From brain surgery to book publishing in just seven weeks

11/02/2020 at 3:09 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | 6 Comments
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The universe has given me a major challenge recently. In the first week of January I underwent 10 hours of neurosurgery to remove a benign brain tumour – an acoustic neuroma. In the last week of February my new book, ‘This One is Special’, will be published. It’s a challenge because post-op I’ve had to relearn everything from walking to writing by hand. Book signings are a wobbly prospect!

I’m thrilled that this story of parenting my profoundly disabled son is about to be more widely shared. I’m relieved that a personal health condition that has dogged me for a decade or more has finally been sorted. And maybe the two events together are teaching me a valuable lesson.

The lesson is that we are not meant to struggle on alone. Over the past few weeks there has been a huge team of surgeons, anaesthetists, nurses, therapists and other medical staff helping me to better health. I feel deeply grateful to them all – and to the family and friends who have supported me throughout.

As a parent-carer of a young person with profound and multiple learning disabilities I know that statistically I’m a candidate for greater stress and ill health.

No one knows why I developed a tumour. It happened very slowly, rather like the pearl in an oyster grows incrementally in smooth layers around a grain of sand or some other irritant. Maybe it was genetic, or just ‘one of those things’. I choose to believe that it was my personal reminder that illness doesn’t discriminate – we are all candidates for something.

In my family, Tim has been ‘the poorly one’. He is the one who has spent over 100 days in intensive care, and has had investigations in a bewildering number of hospitals. Maybe it’s someone else’s turn. If so, I’m not sorry it’s been me. Brain surgery has consequences that mean I’ll never be the same. I still feel as wobbly as a foal. But compared with Tim’s experiences of critical illness, my surgery has honestly not been that bad, as I hope you can tell from the pic below, taken just five days after the event. Here’s to a healthy 2020!

You can pre-order ‘This One is Special’ here.


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  1. Dear Suzanne

    Sending you well wishes as you continue to recover from your operation and wishing you every success on the launch of your book.

    If there’s anything I can do to be of help in any way please do not hesitate to ask.

    Please know healing thoughts wing your way,

    Kind thoughts,


    Liked by 1 person

  2. Dear Suzanne,

    I want to respond to your e mail but hardly know what to say- which is rare for me – so I hope you are restored to the best possible degree of health very soon and I would like to add that I find your e mails inspirational. Perhaps you will be able to have a holiday Where that still pool is that you showed in a picture some time ago.

    Best wishes,

    Diane Lilley.

    Sent from my iPad


    Liked by 1 person

  3. Hi Suzanne! Thank you for sharing your story…I am sending you some Healing Angels to watch over you (look for a feather to know we are there helping you). I am so pleased all went well, and you look amazing. You are a wonderful lady who inspires with all that you share…and I and others too, are very appreciative of all you gift us with….Thank you Suzanne, and many Blessings and hugs to you and to Tim! Barbara xxxxx

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Hi Suzanne,
    I am so very sorry to hear you and your family have been through so much. Sending you a big hug and if you need anything message me. I wish you every success with your book as I send you my very concentrated thoughts across the ether for a speedy recovery. Luv Marge xxxx

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Your extraordinary story becomes even more extraordinary, Suzanne. My respect for you grows even larger. Wow. So glad to hear things are healing well. Best wishes from my family to yours, J

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Hi Suzanne
    I hope you are recovering well from your surgery, I felt very humbled complaining about my ‘bad back’. You are such a strong, courageous, calm and beautiful person with a wonderful supportive partner. I think of you all often and your are an inspiration. with lots of love, Carrie xx

    Liked by 1 person

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