SEPARATED BY A WINDOW AS I SAID GOODBYE
WOMAN'S OWN|May 04, 2021
Despite all the heartbreak he and his family have been through, Nick Harris considers himself a lucky man
NICK HARRIS

I can’t recall most of what the consultant said, only the howling wind outside, the rain on his window and a few of the phrases: ‘It doesn’t look brilliant… About the size of a lemon…’

It was 19 August 2016. Earlier that day, we’d been for a ‘precautionary’ MRI the cause of the mild numbness in the she’d had since June.

Helen was t, slim, a healthy eater, a lifelong non-smoker. She was 43, with no previous serious illnesses. Now, however, she had a brain tumour.

The doctor wanted to admit Helen immediately. ‘Our girls are 13 and 15. I need to tell them myself,’ she said.

‘OK, but I want you admitted tonight, even if it’s late,’ he stressed.

Driving home, we kept asking each other ‘What are we going to tell them?’

By the time we pulled into the drive, we’d made the decision that we’d tell them the truth together.

‘Mum has a brain tumour,’ I said. ‘She has to go into hospital, now.’

Daisy, our 15-year-old, asked ‘Is Mum going to die?’ I told her that we’re all going to die, but that hopefully Mum wasn’t going to die any time soon.

Helen went under the knife at about 8am on 1 September for surgery that lasted six hours. It was some time after 3pm that I got the news that she was awake and the operation had gone well.

There are lots of different types of malignant brain tumour, and in the week or so that it took to analyse the excised tissue, I knew far too much about them all.

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