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  • Writer's pictureA. Murphy

The Truth

It wasn't long before I was back in the hospital for an appointment in the Neurological unit. Both my parents came with me. I don't think any of us were prepared for that meeting. I had argued in my head that the tumour had to be benign, otherwise surely I would know. It would have caused problems before now. I had convinced myself of this to the point where I was sure that was what the doctor was going to say.

We entered, they told us that a biopsy had been done on my removed tumour, and that it was in fact cancerous.

It was much the same as when they told me about the brain tumour, except this time I was little more stunned. I mean I had never even considered it. You may be thinking "Well they got the tumour out so you'll be okay!" but that wasn't the case. But there was still some of the tumour was still in there, attached to the brain stem.

Additionally my MRI scans had revealed something else. A shadow in the middle of my back. That shadow meant the tumour had spread to my spine. My mind was blank, which may have been for the best. I didn't particularly want to have a breakdown in the middle of a doctor's office.

But I recovered quickly, and the doctor began to talk about how they would be going ahead with my treatment. He said that my tumour was actually a medulla blastoma, a tumour more common in children. For some reason, this made me feel a little special, like I was a bit of a rarity. An odd thing to feel about cancer. He carried on telling me about how they were going to combat this. I nodded along, trying to process what he was saying about radiotherapy and chemotherapy. It was my mum who started crying first, that set me off. I tried desperately to control it though, I don't like crying in front of strangers. Can't say I know what my dad was thinking.

I don't know what happed really, I can't remember. Perhaps it was because I had just been told I had cancer, that's enough to bring anyone down. We received leaflets and papers all explaining what was going to happen next, explaining the different therapies, the side effects, where I was going to be staying at the hospital etc.

Then we all walked out and went home.

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