Archeology of a Brain Tumor


On Thursdays, I profile brain tumor survivors.  If you would to lean more about this, read Brain Tumor Thursday.

It is my pleasure to introduce you to John and his story.

I hope…

To one day not have to “act” normal, but just be. To be able to live my life the way I lived it before my diagnosis and not have the thought of my own mortality be at the forefront of my daily life; not have so much uncertainty as there is now in my life; not have to live my life one MRI-cycle at a time; and not have to second guess all my actions and ask myself, “Am I only doing this because I may not get a chance to do it again?”

I hope to finally do that cross-country trip I’ve wanted to do since I read On the Road, to finally go back to Cusco and visit Machu Picchu, and to finally do the century ride from Orange County to San Diego I’ve planned since 2008.

I wish…

That a cure, not a treatment, but a cure will be found not only for curing brain tumors, but all cancers. I wish that once this cure is found, that all will have access, not just the opportunity, but actual access to it no matter who they are and where they come from.

I wish for a day where we won’t need #BTSM, #BCSM, #cancersucks, #scanxiety, or #BrainTumorThursday.

On a more personal level, I wish I didn’t have to put my family through this, particularly my folks, Mom and Dad. They’ve been through so much and have faced so many challenges in their lives, so I wish for that day where they won’t have to worry about me anymore.

I dream…

About that special someone who I will come across randomly, of which we will become great friends because she gets and finds my terrible humor “amusing.”  I dream of that dedication and passion we will develop that only two people who truly love each other develops. I dream of our first child, a girl named Isolde who is inquisitive, independent, passionate, and kind and of course a great big sister to her little brother Rand, and little sister Dagny. I dream of my three children growing up to be passionate about a cause, to be compassionate of others, to think freely for themselves, to never stop learning, and to overall be decent human beings.

I dream of the milestones they will reach, graduation from kindergarten, then 6th grade, middle school, high school, college and the rite of passage we all go through. I also dream of the little bumps along the road they will face of which their mom and I will be there for them to help guide and steer them to come to a solution. All in all, I dream to grow “old” and to see my loved ones grow up before my eyes. It is all but a dream though…

I am (be)…

Just me, someone who’s doing my best to unravel the mystery of this so-called life.

* Optional:

3 things about me…

—I was an archaeologist

—Have been to Cusco twice, but never to Machu Picchu

—I loved The Fountain Head, but threw Atlas Shrugged across the room several times…

Diagnosis and Treatment

February 9, 2011: Lesion in medial right temporal parietal lobe found from CT scan, confirmed by MRI

February 15, 2011: Stereotactic Needle Brain Biopsy which diagnosed lesion as a hamartoma.

August 4, 2011: Craniotomy performed which diagnose lesion as grade II oligoastrocytoma

December 6, 2011: Radiation Therapy Session 1 of 28 (180 centigrade of radiation per session, 5,040 centigrade total)

January 18, 2012: Radiation Therapy Session 28 of 28

Current: Ongoing evaluations for recurring “episodes”

Favorite Quote

“Walk on road.  Walk left side, safe. Walk right side, safe. Walk middle, sooner or later, get squish just like grape…” – Mr. Miyagi

“Do or do not. There is no try.” – Master Yoda

If you would like to submit you profile for Brain Tumor Thursday, contact me through email at memomuse@gmail.com or find me on twitter at @memomuse1.

http://magicaljourneytoperu.intuitwebsites.com/Itinerary.html

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15 thoughts on “Archeology of a Brain Tumor

  1. Thank you so much for sharing your story here. I hope and pray your wishes and dreams come true! My mother was diagnosed with a brain met in 2008 (may have been ’07, I’d need to check). Gamma knife, first. Then craniotomy and, unfortunately, a fall in the ICU, hitting the part of her head that had been operated on, opening a hole in the sinus area — so air got into the skull/compressed the brain. Then, rounds of partial brain radiation. She’s been through so much. She is exceedingly brave, as you are surely exceedingly brave.

    Thank you memomuse for providing this venue.

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    • Terri,
      Thank you for sharing your story and your mother’s. That must have been very frightening for both of you. And you are welcome, it is my pleasure to provide a safe space for people to share their story with the mainstream. Brain tumors are more than scientific medical terms, they are attached to people with families and loved ones. These people have to reconcile some of the deepest emotions and some very frightening possibilities. I am always humbled at the depth of their stories. I will make sure John gets your comments.

