk about the Standard of care felt frustratingly pointless and in the way of cutting to the chase of why I had suffered a seizure. He put my mind at ease by simply shrugging his shoulders at my explanation and saying, “well there is nothing bad on your scan, just that big hole Dr. Jenkinson left you”.

Even though we knew the results, I cried tears of joy with my fiancée. He then asked about what I had eaten the day this seizure happened and as soon as I mentioned coffee, he immediately suggested that could have triggered the event by overstimulating my brain.

Because I was also under a lot of stress with the tension that had come between my family and my fiancée, I still didn’t feel truly able to relax at this point. I was determined to put things right though so I asked my parents if I could stay with them on Christmas day and then go to my Fiancées house in the evening.

As soon as we left the hospital I also rang my parents to reassure them that my scan results were still clear. I was very eager to spend Christmas with my parents but I was apprehensive about the fact that my sister would be there, just in case there was an argument between her and my fiancée when I was dropped off or picked up.

My Fiancée was under a lot of stress herself because she had recently failed her second driving test and felt under a lot of pressure to pass before we moved into our house together.

Somehow she managed to keep it all together on the 3rd attempt and met me at the front door by sticking her pass certificate in my face after she had kept it a secret that she had even taken another driving test.
It was a brilliant surprise and it felt good to see her throw away the L plates.

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She also impressed me that night by taking us out for our first drive together but at the same time getting her first drive on a motorway done. Luckily she was a confident new driver who clearly didn’t take the freedom it gave her for granted.

During December we were told by Persimmon homes that our house was finished and ready to be moved into. We were still buzzing from the clear scan results and the driving test pass that we went to the demo of the house with typical first- time buyer rose-tinted vision.

It was only after we got the keys and inspected it with my Fiancée’s parents that we noticed to our horror, the house wasn’t in a habitable state at all. First of all their were gaps around the front door where it should be sealed from the outside cold which was awful given it was winter. The worse fault was the fact the Persimmon’s own inspectors had signed off the house as habitable while rusty nails had been left sticking out from all floors in all the upstairs rooms.

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This meant we couldn’t move in because it prevented a floorer from laying down carpets which we needed to be done before we moved beds, draws and other upstairs items in. So yet again this builder had caused a delay to us moving in meaning more storage fees for us which were now £1700 over our initial storage budget.

To add insult to injury, their sign off had also kicked off the mortgage payments so we were already paying for the house while paying for the storage that we couldn’t move into it. We had no help from the solicitor who was only assigned to us on as the incentive for buying the house where the builder pays half the legal fees if you go with them.

It seemed this conflict of interest was just as much a problem we should have seen earlier as the snags we failed to notice on the demo tour of the house. Not only were these solicitors uninterested in helping us with the financial damages caused by the move in delays but failed to warn us or educate us on the fact that our house was on a leasehold contract which has vast negative implications, rather than a historically acceptable freehold contract for residential houses.

This would later become a national scandal that would catch both us and my parents out as they moved into their new home shortly after Christmas. When Christmas arrived. I tried to be as civil as possible with my sister who I was struggling to forgive for attacking my fiancée with abusive text messages.

I was hoping for her to meet me half way and apologize to my fiancée for the foul language she had used. Instead, she used Christmas to continue to snipe unkind remarks about her which were difficult to listen to as I felt more protective of my fiancée than ever now we were about to move in together and would soon be getting married in April 2017.

It was difficult for my parents too because they had already been threatened by my sister removing their grandson from their lives again. That evening my fiancée came to pick me up to go to hers.

Initially, it was difficult for me going there that evening because I was getting Déjà vu from the previous Christmas where I last drove a car before my world was turned upside down having that first huge seizure on Christmas night the at her parents’ house which kicked off my whole cancer battle.

The fact that I had recently had my first awake seizure also had me on edge. But overall it was a brilliant end to that Christmas because this time I had been living with them for some time and had been made to feel so welcome and many of us had a shared musical interest which was being played on my fiancées fathers vintage style record player gift (Public Service Broadcasting Live at Brixton Academy).

