Today marks two years since I was taken to A&E in Italy and told that ‘there is something in your head’. I don’t remember many of the details – a combination of being fairly out of it and it being a rather traumatic day means I’ve forgotten most of what actually happened, but I thought I should at least mark it with a blog post! After a period of pain and my general health declining, in many ways it was a relief to finally have an answer and to be taken seriously. I just wish the answer had been different! Getting diagnosed in Italy also wasn’t ideal – even though I have a GCSE in Italian, my language skills don’t stretch much beyond ‘multo squisito’! Fortunately after being transferred to the bigger hospital in Brescia, most of the staff working there spoke some English, and I still have fond memories of the nurse who didn’t but who used Google translate to communicate with me – it was touching, and an example of the effort to ensure I felt as safe as possible. I had surgery very quickly and didn’t wake up from that fluent in Italian (not that I really expected to!)

So it’s now two years on, and so far, I’m still here! Since then, I’ve had to pull out of conferences, take vast amounts of medication, have chemo and radiotherapy, but I’ve also got to see a lot of plays that I otherwise wouldn’t have, gone on Pointless, become a godmother, seen friends celebrate marriages, graduations, ordinations and having children, and, most importantly, gained my wee kitten!

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