Here’s a summary of the past seven years:
- Abi becomes unwell, but her symptoms remain undiagnosed.
- She is rushed to the hospital to have life-saving surgery.
- Diagnosed with a ‘benign’ brain tumour.
- Shunt fitted.
- I cycle from Land’s End to John O’Groats to raise funds and say thank you to Abi’s hospital.
- Abi has 18 months free of tumour progression.
- Tumour growth. More brain surgery.
- I cycle from London to Nice to thank Abi’s hospital again, raising more funds for them.
- Against the advice of Abi’s Oncologist, we have a year of ‘watch and wait’.
- Abi has a complete resection. Tumour-free!
- She remains tumour free for over a year but then has a recurrence.
- Abi’s hospitalised when she can’t stop vomiting.
- A second brain tumour is found in the hypothalamus.
- Abi starts chemotherapy.
- More sickness and Abi’s weight plummets. She is put on artificial feeds.
- Abi stops vomiting and gains weight.
- A year of tumour free progression. Shrinkage, even.
- My relationship with Abi’s mother plumbs new depths when I get arrested for alleged assault.
- Chemotherapy ends.
What a time we’ve had! A proper roller coaster ride! Seven years of fast descents into illness, followed by slow climbs back up to good health. There have been plenty of twists and turns in-between too; tumour progression and dissemination, chemotherapy, a divorce and an arrest. Meanwhile, I’ve also managed to get a postgraduate degree and cycle two thousand miles, in the process raising thousands of pounds for Abi’s hospital.