There was no warning. No red flags. No little signs. But there we were in ICU after my husband had just suffered a major grand mal seizure at work. I sat in the hospital dazed as those famous Arnold Schwarzenegger words rang in my head - “It’s not a tumour.” It was. A sizeable brain tumour. At the age of 42 the love of my life and exceptional father to our six-year old daughter was told to stop life as we knew it and enjoy what time we had. We learned to navigate brain surgeons, neurologists and oncologists - a new world that seemed small and tight knit but restricted in its options - we selected our team, using our professional skills to help build our survival plan. Darren approached each hurdle with brave curiosity: an awake craniotomy, radiation during work lunch breaks, chemotherapy at home, a clinical trial in the hope of a breakthrough. All the while living, working, loving. And then the options stopped, abruptly. This tumour that had cohabitated with us for five years, brutally attacked and there was no plan other than comfort. We decided to adapt and normalise. As the tumour took his ability to speak, text and read, attacked his nervous system, rendered his right side completely paralysed - we pushed through. We had this. Then he lost his ability to swallow. We could not adapt. We could not normalise. The tumour prevailed in what was a ruthless and unexpected ending. An exceptional man taken way too soon - and while we lived and loved - we also lost.
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