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Four years ago today, Dr. Craig Kemper cut open my skull and extracted a tumor the size of a racquetball. Because the tumor was wrapped around my brain stem, it was slow going – the procedure lasted about eight hours.

You’d think after four years that I might finally have a handle on what happened. I still don’t. Far from it, actually.

Being that it’s the anniversary date of my surgery, I am feeling especially reflective today. My head is a jumbled mass of relief, surprise, knowledge, sorrow, anticipation…you name it. On a day like today, it’s all there. Continue Reading »

Earlier this week, I shared with you the good fortune of “electronically meeting” fellow survivor Eric Galvez. As I said before, Eric has an amazing story – he was working as a physical therapist in San Diego when he was diagnosed with a golf ball sized brain tumor in 2005. After having it surgically removed, Eric was actually receiving rehab in the hospital where he worked!

He writes a great blog about his experiences and authored a tremendous book about his jouney: Reversal, when a therapist becomes a patient. You can order his book online by visiting here.

Galvez (as his friends call him) was nice enough to e-chat with me on several topics. Read further for the second installment of the two-part series…. Continue Reading »

“Tumors Suck!”

One of the pleasant side effects of this journey has been the opportunity to meet so many interesting people. From doctors and therapists to other survivors, the brain cancer community has done a tremendous job of using technology to network together.

I had the good fortune of “electronically meeting” fellow survivor Eric Galvez a few years ago. Eric has an amazing story – he was working as a physical therapist in San Diego when he was diagnosed with a golf ball sized brain tumor in 2005. After having it surgically removed, Eric was actually receiving rehab in the hospital where he worked!

He writes a great blog about his experiences and authored a tremendous book about his jouney: Reversal, when a therapist becomes a patient. You can order his book online by visiting here.

Galvez (as his friends call him) was nice enough to e-chat with me on several topics. Read further for the first installment of a two-part series…. Continue Reading »

Q: Every experience we have in life is for a purpose. Sometimes we have no clue why we are experiencing something we are going through – especially a medical issue, job loss/change or an unexpected death of someone close. So, looking at your situation and what you’ve been through over the past 3 years, have you figured out the “why” and how your life will be shaped by that experience?

A: Whoa. Dude. Heavy.

I completely agree with the idea that every challenge we face in life is for good reason. Accordingly, I have no doubt that my brain surgery journey is very much by design. Where it’s taking me it still a bit unclear, but I can share some early thoughts on the matter.

Continue Reading »

Q: What is the difference between “Brain Cancer” versus “Brain Tumor”?

A: This is an excellent question. Unfortunately it does not have an excellent answer! The differentiation between these two terms is a source of significant frustration to many of the survivors that I know. Continue Reading »

Following is the fourth entry in my Q & A series. Remember, this will last until y’all run out of questions! If you missed the first one, click here. This is the second entry. Here’s the third. To submit a topic, send me an email or just use the comment form below. There are no sacred topics, so ask whatever is on your mind and I will do my best to answer!

Q: How have you kept such a good attitude through all of this?

A: I get asked this question a lot, so I’m happy to share some insight here. There are two keys to understanding my attitude. Call them the “-ive’s”, as in alternat-ive & perspect-ive. Continue Reading »

Following is the third entry in my Q & A series. Remember, this will last until y’all run out of questions! If you missed the first one, click here. This is the second entry. To submit a topic, send me an email or just use the comment form below. There are no sacred topics, so ask whatever is on your mind and I will do my best to answer!

Q: From diagnosis to today, what has been the biggest surprise to you?

A: This journey has had more twists and turns than L’Alpe D’Huez. The most difficult thing to understand though is that this is permanent. That is not to say that I am worse off, far from it actually, but things are different now. Continue Reading »

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