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  • Writer's pictureA. Murphy

The beginning of it all

Updated: Feb 23, 2020

It has been pointed out to me that I am in a unique situation. That I am in a position to help others with my story, whatever small comfort it may offer. Even the simple act of knowing that there is someone else out there with a similar experience, who understands, can be of monumental help.

In July 2019 I was diagnosed with cancer. This is how it all happened.

It started with pains in my head. Not headaches, mere flashes of sharp pain deep inside my brain. They lasted less than a second. I wasn't even that bothered by them as I wasn't hindered at all. It even went away. I remember mentioning it to my parents who told me to make an appointment at the doctor's. I've never been one to make a fuss over something, and I usually end up leaving things to sort themselves out, so I never made the appointment and like I said, it went away. For months in fact, I lived my life, went on holiday, I carried on.

When I started to experience double vision, and the pain came back, I knew something was probably wrong. Yet still I left it, hoping (foolishly) that my body would work out what was what and fix itself. Then I started to hear liquid moving about at night. I'm used to having water stuck in my ear, I've been in a swimming club since I was eight years old, but this, this was different.

I knew what hydrocephalus was. I actually knew what it was from 'Grey's Anatomy', but I still knew about it. I figured worse case scenario, that's what it was. I even knew the surgery I would have to have to fix it, but I'm quite a relaxed person so I didn't freak out about it.

I made a doctor's appointment...and it was weeks away. So, I changed it to an emergency appointment which meant I ended up seeing a nurse and not a doctor but I didn't mind, it was sooner anyway. I go to my appointment, describe my symptoms, and she recommended me for an eye test. So I booked an eye test.

I had never had an eye test before, in fact I'd never had any health problems before, so I didn't know what to expect. But it all went okay. I sat down in front of many different machines, did what they told me to do. It was the pictures of the back of my eye that did it. Of course, they had nothing to compare it to, but it looked swollen (they did tell me that they could always look like that, they couldn't know). I was told they would phone me in a few days, but they ended up calling me before I had even left town. I was being recommended to the eye unit of the hospital and I had to collect a letter from them to get things moving a little quicker. Good thing too, they ended up saving my life.

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Dec 25, 2019

You write about this BIG BIG event with such honesty and humour. How d’you that ? Wish I had your talent ...

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