Kev and I met in 2000, and started dating shortly afterwards.

In 2002 I was diagnosed with a (thankfully non cancerous) tumour on my pituitary gland situated in the centre of the head just below the brain and behind the nose and eyes. Over the next few years Kev was a great support through numerous tests and scans and especially when I had my first brain surgery in 2004. After seeing the doctor a few months after my surgery we got engaged believing that the worse of things were over and we could now start a new part to our lives together and leave this in our past as stronger people. The doctors had all said that in only 1% of cases the tumour returns and they felt that I would not fall into that 1%. In May 2005 we got married and were both reasonably young as I was 22 and Kev was 25.

In the October of 2005 I started feeling sick but due to the symptoms of the tumour being similar to pregnancy we got a little scared as we’d always discussed being married for 5 years before having kids but knew that if I was pregnant it was in God’s hands and all would be fine.
I went to my GP and he did a few blood tests including testing for pregnancy and checking other bloods that would indicate if the tumour was back. A day later when the GP phoned me back I was unprepared to hear his words telling me he thinks the tumour is back.

What followed was more scans and tests to confirm what was my worst fear and it was found the tumour had returned. The doctors then tried a medication which was supposed to keep the tumour under control but I unfortunately had very bad side effects and couldn’t stay on the medication for longer than a week. During this time Kev started working more and more hours which was partly due to demand at work but also because he was scared of what was going to happen to me.

In March of 2006 I had my second brain surgery which was very difficult for Kev. We hadn’t even been married for a year and yet we were having to discuss the options of what to do if something happened during the operation. Thankfully God oversaw the operation again and I was fine. My blood levels dropped and we thought I was on the road to full recovery when in August/September 2006 my blood tests showed an increase again which showed there was again a tumour.

In October 2006 I underwent a specialised radiotherapy to try and kill off the tumour. Again the doctors felt this would clear up anything that was left behind and there would be no more issues with the tumour. Early in 2007 my blood tests were not as low as the doctor was wanting so they tried me on another medication which he warned would have very bad side effects but thankfully I suffered very few side effects in the first month and thereafter I was fine on the medication and returned to a more normal life again. Around the same time Kev and I moved house so that I could be closer to our friends, family and church.

In December 2010 I received a call from my neighbour, while I was out with a friend, asking if I was okay as she could see smoke coming from our house. We rushed home to find the fire department putting out a fire that had destroyed most of our house. In the next month and a half we saved the few things we could from our house and dealt with getting builders and insurance started on replacing our house and our stuff. During this time I was often getting sick but Kev and I both put it down to being in the burnt out house and the stress we were facing, thankfully together.

In the February of 2011 I went for my annual scan (routine to make sure there was no change in the tumour and that the medication was still keeping the tumour under control.) in between dealing with builders. I read the report to make sure everything was the same as the previous year and instead I was a bit confused by what I was reading and spoke to two friends who were in the medical field to confirm what I thought I was reading. I also handed the scan to the doctors rooms and waited for his call for further confirmation but it was found that there was no sign of the tumour.

We will be married for 9 years in May this year and are currently still waiting on God to see if He will answer our prayers for children of our own but through these two large situations we have faced together we are thankfully, even through Kev “running away” through work, blessed with a marriage that has withstood all of this and more with God at the centre.

We have also learnt that we have to make time for our marriage and for each other and have now chosen to have one day a week that is generally booked for us time so we can continually build on our marriage no matter what comes our way or how busy we may get with work, sport or church commitments.

[To continue to another story from Marriage Year 9 with Matt and Kathy Allison, click here]