I had become so used to having to cope with bad news, it was hard to digest something so positive. My daughter was tumour free! But I soon began to savour the positivity of it all. There was a fabulously atmospheric pub right next door to the hospital and I could think of nothing better than to grab a beer in there and celebrate.

On Sunday 14th April, with the weather starting to warm up after a long cold winter, Abi’s doctors allowed her out to the park on a wheelchair. It was home to a fantastic little playground and a small community farm featuring a black sheep (for which I had a particular affinity), some goats and one or two extremely large rabbits. I had been to the park before with Kara, who, at the time, had befriended a French boy. “I wouldn’t stroke those, they are vampire rabbits,” I said at the time, letting my imagination run away with me. “There used to be bears here, but they ate them,” I continued. The French boy didn’t believe me at first: “Where’s the blood?” he asked. “The vampires lapped all that up, naturally!” I replied. Unfortunately, he seemed utterly convinced by then and quite terrified. I quickly realised that I had freaked out the poor lad a bit more than I had intended. Fearing that I might have scarred him for life, I tried reassuring him: “I was only joking,” I told him, smiling. “Perhaps you can stroke the rabbits after all.” Unsurprisingly, he was still reluctant to do so. In fact, I saw him flinch as the rabbit went to sniff his hand. Luckily Kara knows her dad’s warped sense of humour a little better, so she quickly led the way, and once the boy saw that my daughter’s hand remained intact, he followed suit.

Abi was making the same miraculous recovery that she had made after her last surgery, fifteen months earlier. On the morning of Monday 15th April, we met with a team of physiotherapists. They got Abi to do a few finger exercises and then asked her to take a few steps up and down some stairs. She was somewhat reluctant, but she managed successfully. They were very satisfied with her progress. In fact, they were so satisfied, they thought her recovery should continue at home. Abi was discharged just five days after major brain surgery.

We were told to go back for a check-up in 6 weeks, and then there would be an MRI scan in 3 months, at 1.30 p.m. on July 11th, 2013. That’s when we would be given definitive proof as to whether the tumour had been removed entirely.

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