At the age of 29, I was diagnosed with a brain tumor and needed an immediate craniotomy surgery. I can never forget the moment when the world around me seemed to have come to a standstill. I had a thriving career in advertising and had just started planning a family. There was so much to be done and said to my loved ones. The risk of the surgery, like any open brain surgery, was very high. There was a risk of memory loss, eyesight impairment, coordination, and multiple hormone-related issues. The only significant positive was that the tumor was benign. I will always be grateful for how my life’s drama somehow managed to play out. The surgery went well, and with minimum damage to the pituitary gland, I was on my way to recovery. Although it was not as easy as I could articulate in a few words here.

It has been 10 long, frustrating, rocky, happy, blissful, stressful, easy, and hard years since then. Post the surgery, my stamina dropped down to 20%, and I could barely walk 10 minutes without breathing heavily. The swelling on the head took over a month to subside and almost a year for my hair to grow back. It took over 3 years to be able to do a part of my normal routine work and life. With weight gain due to steroids and being put on hormone-replacement therapy, my mental and emotional health suffered just like my physical health. It is not easy to keep yourself motivated and happy while you struggle to do anything normal in life. The sorrow of not being able to conceive was also humongous, adding to those feelings of frustration and helplessness. My career took a huge setback, and I really did not know my way forward. Those happy days before the surgery seemed fleeting and almost like blurred memories.

But through all these ups and downs, even if I was taking 4 steps backward after every 2 steps forward, I managed to find my happy place. This event brought some much-needed perspective on life and what truly is important to me. My amazing friends, family, and husband have been a rock through these times, and without their support, I could not have come this far. I realized that making them happy made me happy, and it went the other way round as well. I slowly got back to freelancing work and got back to a schedule that suited my health issues. I traveled to France, a dream I always had, and tried to tick mark the most important things on my Wishlist. I have always enjoyed music and dancing but never really got the time for it; hence, I joined a dance class which I still go to. I make sure to celebrate two birthdays a year, one on my birthday and the other is the day of my surgery which gave me a new lease of life.

There is still a threat of relapse, and I have to do an MRI every year, but I try not to dwell on those terrifying thoughts. Not every day is the same for me, and it’s a struggle even now. There are some blissfully happy days and some really tough ones where I simply want to sleep. But like everything in life, it is just temporary. It is not always easy to be pragmatic about things, and frustration does mount up, after all, I am human, but I have surrounded myself with people who make sure to never let me feel the lows alone. I have made peace with enjoying to the fullest each day I feel the fittest and try to consume life up while it lasts. And when the days get a bit murky, I just lie low and let my body and mind heal, reminding myself that this too shall pass. Life is beautiful if you just go with the flow because everything is temporary.