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  • Writer's pictureSue Miller

Moving Forward

Updated: Jun 14, 2023

I have been absent for a while…in hiding might be more accurate, I guess.

This January (it just happened to be Friday the 13th), I was on hour six of sitting alone in a busy emergency room hallway when a doctor came back to me and bluntly said, “You have a brain tumour. You'll need to see a neurosurgeon”. As she hurried away to set up a referral, I sat there in total shock thinking, “What did she just say?". I hadn't been having headaches so this was the last thing I expected to hear. My new "hobby" of researching the wild and wacky world of Vestibular Schwannoma began.

I am lucky to live in a country with good healthcare so I had no idea what we were in for over the coming months. Naively, I thought there would be a fairly straightforward path through the system to the care I needed. In reality, every step was an exhausting fight…even just getting the initial neurosurgeon appointment was a difficult knot to untangle. Months passed before we had any real understanding of how to move forward, all the while, this large tumour was making itself known to me, causing debilitating problems. It was overwhelming.

Fast forward to today. I’m so grateful that my surgery is behind me and recovery has begun. Over the next couple of years, there will be some challenges to get through but I know I will do it—we will do it. I am not alone. The phone calls, cards, and messages from my kind and loving family and friends brought sunshine into my world when I really needed it. The love and support from my sons and their partners have been unfailing and give me much-needed strength. My husband, Jeff, continues to hold my head above water when I start to go under. Throughout everything and continually, he perseveres on my behalf. For all of it, I’m profoundly grateful, more than I can express.

Over the last couple of days, I’ve started hearing the canvas calling me back, and someday soon, we are going to get lost in a landscape together once again. I can’t wait!

P.S. Thank you to my friend, Helen. She is a warrior and she gave me this shirt. I wear it proudly.

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