I have mixed feelings about Charlotte, she has been a part of me for the past 10 years. Although I say she is not part of my identity, that brain tumour has become a part of my identity.
In a strange way I miss her. I am not talking in a Munchhausen way, it’s just that for so long it has been a part of me. The medications from treating it have caused my weight gain. Treatments have made my bones brittle, thus the fractures in my hips and the lower spine. These bring me a lot of pain and have minimized my movements. My hair will never be the same again.
Before my weight, bad bones and sometimes lack of hair has all been easily put down to the brain tumour. Now I will have no excuse and just be an overweight, cranky hobbling old woman. It has taken away the excuse. This leaves me in a position where all will just see the outcomes and not the reason. I’m annoyed at this, because I am not happy with the changes the last 10 years have made on me. I still don’t recognise the overweight person in the mirror. I know that much of this will not leave as it’s the price I paid to be alive for longer than expected.
I sit here waiting to go to the hospital for the results of scans to make sure they left none of Charlotte behind. I certainly don’t want to have to deal with this again. I’ve had more than my share of coping with a brain tumour and I want to be free of it. I want my body to get used to not having it there, I want my eyesight to return to normal. I want to go for days on end without a headache. I want to be able to hear kids squeal and scream without having to reach for painkillers. I’m looking forward to all of this.
I’m hoping to be able to help more people, I want to go back to visiting the hospitals and talking to Indigenous patients about cancer and how to seek help. I want to be able to go to a football game without having to be pumped up on drugs and leave half way through because it gets too much for me.
I’m ready for the next chapter of my life