It’s a year ago this week that my life was turned on its head.
I woke up in intensive care at the LGI to be told I had a brain tumour and went into what was a touch and go operation. I still thank the surgeons every single day for the job they did and for ensuring I’m still here today and able to fight the fight.
Everything changed for me forever from that day.
The last year has been a struggle, there’s no other way of putting it. It’s been very, very tough, but I’ve got good family around, we’ve got through it together, and we still are. Living with this situation is tough, but you have to find ways to keep believing and living life the best you can. I keep telling myself positive things, like when I’m doing my training or something I’m finding a real challenge I’ll tell myself to ‘keep going.’ It’s like when I played football and I just kept doing the basics! I’ve adopted the same principles to the life I lead now. It’s all I can do. A couple of weeks ago, I was told I wouldn’t be able to drive again. That was a shock, but you deal with it and get on.
You have to get on a path and find your feet which is difficult, not just for me, for the family too, but we stay positive and we keep fighting the fight.
Talking to people has been a huge help for me. I spoke to a guy from Leeds on Thursday who had suffered something similar to me and it’s nice to have a rapport with people like that, and I’m trying to help other people not just myself. You get an empathy with situations. I enjoy the interviews I do, and find they really help. I did an interview with a Liverpool fan this week and found myself talking about my old youth coach Steve Heighway and the likes of Kenny Dalglish and Roy Evans, and what great men there were. I find it really helps looking back like that and I think this illness has really made me realise who I am and where I’ve come from.
It’s been a very emotional week, but I live day by day which I know is a philosophy for a lot of people in the modern world during these tough times because no one knows what’s around the corner. I’ve found myself getting in touch with random people to ask how they are, and I find that helps me.
As I’ve said before, my diet has been very important and I know my specialists are pleased with the progress we’ve made. I think she was quite shocked at how I’ve dealt with stuff, but just I try and take on board what I’m told. The one thing you can’t not do is live your life. You have to adjust, and I still have the odd headache, but from where I was to now it’s like night and day. I genuinely just try to keep the momentum going as much as I can.
There’s good days and bad days, but overall I’m doing alright…