My Brick from the Wall

Posted by on Nov 18, 2012 in 2012, Choken Word


Everyone has a different story
For we can never know
What it is like before
The word is spoken

I have an invasive tumor in my brain
Large in size it has found a bed
And made a home to call its own
One of brick that can’t be blown down
Sticks and stones make it stronger

It has grown for years and years
Undetected with no side effects
I did not veer from the fearlessness of youth
With dreams of kingdoms
Or maybe just a trip overseas
To raise my family without fear
Go to graduate school
To become a professional tool

The possible titles taken away from me when
The words brain tumor did strike
No one knows what it’s like
For each case is different
Some have only months
Some are lucky and live to write
To tell their story
About the brain tumor they did fight


Well it’s never easy
I’m still taking it in
If there was no mass
No extra brain mixing
Pressing against my tissue
Increasing the pressure that I feel
The headaches behind my eyes kill

Still, I’ve come a long way
For the journey has not been easy
It is epic in nature
It has instilled deep retrospection
About how we live
The legacy a person should give

What should be left behind
Words and actions form a life
I might not see my children grow up
But they can look at what I did and know
That it was all for them

I gave up eating meat so they could see
Fruits and vegetables are all we need
From the slavery of consumption
I bike commute so they could know
Cars are fleeting
One can get from A to B
One can be carbon free
One can think individually


We googled
We asked
We did not look at the given hour glass
Not accepting ones’ prognosis
When a doctors says no
We ask them to show us
To prove if they did know
For one reading to the next
Another opinion
Another test
The variables always change
Be ready to be frustrated
Calls not returned
Records not faxed
To some the word STAT means relax


There is only so much one can do
Surgery, radiation or a chemo stew
I’ve done it all now
Had my skull flap opened twice
Two inches of brain removed
Awoken paralyzed and paranoid
Not feeling my left side
I am still clumsy and bump into doors
One side is slower and numb
A little off but alive and then some

Oral chemo I did and do take
Whatever is needed to make it shrink
Nausea and fatigue I can handle for the fight’s sake

The radiation mask shaped and used
33 doses I did not refuse
As I was strapped to the table
My last name marked and labeled
So that the radiation would reclaim
The growth inside my brain
That was not invited


3 months after radiation treatment
El tumor is still retreating
I have anxiety about what is next
It seems we have finished the check list
Of all possible treatments
A couple of chemos not used yet
Could help if/when it comes back
For my tumor is not known to give up
This type of thinking causes an infinite loop
When to relax and live
When to enjoy the life I was given
The family we have grown
To live by the code I know
To live for the moment
To seek solace in each glance
Love the golden hour and its trance
As we watch the setting sun


I knew it would come
Statically I am not free from
The mass we have spent
Over a hundred thousand on
Recurrence came on quick like a fever
One MRI can halt your life forever
Act now or else….
So we got married
Seven years of waiting now over
I married my fiancé I so love
The mother of my two children
The Captain of our ship
Sailing us over the largest waves
Navigator of cancer clinics’ front staff
Health insurance rules and facts
Recurrence made us legit
To call her my wife
To know we are forever
More sickness than health
That, I will never forget


Radiation, I will explain
The R word alone causes pain
The nuclear option used to stop
The progress we happily forgot
Now new, options discussed
We progress
We act
Not knowing about the mask
Not knowing about hair loss
Not knowing about memory loss
Will I be able to work
Will I be able to walk
Possible side effects not glossed over
But printed out and discussed
Signature signed and dotted

33 days strapped to a table
The mesh mask strapped
No room for movement for it grips
You like Velcro
Lasers dancing around your frontal lobe
Pink Floyd playing each day to reclaim
My brick in the wall


An MRI can change your life
With words like shrinkage
With words like stable
With words like smaller
With chemo still to take
The years extend and you might find
That second chances happen
They did for me


We hope that life goes on and on and on
For everyone
For the survivors
For the families
Knowing the war is never won
But the moment can be shown
Through the challenges of cancer we face
We can meet them and embrace
New battles before the rising sun


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