It is not a time for half measures or cautious optimism. Something that existed so quietly is now a roaring reality and we need to meet it with determination, strength and love. Our family is required to be patient and be cared for by our family and friends; we are not used to any of this but strong hands are guiding us and filling us with love and laughter.
It was three weeks ago today that I received a phone call from a doctor in the ER in Richmond Hill. I was making dinner for the kids and knew Matt would be late because he was at a job interview to take on more responsibility at his school. It was pouring rain outside and getting dark. I answered the phone to the surprise that the ER doctor told me that my husband had had a stroke and was just admitted to Mackenzie Richmond Hill hospital. “You need to come immediately,” he stressed.
Immediately, was an hour and forty minutes later because of the rush hour commute north of the city. To get there, I needed to take two highways and then head west a great distance straight into Richmond Hill. When I finally arrived, the neurologist had informed me that they had already done a CT scan on Matt and had ruled out a stroke. They had sedated him and he would be in the hospital several days while they ran a series of tests: full body CT and MRI scans. How did Matt, a healthy 42 year old man who wakes at 5:30 am to exercise and get his day going, find himself in the hospital with stroke like symptoms? There was never any previous sign or warning. No headaches, confusion or cause for alarm. We suspected former concussion injuries from his Rugby years and believed seizures would now be part of who he was; however, by the following evening we learned the overwhelming truth: Matt had a large brain tumour deep inside his parietal lobe.
Since this diagnosis we have started a new normal. Matt is researching and weighing his options. We have amassed an incredible team to help us struggle through this reality. We are blessed, we are strong and we are determined to get through this with as much love and laughter as we can muster.