Dedicated to Michael J Fox and Coldplay.

I’m talking to you. My peers, my sisters, my brothers, my siblings, my family, my people living with brain cancer. Listen. Life is pretty shitty sometimes, hell, who am I kidding? Life is pretty shitty pretty often.

And yet.

Thank G-d for brain cancer.

We are impacting the world for the better simply by living our lives. We are a window into the unknown of medical knowledge. We are the rare disease. We are the zebra hooves when the docs hear horses. We are the Keppra and the Dex. We are the gross total resection and the inoperable. We are the temozolomide and the bevacizumab. We are the slash, burn, and poison. We are the living wills and the advance directives. We are the POLST form and the pall care referral. We lose touch with our best friends for decades who can’t hang with the existential, and we are in a deep embrace with the person we just met at the radiology suite whose craniotomy scar matches our own. We are the dark humor cracking up at the funerals, and you ain’t seen nothing yet until you get to our celebration of life.

The world sees us and gets a dose of their own mortality.

It’s not a dream. Life is finite, fragile, beautiful, terrible, stupid, silly, and sublime. Can you hang?

We are the wheelchairs in the TSA line at the airport and the matching t shirts on advocacy day on the Hill. We are the disabled. We are the mighty. We are in your office demanding you to increase medical research funding.

We are the resilient, the brave, the stubborn, the can’t quit, the deeply attuned to what really matters, and we reject the platitude that everything happens for a reason. Fuck your reasons. Get brain cancer, then tell me about reasons.

We parent our kids. We love our spouses. Sometimes they leave us. Sometimes we leave them. We appeal the government’s decision to deny our disability benefits, and we press the boundaries of how inclusive our employers really are. We make you think of things you don’t want to, and we surprise you when you counted us out.

We are the gritty, the calloused, the gowned with our ass hanging out the back, the stick me with another needle and shove me in a machine. We wait for the radiology reports and roll our eyes when the oncologist asks us not to read our results in advance.

We were told we’d die.

We nodded and said, watch me live.

Shit, you just read this, and you wouldn’t have otherwise.

Thank G-d for brain cancer.

This blog post was published by Glioblastology on July 1, 2024. It is republished with permission.