How I thought this was all a joke till…..


12th January 2015: Sydney

It was exactly a year ago when the above picture was taken of myself lying in a London hospital with a drip attached to my arm. The purpose of the pictures is evidently a sign of the seriousness seen in the admission to hospital as it wasn’t an alert about my well-being, rather an attempt of humouring a friend back in Australia.

The news of having a tumour was obviously a revelation, crippling my emotions, however, strangely some comfort was felt when tears unfamiliar to my face commenced pouring from my eyes. The significance of the photo is consistent with the continuing story to unfold in the time leading up to discovering I had Cancer, especially considering my attempts at discharging myself from the initial hospital due to the noise within the ward, and the fact of being locked out of the second hospital on the first night after meeting a friend for dinner. Also, the bizarre ambulance ride arranged to transport me to a specialist hospital adds a further dimension of uniqueness to my story. The ambulance ride entailed a nurse from my initial hospital using the driver and vehicle as a mode of transport to a different hospital to where I was needed to be delivered. Still not thinking about the seriousness of the circumstances facing me, I advised the ambulance driver I was happy to allow the nurse to accompany the journey. The circumstances almost lead to a crash, with the disbelief on the face of the ambulance driver an indicator of his shock when the nurse asked to be dropped at the hospital before my arrival at the other hospital. Admittedly, I shared the shock of the request, however, expressed my approval to the driver of agreeing to the request. I did say the circumstances were bizarre, and the second request lead to a chorus of shock from both the ambulance driver and I following the nurse asking us to either wait or to be collected from the hospital after she had finished dropping something to a colleague. No words were needed from me as the ambulance driver clearly advised the nurse a massive favour had already been completed, and she was in an ambulance, not a taxi catering to her needs.

Upon reflection the somewhat relaxed approach to certain circumstances with the inclusion of humour may have contributed to the position I am in today. Furthermore, the stories from above, particularly the odd inclusion of the nurse using the ambulance as a taxi bring a smile to my face at the journey faced over the past year. In saying this, I know the humour has not been shared by others around me, and the use of humour in appointments with medical staff when talking in a jovial manner about possibly cutting out some of my liver and where other incisions will be made were difficult for my mum to understand. Again, on reflection, further sensitivity to her needs should have been shown, however, the approach also demonstrated the self-belief in overcoming whatever was to be faced, and ultimately I feel this has placed those close around me in a position of greater confidence in my recovery. A position, important to me as it aligns with the emphasis placed on creating a positive narrative about myself and future situation.

A year on….

11th January 2015: Sydney

It will be a year tomorrow since I was admitted to hospital. It is a date of significance, and will be celebrated with my girlfriend and parents over some dinner. The year anniversary of my actual surgery will also be celebrated, with an intention to recognise this day throughout the many years in my life to follow. There is some irony in my girlfriend being present to join the celebration from the other side of world as this very time last year we had a minor argument, and consequently, the argument resulted into a week standoff, inclusive of the entire period of my initial admission whereby I did not tell her of my predicament. Obviously, it is much better to be enjoying the company of each other whilst importantly under better circumstances in terms of my health 😄