Wednesday, April 29, 2015

“The Brain Tumor Is Benign, but Threats Remain”

That’s the headline of a New York Times article by Emily Dwass about the misconception that a “benign” means, well, “benign”, as in “not causing death or serious injury” (according to the Merriam Webster online dictionary).

For meningioma brain tumor victims this is, of course, horseshit.

Dwass goes on to put a lie to that myth saying, “In the frightening world of brain a tumor, 'benign' is a good word to hear. But even a nonmalignant tumor can be dangerous — especially if, as in my case, it goes undetected, becoming a stealth invader.”

She goes on to talk about her initial diagnosis, operation and ongoing tumor troubles in her well-written article:

For meningioma brain tumor sufferers, the insult to significant injury is that when you tell friends, family and business associates that you’re tumor is “benign”, they mistakenly think that you’re going to be all right, just as you were, normal.

One terrific website for victims and caregivers alike is which connects benign brain tumor survivors and caregivers. If you read the survivor stories, you soon find yourselves learning about victims that can no longer work, that have parts of their body that no longer work or the hard work they endure every day just to eat, drink and sleep.

I also recommend that you read Liz Holzemer’s well-written book “Curveball: When Life Throws You a Brain Tumor.” You can read my review here: 

Holzemer also started a terrific nonprofit entitled "Meningioma Mammas" whose mission is to provide support and resources to all those affected by meningioma brain tumors:

Unfortunately, I can state with the pain of experience that they are a serious pain-in-the-ass. Actually, that’s not quite correct; they’re more like a pain in the head. I’ve wrote about my own personal brain tumor in “Chief Complaint, Brain Tumor”.

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