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  2. The beauty and pain of this post brought me tears; not only for John, but also for Terri and her mother, my friend who rests peacefully now, and many others I have met recently who are fighting brain and other cancers.

    I pray for miracles, cures, energies…to cure John and allow his dreams…each and every one of them…to come true.

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    • Thanks Britton. Your comments are very sweet. I do pray for miracles too. There are too many good people with bad things happening to them. I don’t understand why there is so much suffering.

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    • Thanks Blazing Trail. Can’t you tell me your name? So kind of you to nominate me for an award. It’s an honor to receive this award from you. If I wasn’t covered in baby poop so often I’d visit your blog more often. Just today within ten seconds of each other, my son flooded the bathroom by turning on the water by placing the stopper in the sink, and then I scurried over there to clean it up. Next thing I knew he had a dog biscuit bone in his mouth and was wrapped in dental floss. Anytime I heard a remotely similar sound to water spilling over, I ran in that direction.

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      • You’re most welcome! Wow! That’s plenty of exercise right there! I definitely do not envy you and wish you every ounce of luck!!! See you around. Best Regards.

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  3. John thanks for sharing your beautiful post with us. Your strength is palpable in your style and your words. I wish for a world without cancer too, and hope all your dreams swirl delightfully into your reality. My family has dealt with cancer on many levels and will hold you in its thoughts as you work toward your hope of being “able to live my life the way I lived it before my diagnosis and not have the thought of my own mortality be at the forefront of my daily life…”

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    • Becky,
      Thank you for your beautiful comments and words. Cancer sucks! My father died of cancer. I just want to go get in a fist fight with cancer and knock it to the ground. Someday, there will be a cure for this horrible disease. In the meantime, it is the kindness of people like you that make it more bearable for others. I am sorry you have had your own struggles with cancer. I worked at a summer camp (Hole in the Wall Camps — Paul Newman started this organization) and it was terrible to see children with cancer. But what I did experience was the joy they felt the summer I spent with them. Perhaps cancer can teach us how to truly live. But I still want to kick its a$$. 🙂

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  4. Thank you everyone for your kind words and best wishes. As I mentioned to Megan when writing my entry, my hope is to share a small window in what someone like me, or anyone for that matter who is facing similar circumstances, goes through. For me personally, the emotional, mental, and psychological recovery have been much harder to bear in a way compared to the physical recovery though the root of things stems back to the physical. What I managed to put down in writing are some of the recent things that’s been swirling around in my head, but also “inspired” by those I’ve met along the way as I travel down this path where the final destination is yet unknown. A shared theme with those I’ve met is confronting the uncertainty that a brain tumor brings at seemingly every step of the way. Also, a commonality between those I’ve connected with is, we don’t necessarily fear death itself, but more “bummed out” on possibly missing out on those experiences we have expected to occur naturally as we live our lives. Again, thank you everyone, thank you to those who shared their stories, and thanks Megan for letting me share with everyone. In a bittersweet way, it is comforting to know we’re not alone.

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    • John,
      Your words are moving. You deserve all these things. I commend you on sharing your story. Life is a big mystery and when we can live each day with love and compassion, it is a beautiful day. I’m not even sure Yoda could make sense of brain tumors…with all his wisdom. Thank you for your wonderful comment. It was an honor to share your story and feel your kind presence on my blog. I’d write more but I fear I would sound cheesy and not quite as eloquent as you.

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    • John,
      Your words are moving. You deserve all these things. I commend you on sharing your story. Life is a big mystery and when we can live each day with love and compassion, it is a beautiful day. I’m not even sure Yoda would make of brain tumors…with all his wisdom. Thank you for your wonderful comment. It was an honor to share your story and feel your kind presence on my blog. I’d write more but I fear I would sound cheesy and not quite as eloquent as you. PS – Thank you for your honesty and integrity.

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  5. Awesome post! I can honestly say that upon reading it, I began tearing because of the inspiration it provided. Thank you for profiling brain tumor survivors, as it brings light to people’s stories that I would have never known about otherwise. And I just wanted to let you know that I nominated you for the One Lovely Blog Award! Congratulations on this much deserved award!! http://hurdlestohappiness.wordpress.com/2012/07/18/one-lovely-blog-award/

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