Mark (3/4)

When I woke up the next morning the pain had miraculously disappeared

They did another MRI scan and the swelling had gone down. The head Neuro Surgeon came in for a visit and seemed quite happy to tell me I had three options to work with:

  1. First option was to have the surgery and cut it out but he was very reluctant to do it.
  2. Second option was a biopsy to find out what’s in there.
  3. Third option was to leave everything and watch what happens.

I am so grateful to have Doctor Andrew Parker as my neuro surgeon because he really made me feel as if I had a little control of what was happening with me. He was reluctant to do the surgery because the lesion was at the stem of my brain and had all kinds of complications that might come with it.

He also didn’t think there was a need to do a biopsy just yet because it was still early days and the swelling had come down considerably. So he suggested putting me on a regiment of hard intravenous drugs to hopefully kill off the spread of the lesion and watch how my body tolerates it.

I did this treatment for 2 weeks and my body didn’t tolerate it very well. It made me feel so sick. I was vomiting all the time and feeling so weak. The doctors said some people don’t handle it very well and my liver and kidneys were not happy about it either.

So the intravenous treatment didn’t work, there were not a lot of other options than antibiotics and precautionary medicine that they could use so they ended up giving me a bunch of pills to take daily and keep them posted on my recovery.

In a way the brain tumour or lesion, whatever you want to call it might have been the best thing that ever happened to me

I was able to take some time off and evaluate what was really important to me and how I felt I wanted to move forward.

I was so fortunate to have met an amazing German girl just before I was diagnosed and she was planning a little road trip around the north island of New Zealand so she asked me if I was keen to join her. I jumped at the offer. Even though I wasn’t in the best state I knew that if I just stayed at home doing nothing I’d end up worst off.

So the adventure began. We travelled with each other for 12 days watch dolphins, beautiful scenery and just hung out and talked.

It was the most liberating and eye opening experience that I ever had

I realised what I had been missing out on all these years.

Looking back on my life I realised how much time I had wasted being trapped in my own body. Travelling finally gave me the sense of freedom again and I wanted more.

I thought to myself ‘Well, if this was the last year of my life. I don’t want to be just taking pills and lying in bed all day. All they did was make me feel nauseous and sick. I hated the idea of just fading away.

I wanted to feel alive with the sense of adventure and experience.

I finally decided to sell everything, keep my car and threw away all my medication.

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