August 31 will be forever imprinted in my mind, in my body and fiber of my very being, to the core of me. It draws the second line in the sand of the before and after. The first line one was May 18, 2010 when I was diagnosed in the ER with a non-malignant brain tumour. The second line, August 31, 2012 was the day I had brain surgery to remove my brain tumour, which had doubled in size, causing my brain to swell and put my life in jeopardy.

Now a decade out, I continue to breathe in the small things, be eternally grateful for the life I have been given and the opportunities that have come with it. My life has taken a very different route than before August 2012. I now have a brain injury and this has altered many things. I am also now very aware of conditions such as PTSD, mental health challenges faced by many individuals. However, as I continue to step forward, I am blessed for those I continue to meet, have met and even lost along this journey and am inspired by.

On this day, I celebrate and high five my brain. Here’s to you my lovely brain, for all you have taken on, continue to work and challenge yourself with. Thank you for continuing to remind me to balance life, that living with an invisible disability comes great patience, a sense of humour and adaptability.

In 2015, I wrote Two Steps Forward – Embracing Life with a brain tumor, which began as my personal journal. I have just added a NEW chapter and updated some other areas. I know my journey will continue to be someone else’s journey, and want them to know they are not alone.

Onwards we go.