Tumour diary: A Happy time

BBC News Online science and technology writer Ivan Noble was diagnosed with a malignant brain tumour last August.

Since then he has been sharing his experiences in a weekly online diary.

It has been a busy week and busy has meant less time to worry.

Our daughter’s chickenpox disappeared almost as quickly as it appeared.

Either she has a superhuman immune system or, more likely, she had a really mild dose.

It is a harmless enough infection for most children, but nevertheless I am very glad to see her back to normal. She did look very funny covered in calamine lotion, though.

Her rapid recovery has meant that I am back at work, where I am happy to find myself working on three different things at once and, I hope, not making too big a hash of any of them.

Layers of normality
Putting back on the layers of normality and finding that they are comfortable and still fit is a really good feeling.

When I was first diagnosed, I was catapulted forwards in my life to a position where I thought my life was almost over, as if I had become an old man overnight.

Now I have no particular evidence that this has changed except for the fact that I continue to feel strong and well.

I have decided to try to tackle all the anxiety about my scan by being more willing to make plans and get back into what was my normal life.

Looking after our daughter last week was hard work but great fun at times, then going back to work I found myself caught up in thinking about what I am working on and I realised that these are the things I want to do.

I was doing them before because I wanted to, so there is no reason to stop now.
Not dwelling on worries

I will always have scans and tests to face so I think that I should try not to let the worry make me put things on hold.

Having things on hold means having time to dwell on my worries and that is what allows them to grow.

The other thing that has made me less miserable about the scan is realising that even if things went really badly and I was not around for much longer, I would be leaving at a happy time.

I spent a very long time looking for the kind of relationship I now have with my wife. When our little girl joined us, I could not and still cannot think of anything that I would ever want to change.

Of course it would be a tragedy if I had to leave them but I feel strong enough to hope that I will not have to just yet.

All this introspection has been uncomfortable and tiring, not just for me, but I hope now that I can be a better father, colleague and husband as a result.

Provided by ArmMed Media
Revision date: June 18, 2011
Last revised: by Andrew G. Epstein, M.D.