We were living in Australia when Jack was diagnosed with a brain tumour back in 2016. He never usually complained about aches and pains but had been suffering with heart burn and testicle pain that he wanted checked. The doctor thought he had testicular torsion and we were sent away with some tablets to ease the pain.
It continued over the next few weeks and one evening I found Jack on the bathroom floor. He’d been sick, had a headache and was feeling sensitive to light. A scan revealed he had a brain tumour but we’d been so focused on the testicle pain that it hit us like a tonne of bricks.
A few months after Jack’s first surgery we found out I was pregnant with our little boy, Jaxon. It was a surprise for us, and at a difficult time, but we were determined to take it on and become parents so we moved back to the UK to have my mum and family around.
After the move, Jack was being monitored by a new medical team in Cardiff who were waiting for signs that the tumour had started to grow before going ahead with another operation. His second surgery resulted in a stroke that left him unable to speak and paralysed down his right side.
Incredibly Jack has to be awake during these procedures. The medical team want to remove as much of the tumour as possible each time so they ask him to respond while mapping out the affected area to make sure they aren’t taking away healthy brain tissue. Of course there are always risks associated with this kind of operation and it was sheer bad luck for us.
I remember thinking that when Jack was diagnosed and being tested that we were in the thick of it, it couldn’t get any worse. I realise now that this journey is about surviving more and more difficulties. We’re in a cycle of treatment, surgery and rehabilitation that restarts each time the tumour grows.