Feedback on the blog has been excellent – we’re going to surpass 3,000 total hits today, with over 850 unique viewers. A number of readers have suggested I turn it into a book. I’m grateful for the positive feedback and appreciate the encouragement, but as I wrote earlier, I want this to be about a cancer survivor, not a cancer patient. And I don’t want to jinx things by presuming an outcome that hasn’t been realized yet.
Meanwhile, I’m doing my positive visualizations, one of which is the day that I can start working on this book in earnest. This is a particularly gratifying and happy visualization on which to reflect. My mind, ever optimistic, naturally has started to plan the broad strokes for the book, and topics to be covered that I have not yet covered in the blog. Given some documented problems with executive function, planning, etc. that stem from my surgery, planning out this book would actually be useful from a rehabilitation perspective. Likewise, this is the sort of thing that self-help books would call “creating a positive expectancy.” Basically, instead of pulling the covers over your head and tuning out, you’re moving forward and expecting to enjoy the full spectrum of life’s pleasures. Rather than lower expectations by indulging in rank superstition, maybe it’s better to create your own luck by being positive. In any case, I woke up last night at 4am with the dedication of this book in my head (I wake up at 4am often these days). So, as long as I’m thinking about it, I might as well put some thoughts down on (virtual) paper.
This book / blog is dedicated to the physicians, nurses, technicians, and therapists (consummate professionals all) that treated my body when I was diagnosed with brain cancer. It’s also dedicated to the best physician in the world, my lovely and loving wife, Dr. Jing Hughes, who treated the rest of me.
“All of my strength: A neuroscientist’s experience with brain cancer, rehabilitation, and recovery.” (Note that I studiously avoid the grotesque euphemism “journey“.)
I mentioned earlier that I’ve started visualization exercises where as I breathe in, I imagine every possible cancer-killing white blood cell in my body moving towards the cavity in my brain where the tumor used to be. When I breathe out, I visualize these cells attacking and killing residual tumor cells left behind by the surgery. During the course of these exercise, I found myself saying “all of my strength” as I breathe in; the complete thought being: “mobilize all of my strength (especially my immune system) to fight the goddamn tumor.” Perhaps this is hocus pocus mysticism, but it sounds an awful lot like a proper mantra to me. Regardless, “all of my strength” is a fitting title for my approach to beating this tumor.