Trent Ball will never forget the pain. It was excruciating. For 10 hours, he lay on a hospital bed moaning as his body came to grips with the medications.
“One of the other patients described it to me like childbirth,” he said.
“If that’s childbirth, I don’t want a bar of it.”
The Tallangatta coach is cricket’s joker.
He is known for a subtle sledge, and can see the funny side of most things.
He’s needed that sense of humour too like never before.
The 32-year-old had a tumour removed from his optic nerve in late August.
He also had his pituitary gland removed, which controls various bodily functions.
“My water input and output has changed, I’m always thirsty now,” he said.
“I have to get up during the night six or seven times to go to the toilet. I sleep for 40 minutes and then have to get up.
“It messes with your body temperature as well, I’ve also put on 12 kilograms in three weeks.
“I also have no testosterone, so that’s the end of the kids.”
Ball has two youngsters, 12-year-old Flo and Jesse, five.
“There’s been a heap of positives, and most importantly, I’m a lot closer to my family,” he said.
“I haven’t always been close, but I’m now back living with mum (Liz).
“Flo came down for five or six days and that was brilliant.
“She ended up drawing pictures for another lady in the ward.
“And I can’t say how much I appreciate all the support and messages.
“Even from random people, Sam Duck, who I don’t know from the Border, messaged me and said he would be in Melbourne, and would be happy to catch up.
“When you’re sitting in a hospital bed staring at the ceiling, it can make a big difference.”
Ball also has Chronic Fatigue Syndrome now.
“I’m always buggered,” he said.
“When I first came out, I would do only one thing for the day, like going to the supermarket.”
The surgery has certainly changed his perspective.
“I don’t see a problem now where others will see a problem,” he said.
“The everyday sort of stuff, a lot of that doesn’t concern me.”
But there is one constant in his life that Ball craves – cricket.
“I will have a lot of things taken away from me, but I don’t want to lose cricket,” he said.
“Even if it was that split second, I could focus on the ball coming towards me.
“It would be a moment that I could think about nothing but the ball.”
And the likeable Ball is determined to play this week.
“I am going to go for a hit and see how I go,” he said.
“Mum said no, but I’ll see how I feel after it, I really want to play.”
They say mother knows best. You get the impression mum might win this battle. Ball just wants to win the war.