SEEMS an odd thing to even think when living with terminal lung cancer. Yet, that’s the truth of it. I almost allowed myself to start believing perhaps – with the help of chemotherapy and immunotherapy – that my resilient and remarkable body might have seen off this devastating threat.

Scans and blood tests all stable. Side-effects unremarkable. Medication applied and no new tumours in the chest, lymph glands or other torso organs.

Then I noticed I was dribbling my tea as I drunk it. There was a slight slur and the left side of my mouth drooped like it does after being jagged by the dentist.

The scenario of tests and checks from Laura (a trained nurse) then my local GP and the specialists she referred me to at Crosshouse Hospital determined this was no minor stroke – it was the cancer, and it had spread to my brain.

Walking into a big hospital with one of the highest Covid rates in Scotland – alone and without immunity and the fear of cancer in the brain – was truly testing of my very being.

I was admitted and waited a couple of days for the CT and MRI scans to reveal that two cancerous tumours were growing in the right side of my brain, affecting speech and facial expressions.

It was very late at night when the young doctor quietly knocked on my room door and confirmed the diagnosis. When the doctor left, I was alone – I telephoned Laura to whisper the news.

Trying desperately to be strong for each other we failed miserably. Yes, we knew terminal meant deadly but things were going so well. We still had such hopes and plans for perhaps a year more, perhaps two.

Now it was in the brain and it seemed terminal meant the terminus was the next stop.

I messaged my close family the next morning – thank God for text messages as talking was near impossible through emotion and mouth malfunction.

My eldest daughter – Vhari – was in the same hospital (three floors above me) desperately unwell and awaiting surgery for a condition that threatened to develop into c. My news would wait until after her crisis was over.

Lying alone in a little side room my thoughts wandered and took me places I didn’t expect – a solitude. An acceptance. A very strange feeling that “well, I already knew this would come – but maybe not this way”.

Perhaps this is a coping mechanism to avoid insanity or illogical rage at the inevitability of death?

This all happened over the last few days and I have already met with Beatson specialists – a course of treatment has been planned. Very large doses of radiotherapy to my brain are next.

Ally McLaws is managing director of the McLaws Consultancy, specialist in business marketing and reputation management.