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Of course that night, I went to bed with my fiancée and woke up the next day in the same bed with no scary experiences like the last Christmas of waking up in a hospital with a paramedic calling my name.

In the lead up to New Year’s we had still received no apology from my sister’s use of bad language to my fiancée so we agreed that unless she did, we would not be sending my sister and invite to our wedding that year. We agreed this on the basis that it simply wasn’t fair for my fiancée to feel uncomfortable or threatened by someone on our wedding day.

This caused a huge rift between our 2 families because my parents were court between a rock and a hard place not wanting to lose their grandson again which was clearly the ultimatum my sister was willing to play again if my parents went to the wedding without them.

Initially, my parents told me they wouldn’t be able to go if my sister wasn’t invited. They came over to us to talk about it in person which didn’t go well initially because my mother was under a great deal of fear facing losing her grandson again so she was fearful of getting on my sister's bad side.

In the end, they left on good terms with everyone after we all agreed to simply leave the decision with my sister to whether she would put family ahead of her pride and simply make peace with my fiancée.

Later that night my parents went to visit my sister in person and were again put under pressure not to turn up to the wedding unless she was invited too. So there was no question of my sister doing the right thing and making peace with my fiancée and her family.

My Dad was being tormented between knowing my sister was putting her pride before family and dealing with the understandable fear my mother had of losing her grandson again under my sister’s unsympathetic emotional blackmail.

I honestly felt terrible for both of them because I knew they both didn’t want to lose their grandson and simply wanted everyone to get along and mostly for my Dad because it seemed so unfair that this hard working man who I had let down during my past transgressions missing his 50th birthday and going along with a totally misguided first marriage to a sociopath when I was living in Sweden.

These troubles always originated on social media which was why he remained so reluctant to delve into using it for communicating with family. This particular event was like the last draw which made him hate social media for its ability to split families with divisive, ill thought out posts like the one I made which regrettably caused all this in September 2016.

The idea of letting them down again and not having them at my second wedding, this time to a wonderful genuine keeper, broke me to the point where I was again having seizure activity but this time in the form of temporary partial seizures rather than life-threatening grand mal seizures where consciousness is lost.

I first experienced this when I was being driven back from work with my freelance work mate. My heart rate would go rapid and my arms would jolt slightly until my heart rate settled again. This happened a second time after helping my fiancées family move stuff out of her late grandmother's house. We were having a meal that evening and my heart rate sprinted again and caused me to shake slightly.

Because this was happening while everyone was in the lounge and her Uncle was present, I didn’t want anyone to notice what was happening so I tried very hard to act normal and wait for my heart rate to settle again. This was more out of fear in case they panicked which I felt would make me do the same and possibly make the seizure become much worse which I was utterly terrified of.

On New Year’s Day, my fiancée and I tried to take our mind off all the recent tensions and spend the day at Chester Zoo. I tried my hardest to think positively about the New Year but all the time I couldn’t stop thinking of how unimaginably sad I would be if my parents wouldn’t come to our wedding.

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In the end, my sister pushed too far and again started sending me and my fiancée abusive texts because my parents were gaining strength to stand up to her ultimatums where she would use her own son to blackmail them to let her off her bullying behavior towards my fiancée.

For me it wasn’t just sadness of how my sister had such a grip of fear on my parents using access to her son as a weapon but I felt a deep sense of duty to defend my fiancée and keep her confidence up like me she had suffered an abusive past relationship and experienced bullying bosses whether working abroad or at her job back then working in a pub.
It had broken my heart to come visit her before my illness to find her in tears before she was to do a talk to people regarding her product launches with Forever Living.

I didn’t like seeing someone I love and admire so much having her confidence bashed when I knew she was great and could do anything she put her mind to. I wanted to protect her from people like my sister who wanted to make her doubt herself because my love for her is as absolute and devotional as my belief in her abilities.

I had faith in my parents to overcome my sister's sick ultimatums and it really made me realize how lucky I am to have such loving parents who I would gladly suffer any ill if it meant them not having to.
They are not just an essential part of my life but an essential example of how marriage should be and give me the most precious inspiration on how I would like to be a parent myself.

To Be Continued…

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