This week has been one of the most surreal weeks of my life. 

As Monday started, I found myself in hospital in Queens Square. 

There's something about Queen Square that fills me with gratitude, but at the same time sends a chill through my spine. 

Monday was a wet miserable day.

I arrived in the square ready for a CT scan and to go to the complex spinal surgery outpatients to see Professor Choi and his team to discuss the surgery that is getting even closer. 

So I found a small café to sit and have a coffee to calm my nerves. 

I've never really been anywhere that's like Queen Square. 

Great Ormond St Hospital - with its cancer and neurosurgery wards - is just off the square so it’s a place that stops me my tracks.  

As I try to drink my coffee slowly, subconsciously trying to pause time. I see the clock on the wall.

It's 11 AM and time for me to go for my CT scan. 

A CT scan Is so much more pleasant than an MRI. No contrast dye, and in and out within a few minutes. 

If only that was the end of my day.

From there It is a short walk along a narrow corridor Into Building 33 and the complex spinal outpatient waiting room.  

I've never seen so many people in this waiting room. 

It's normally just me and maybe one other. 

But today there is not a chair free. As I glance around the room so many people look broken, physically and emotionally. 

But then I guess you're not sat in this room unless less stuff in life Is going wrong. 

Some in the room will already know their fate, whilst others will find out today. 

I've not been here since 2018 and I pause to wonder if the gentleman who was sat next to me that day with a brain tumour is even still alive.  

In many ways, I am grateful that I'm still here. I still have the gift of life. 

It Is not long until my name is called, and I make my way into a small meeting room, I'm joined by my partner and a member of Professor Choi's team and a nurse. 

I haven't had one of these conversations since 2018. And boy, do they hit hard. 

First, we look at the scans. And then we go through the possible outcomes of surgery.

The risks.  They have to cover the risks. It's part of the job. The Doctor has a sense of humour and we laugh as we chat about things. This works for me. Because humour is a big coping mechanism. Maybe it's the Scotsman in me.  

But the reality is this is a serious surgery.

A complex surgery where they're going to cut the back of my neck. 

They’re going into the spinal cord to remove this tumour for the 7th time. 

There are huge risks in this but unlike the surgery that paralysed me In Oxford I feel with Professor Choi, I am in the best hands.  

As we go through the possible outcomes there is one that stands out. 

I hear the doctors say If all goes well, you'll be out within a week. 

That fills me with so much joy, So much warmth, and then the words of the other options. 

If there is a complete catastrophe I could die.

Or I could become completely paralysed.

I can't put into words how I felt, but I focused on that first positive. I will be out within a week.  

Then Professor Choi walked into the room, Calm, Confident and as he leaned over to look at the scans, he just said this tumour is so much smaller than it was in 2018.

Looks like It should be very straightforward. He made it sound so simple, like changing a light bulb.  

The recovery process on the other side Is going to be extremely difficult and this is made more so now after I was paralysed in 2016. 

Rehabilitation is tough enough when you have all your limbs, but when you're only working with half your body, it’s is even harder. 

After a few moments speaking with Professor Choi I walked out the room. And I was happy. I know that might sound crazy but I felt relaxed as I walked through the waiting room.  

I just thought to myself. There are people in here today that might be told that there's nothing that can be done for them. 

That palliative care is the only option. 

Even though I'm about to suffer incredible pain I never heard those words today. 

So, when I stepped out into Queens Square and smelled the fresh air and saw the birds, and the tree blowing in the wind, I felt huge gratitude that I will hopefully be walking out of this hospital in a few weeks post-surgery ready to start another road to recovery.