1000 Days of Tumour

Tomorrow, if my memory and maths is correct, marks 1000 days since I was rushed to hospital in Italy and my life changed forever, and not just because one of the first things I remember post surgery is being promised a recovery kitten. (I know, extreme measures to get a cat!) This may sound over dramatic, but I think it’s a fair assessment of those first few days at least. Most of the time, I’ve experienced change as something gradual, rather than as an instant or a moment. To put it in academic language, change is liminal and happens in those liminal spaces and times. Being told that I ‘have something in my head’ was a terrifying shift from one state of being to another (technically of course, nothing had changed apart from being aware of what had already happened) and it was pretty much instant – I’d known for a while that something was up, but not what.

I remember arriving at the hospital in Desenzano and being put in a scanner, and then medics talking to my parents (apparently mostly in German because being ill abroad is complicated!) and then I was told I would be flown in a helicopter to the larger hospital in Brescia – fortunately I went in a ‘normal’ ambulance, and I don’t remember anything about the journey apart from spending most of the time thinking about the ambulance scene in About a Boy.

The day after (I think) I had my initial brain surgery, and then the time after that was mostly spent trying to regain my strength and trying to convince the travel insurance that I was covered…

So, tonight we’re celebrating the 1000 day mark with lasagne, and gratitude for the Italian health service which I credit with saving my life. Even if I can’t remember it.

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