Here it is… my first blog post!!! 🎉💃🏽😊
If you only knew how long it took me to figure this all out, you’d probably shut down now! I like to joke about the fact that when I had brain surgery they removed the ability for me to deal with technology…. truth is… it was never there! So that’s my excuse and I’m sticking to it!
So hey there… after being told by friends over the last few years to start a blog about my health and wellbeing journey … I’ve made it to the start line.
I thought I’d begin by explaining why its called ‘to infinity and beyond’ and what this means to me and my incredible daughter Bella who is in the picture with me.
We have a special saying to each other and the very special people in our lives…. “love u 2 infinity and beyond”…. it’s got us through some unbelievably tough times (as you will hear in future posts) but we try and use it every day too. We have learnt never to underestimate the power of love and how the small things … like telling someone how much they mean to you…can make such a difference to each others day. Move over Will Shakespeare ….we thank Buzz Lightyear for his supreme profoundness!!!
‘To infinity and beyond’ is also about my internal focus to dig deep when I’ve needed it most and probably describes my approach to health, wellbeing and life in general these days. As focused and determined as I am , I’ve also discovered in the last few years how important it is to let things happen and unfold … the incredible power of letting change in and being able to adapt to it and feeling like a rockstar for doing it! Its about having and creating opportunities for adventure and living a life you love. Its about balance.
I don’t want this to sound trite as it comes from a very, very deep place.
I had listened over the years to people around me talk about defining moments in their lives and I kept wondering what mine was. I had moved to London at the age of 24….that was big, but not defining. I had my beautiful daughter a few years later and she is the light of my life in every way, but motherhood wasn’t my defining moment. I got divorced young and became a single mum, which made me a stronger woman in every way , but again, did not define me and I’ve also had an amazing career but certainly would never want to be defined by my job.
At the age of 35 I was diagnosed with a brain tumour. I will talk about this on and off through the posts that follow as it is a big part of who I am and how I live my life, but the moment of diagnosis wasn’t defining – just really fu**ing scary!!!
My defining moment came a few years later…. at the age of 42. I was lying, alone (well you would hope so!) on an operating table outside theatre waiting to have the most dangerous operation you can have – brain surgery. Half an hour before I had signed a form that was read out to me …. slowly… to make me aware of every complication or side effect I could suffer…. I remember stopping the registrar half way through and saying quietly…. please stop and just let me sign. I had no choice, I had to proceed …. it wasn’t a case of denial … just survival.
I had 20 minutes alone on that table outside theatre. Twenty minutes to assess my whole life to date, what was about to happen to me and what the other side might, or might not bring. Petrified doesn’t come close. They were about to operate on my brain – truthfully, open me up like a tin can and touch the most important organ in my whole body.
I had tears rolling down my cheeks but was trying desperately to choke back any sobs…. be strong I kept thinking. My mind was racing and the honest truth is, all I could think about was the people I loved most in the world and to know that if I didn’t make it they would be OK – number 1 being my little girl. I wanted more than anything to see her grow up, become the woman she wanted to be, find love, have babies and for me to hold my grandchildren and cry tears of joy all over them. I recounted all the amazing travels I’d experienced and the incredible friends I had made. I wasn’t ready for my life to be over but I remember thinking…. if it is… I’m so grateful for everyone I’ve loved and who has shown me love and I’m so grateful for the amazing life I’ve lived. I then made a promise to myself – if you wake up from this nightmare girlfriend – you are gonna take nothing for granted – you are gonna love more, be loved more and live more wonderful adventures than you ever dreamed of!!!
Some 7 or 8 hours later I woke up in ICU …. my surgeon and friends were standing at the foot of my bed. I felt like shit (the word doesn’t come close to be fair!!) but I knew who each of them were,,, I wiggled my toes… I wiggled my fingers…. they spoke to me and I answered by cracking a joke…. my humour was in tact!!! I was beyond ecstatic….. euphoric in every sense of the word… I wanted to jump up and down on the bed and scream with joy (would have been kinda dangerous unfortunately!) …. THAT WAS MY DEFINING MOMENT!!!
I vowed to myself I would take nothing for granted ever again and I remembered every thought I’d had on that operating table outside theatre. To infinity and beyond…. nothing will stop me now…. apart from the monstrous fu**ing headache I had!!!!!!