Happily Ever After?

And they all lived happily ever after.

Well not quite. A recent study of low-grade glioma children showed that about 1 in 6 of the children who had undergone a complete resection had suffered a recurrence. Even if Abi is one of the fortunate ones, for the next decade, at least, she will have regular scans, with all the worry they entail. She still has a shunt fitted, of course, which means that any illness brings the additional concern of whether it is due to that malfunctioning. Then there’s Abi’s squint, which will probably need an operation. So Abi’s health will still be a concern for a while yet. In fact, no matter what happens, it will probably always be a concern.

However, our future suddenly looks much brighter. We now have a six-month gap before Abi is due her next scan and I intend to use the time to move on from four years of worrying about whether the ticking time-bomb on Abi’s brain was about to explode. Instead of trying to find the best clinical outcome for my daughter, I can get my life moving forward again. After all, it has been on hold, necessarily, while my youngest daughter had needed most of my attention.

So I have begun creating a charity that passes on my experience of getting second opinions and helps find medical expertise for people whom a second opinion might just make all the difference. As it has for us. I will be completing the thesis for my postgraduate course. I will be getting back into some martial arts, and re-establishing my regular yoga and meditation practices. When under pressure, I get so wrapped up in worry, I forget to do the things that are good for me. Of course, the irony is that it is during those difficult times when I should do all the things that are good for me. It’s then that they would benefit me most. Never mind: “Better late than never,” goes the saying. It’s good that I’ve remembered to do those things now.

The children will not miss out, however. Quite the contrary. Because I will be able to banish the worrying and soul-searching over whether I was doing the right thing for Abi. Instead, my children would get a happy, active daddy. They’ll like that.

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