Friday, April 22, 2016

Chief Complaint, Brain Tumor




I once had somebody smart tell me that a good way to sort deal with a difficult situation is to get it out of your head by writing it down.

And while I couldn’t get my brain tumor out of my head by writing it down, I found that writing about my tumor (meningioma) helped me deal with it.

I generally tell folks that while there is nothing funny about having a brain tumor, like Roberto Benigni’s movie, Life is Beautiful, this book explains how I used humor to remain sane when faced with the insanity of a brain tumor the size of my wife’s fist.

The story loosely chronicles the first year I spent addressing tumor-related health issues: preparing for the (first) operation, having a skull infection, having the infected portion of my skull removed, undergoing rehab and radiation treatment, and learning to live with my “new normal” (the words “new normal” are the medical community’s code words for “you’re alive so quit complaining”).

More important than the details of my health woes, however, were my emotional reactions to those events.  As my health changed, so did my sense of humor. It started out superficially light-hearted prior to the first operation; transmogrified into gallows humor after several operations; and leveled out as somewhat wry-ish after radiation and significant rehab. You will see this in my often embarrassing interactions with friends, family and medical professionals of all shapes and sizes.

Should you for some strange reason want to know more or (gasp!) buy it, here’s some links:
 
 

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