Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Empowering Books

I feel like a chicken with its' head cut off. I think it's pretty normal to go a bit crazy after a bad sickness, and I'm no exception. After 10 days of laying in bed, I went nuts yesterday and conquered too much. It was just so nice to be able to get up and goof around. I've not only started back up on my artemisinin pills, I also laced up and jogged the lake too. While I was jogging, I swung by the Green Lake Library to get a long over due library card (pun intended). While there I randomly picked up two amazing books.

About two weeks ago I realized that people survive cancer all the time, beating the odds and surprising doctors. It's something that I knew, peripherally, but somehow it hadn't completely sunk in, the concept just wasn't quite tangible. I started to think about it though, the other day. I wondered how people are doing it, how are they outsmarting their cancer? Ever since this diagnosis, I've been trying to find my way, slowly figuring out the way to win. Apparently, I'm not the only one who has looked to survivors for guidance. The first book I picked up at the library is called, Cancer: 50 Essential Things To Do, by Greg Anderson. This book, although I'm only a few pages deep, has completely changed my life. The author was diagnosed with a nasty metastasized lung cancer and given only 30 days to live. Crazy, huh. Anyway, Greg was pretty upset for a few days, but then he realized that people beat cancer all the time, and it became his mission to listen to other survivors, trying to figure out the common threads of action. I recommend it to anyone fighting cancer, and also for anyone in the inner circle of support. It's so well written, so real, and truly, it's an inspiration, a motivation, and I just can't say enough about it.

The other book I found is called, Brain Surgeon, A Doctor's Inspiring Encounters with Mortality and Miracles, by Keith Black, MD. It's a neurosurgeon, his life story, his surgeries and his perspective on things. A sentence in his book, in one instant, helped me realize that my brain is elegant (a word that I never would have used to describe my brain, yet fits perfectly). He is completely fascinated by the brain, and as he speaks about tumors and the brain, he helps me fall in love with the big grey squiggles upstairs. 

Both books are empowering and positive. I'm so grateful that I can read again. I still can't conquer books the way I used to, but hey, reading is reading no matter how slow. The recovery from the brain tumor is recent enough that I can imagine life without being able to read. I remember the frustration of not understanding the concepts written on paper. I remember the lack of understanding with dialog and accents. I'm SO HAPPY to be able to read and understand written word. I will never take that for granted again. It's amazing how much reading energizes my soul and catapults me to a whole new mental state. Once you read something, you're a changed person. You've evolved. I love evolving. 


  1. Jess
    Love reading about you and books. See that you are having a little trouble with reading though. Have you considered vision therapy? I did vision therapy after my first brain tumor resection and am getting ready to get evaluated again next week since I just had this recent surgery. It helped me tremendously--I felt like I just couldn't read like I did before and I found a wonderful developmental optometrist who did evals and therapy for these types of things and she helped me really be able to read again like I wanted. I feel like I am having a little trouble again since surgery 2 weeks ago, so I am going to see what she thinks again. It's funny b/c I could see but my eyes were not tracking together properly and the one eye was having more trouble coming "in" and wanted to be kind of lazy during some of the testing. It was weird stuff but it made a huge difference for me. Just a thought...
    Your friend,

  2. Honey, Dr Black is the surgeon I saw interviewed regarding the possible connection between cell phones and brain tumors. I am so happy you've found his book, I didn't know he'd written one.

    hugs,hugs, big, big hugs,
    su mamasita


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