‘Hi guys, it’s me your mom.’ I said softly as I looked down at my two beautiful baby boys; they were not even an hour old but what an hour it had been.
‘During the birth, daddy was a trooper; he was there through the twenty-seven hours of labour, giving me ice chips and put cold compresses on my forehead. Unfortunately, he got curious and wanted to see his son being born. As I started crowning, he took a peek and collapsed in a heap. The nurses gave him smelling salts which made him conscious enough to get into a wheelchair. He stayed up at the top end for the rest of that birth. When he saw the goo on the your head, Charlie, as the midwife held you up for us to see, he blacked out again. I had you, Charlie, crying to my left as you were getting cleaned up; daddy passed out in a wheelchair to my right; and you, simon, in the process of being expelled from my birth canal; it was obvious we are in for a colourful life.’
‘You see guys; it was a bit of a struggle getting you here!’ I looked down on my miracles as I recalled the series of events that led up to that moment.
‘In 2014, seven years prior to your birth, I had a routine blood test, fainted and hit my head on a desk. I needed four stitches along my brow and because I was unconscious for a few seconds the phlebotomist who took the test insisted I go and get a CT scan. It was lucky I did because they found a brain tumour.’ I explained in a soft sing song voice.
‘As my brain tumour was being removed, the doctor did a routine biopsy of the cells but told me and my family that he was quietly confident it was benign; to my relief he was right.
When I met daddy, I was tumour free for two years, yet I had to have a CT scan every six months to make sure the tumour didn’t come back. Daddy is from South Africa and treated me like I was a princess. We weren’t going out that long when we moved in together. He loved me so much that he soon asked my father, Pop, who petrified him, if he could marry his first-born daughter. Pop respected daddy for the gesture. Daddy had obtained the engagement ring with the help of his future mother-in-law, Nana. The ring was a yellow diamond placed in the middle of a bed of little shiny white diamonds that made the big stone sparkle. On our first anniversary, daddy asked me to marry him at our favourite restaurant; of course, I said yes.
It wasn’t long after we got engaged that we bought a house together. I was the happiest I had ever been I was so excited about getting married. I had it all planned out; I had booked and paid for the venue; the band; the dress; the bridesmaids dresses; the DJ; even down to the flowers. They were all booked for June 2019.
In August 2018, four years after my first brain operation at my routine CT scan, I was shocked to hear that it revealed the tumour was back. They got it early this time; thankfully it was smaller than the previous one, however, when the surgeon took it out, he wasn’t happy with what he saw. He couldn’t tell for sure whether it was malignant or benign but as he came around for a check-up before I was discharged, he explained the tumour looked very aggressive. He emphasised that once you have a brain tumour, you will always have a brain tumour, meaning it will come back. He recommended radiation therapy will slow it down and gave me about ten years before it would have to be removed again rather than three or four. He didn’t actually say the word ‘cancer’, but he was thinking it.
A few days later the jury was in; I went into the consultant’s office with your daddy and when the doctor used the word ‘cancer’ my stomach dropped; we were expecting it to be benign. I got the news that the radiation was going to be every day for six weeks, followed by a year of chemotherapy. It really scared me. We were in shock and didn’t absorb the information straight away, so we went back to see the surgeon when the information sank in; we had questions. Our immediate concern was the wedding and whether or not we were going to be able to have kids. We both really loved children and longed for the wedding of our dreams. The doctor explained to us that I was going to be very sick in June and referred her me a gynaecologist who recommended that we should freeze a batch of fertilized eggs.
After I was finished her chemotherapy, the wedding was back on. We got married in June 2020. I had lost all my hair when I underwent chemotherapy, but by the time the wedding came around I had a very stylish short haircut. The wedding was the happiest day of our lives. Two days leading up to it though, to make it extra special, I was told I was in remission.
Daddy and I both dreamed about children. When I felt back to my old self a year after the wedding, me and daddy underwent IVF. We only used three of the fertilized eggs just in case they didn’t take but Eureka! The IVF worked. I had a glorious pregnancy. At last, I got a break in life.
‘Your journey to life was a roller coaster of a ride but it was all worth it!’ I said and looked lovingly into my husband’s eyes, the both of us delighted with our little miracles.
picture from pixabay