Refuse to lose… 5 months on

First and foremost, thank you for all the messages, prayers and support this year – it keeps me going through the more difficult days. It has been nearly 5 months since my tumour diagnosis, 4 months of lockdown and as we all try to find our own paths of ‘getting back to life’, I felt this is probably a good time to reflect on what’s been a whirlwind few months. I mean the brain tumour was bad enough without the additional complication of Coronavirus upstaging me!

Let me give you an update – I’m doing really well πŸ™‚ I really am… I still have low days, but definitely more good days and I’m thankful for that. My wife reminded me to use the flat days as my moments to reflect and let my body and mind just rest. I suppose it’s not physically and mentally healthy to keep going at a 100 miles an hour like I tend to do when I’m on a role! I have an unwavering faith in my God which has allowed me to be the best version of myself there has ever been! I’m really pleased to report that my last scan showed my tumour is stable and has not grown in size- that is a huge win- a massive step forward for me… it hasn’t taken over anymore of my brain as yet and it feels like I’m fighting back at this thing.

My general mindset is in a really positive place but like I said I still have my moments of struggle and fear – just a couple of days ago I had a 4.5 hour neuro-psychometric test (one long ass 20 part Key Stage 3 style exam!!!) to assess various parts of my brain so we have a base line to work from should things change in the future. I’ll tell you one thing for free, tumour or no tumour, my mental arithmetic is shockingly bad! My dad would’ve been so disappointed by some of my answers!! In all seriousness there were some challenging parts of the test – questions about your memory, about forgetting things etc. and I have to say throughout my life I’ve not been great with this but it makes you question if that’s what the tumour has been doing or whether I just been awful at concentrating/ focusing. To put it into context, today we were at the pet store (did I mention we’re getting a puppy?!) and I asked my wife if the dog carrier had come through yet and she said yes and that she had showed it to me – even now as I write this, I still have no recollection of this happening… but in the pet store it got me really agitated and anxious and I was just walking around fighting to remember it but it just wasn’t coming to me. I genuinely think I must’ve been concentrating on something else when she showed me and it just slipped my mind but it did scare me. And my answer to this as with everything- pray! Give it back to God, have faith that he’s in control… and as I did that in the store (surrounded by dog leads and chewy toys!) I see my beautiful girls Avaana & Arya running towards me to see who could get to me first and in that moment I was reminded of how lucky I am πŸ™‚

These days when people ask me how I am and how I’m coping, I’m conflicted because my unwelcome friend is a blessing and a curse – of course I would much rather not have it in my head but it brought me to a crossroads in my life that resurrected the fighter in me to go and achieve the things I want, to control what I can, to use the talents I have, to pursue my passions, to work towards my dreams, to basically be the best version of me that I can be. I’m just going to take a second to put it into perspective… since lying in that hospital bed on 4th Feb this year I would’ve never believed you if you told me I would do the following:

  • After releasing 1 song in the last 2 years, I’ve released 12 songs in the last 5 months!
  • Homeschooling both my girls – and even enjoying some bits of it! (except Maths!)
  • Continue with my recruitment job- after essentially working for 1 month of 2020, my work relationships have stayed strong, I’ve still been able to place people in jobs and make some money!
  • Start writing this blog – not just writing but setting it up myself from scratch (with master tuition from my brother in law)
  • Taught my daughter to ride a bike with no stabilisers – this was huge… seeing her achieve this really filled my heart with joy
  • Gain strength back in my right shoulder (which I dislocated and fractured during the seizure in February), getting into the best physical shape I’ve been in and actually ENJOYING exercise?!
  • Start my modelling career! Ok bit tongue in cheek here- but we made it to the cover picture of a great clothing brand on Not On The High Street- I guess people find it hard to resist the man bun ;)!

That was not meant to come across as a ‘Oh wow! look at me’ list – it was just meant to be tangible proof of what a small step of faith and boldness can do to help you start achieving things. One of my friends recently sent me a message saying “do you want the good news or bad news first” – and i said “bro there’s no such thing as bad news anymore for me, I only deal with good news or opportunities these days”. The way I’m trying to see it is bad news is an opportunity to find a solution – it might not be straight forward, it might take time but somewhere even if its hard to see at first, there is a chance, an opportunity to move forward and find a positive in it all.

I appreciate I’m only at the start of this journey – but as the saying goes ‘start as you mean to go on’. I know there are many twists and turns to come, many difficult decisions to make, many uncomfortable conversations to be had – but that’s where I’m praying I can look back on these writings and find that faith to trust God in every circumstance.

I want to leave you with something I recently read- a post by a singer and speaker whom I admire named Tauren Wells. I read it over and over again, and each time it made more and more sense. It’s now embedded in me: Don’t sit around waiting for the next big opportunity to turn on your excellence – give your best, give your all, every time in everything.

3 thoughts on “Refuse to lose… 5 months on

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  1. You have achieved more in 5 months. Some people take 10 years to achieve these things. You are doing so well! God is the greatest!

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