The Brainchanceification Proclamation

If anything should ever happen to me (in an untimely fashion that is, where “timely” is defined as, I don’t know, 77 years old?)  I’d like somebody to deliver the following address at my funeral.

Dressed in an Abraham Lincoln costume.

With the beard and the hat.

No, I’m not kidding.

And don’t worry, I’m not writing this because I have any reason to believe I’m about to be de-fashioned in an untimely way.  (Although I do have an MRI on Thursday.  Crossing fingers, toes, and all other swinging appendages.)

I’m writing this because I wrote it, on my cell phone, in the dark of a movie theater after I watched “Lincoln.”

I was inspired by the soaring oratory of Spielberg-Kushner-Daniel-Day-Lincoln.  And was wondering why no one ever talks like that in normal everyday life.   Wondering why you’re expected to not be extremely articulate or particularly moving unless you’re on a podium or in front of a casket.  Or staring down the barrel of a gun.

I guess I am, in a sense, staring down the barrel of a gun.  Lucky for me that I have this blog to serve as an e-podium, otherwise I’d sound like a weirdo just walking down the street with a friend and offhandedly saying the following in a high-register Lincoln voice:

We work to conquer or circumvent these moments of fear, these times of terror and despair and lack of hope, so that we may enjoy each other and this thing called “life” in all its wonder and its glory… and not in its pain.

What else can we do or should we do but work to facilitate love, and smiling and laughing and joy.  Because the way to conquer fear and sadness is to replace them with hope, and with happiness; and while we wish this would happen freely and come to us like a gust of grace in the wind, sometimes it takes work.

The good news, friend, is that this is not something that is out of our control– in fact it is completely and very much up to us whether we choose to look forward, or to look down, or to turn away in fear.

For just as we can make the decision to stop and appreciate the smell of a flower or the beauty of a newborn baby, so can we choose to look fear in the eyes and say:

“This is not your time.  You will not hold sway over me now.”

And we can do this with the confidence that comes from knowing one thing: that the world will always be filled with beauty and wonder and hope, so long as we are willing to find it, to let it find us, and to accept it, always, with open arms.

Charles Phillip Peacock Jr.

(For the record, I would not be against having Daniel Day Lewis there to read this in the Lincoln costume.)

Positive Side Effects

It’s occurred to me more than once since the advent of this brainy chance that it’s actually kind of odd (and possibly even illogical, based purely on the laws of chance) that all the medications and chemotions and invisible death rays I’ve been subjected to don’t have any positive side effects.  I mean, why not?  If side effects are for all intents and purposes random (i.e. not planned by the makers of aforementioned brain-additives), then wouldn’t it make just as much sense for radiation to cause the growth of flowing golden Disney princess locks as it would for it to make your hair fall out?

On some alternate planet, purple human beings (green and blue being spoken for by cliché and Avatar, respectively) gather around to celebrate when somebody gets cancer, because “Oh hooray!  Wait’ll you see all the awesome fireworks that are gonna start shooting out of your ears when you ingest those glowing cancer curing horse pills!”

But here on planet This One, you never see this fine print…

Side effects may include:

  • A constant and overwhelmingly pleasant sense of well-being;
  • $452,000 being deposited into your checking account;
  • The ability to speak passable 17th century French, Portuguese and Russian;
  • An erection lasting more than 4 hours

Oh wait, that last one is negative.  And apparently real.

But anyway, this whole idea keeps popping up in my head because I could swear–I COULD SWEAR–that every time I take my anti-seizure medication, I’m suddenly in a good mood about 20 minutes later.  Not in a crazy holy-shit-I’m-on-ecstasy-your-hair-feels-so-amazing good mood, just a regular old fashioned, extremely natural-feeling good mood.  Like, “Hey, shit’s alright… I’m havin’ a good day!”

KEPPRA {levetiracetam} Side effects may include:

  • mild dizziness or drowsiness;
  • loss of appetite
  • Havin’ a good day!

Wouldn’t that be nice?  Why isn’t the world like THAT?

Well maybe it is actually.  Speaking of loss of appetite, another of the awesome (possible) side effects I’ve been experiencing is “Less of a desire to be a great big fat person who injects chocolate cake into his mouth with a compression hose 24 hours a day.”  In other words, I don’t eat as much anymore.  I eat when I’m hungry, and that’s about it.  And since I’ve been exercising, as a result my weight is right where I like it to be and I feel (in that respect at least) totally good.

So that’s worth writin’ home about!  (“So that’s worth postin’ to my blog about!”)

Oh and yeah, while we’re on the subject, there are a few other positive side effects that I should probably inject here.  Right at the end.  The fine print.  (Please read the following in that very light, breathy announcer guy’s voice they use at the end of all the pharmaceutical commercials:)

BRAIN CANCER (glioblastoma} Side effects may include:

  • A heightened awareness of the value and indispensability of friendship;
  • A strong desire to live every fucking day to its fullest;
  • The ability to one-up any story ever;
  • Better, richer relationships with your relatives and loved ones;
  • An even greater appetite for smelling roses;
  • Some of your life goals and greatest dreams coming true.

I mean it ain’t ALL wine and roses, this BrainChance thing, but it has its upside(s).

And that’s something.

Made It!

Birthday!  Touchdown!  Peacock 37, Brain Chance 1.

37-doak-walker

Ever since I was a kid, I always defaulted to the number 37 when I needed a random number for something.  It just always seemed to clearly be the weirdest, most random number you could come up with.

I still think it’s a pretty weird, random number, but now I have to hope that it stays that way.  I was joking with a friend the other day that there would be some very intense personal twilight zone irony involved if 37 wound up being My Last Number.  (Although I think the 12 year old version of me would get a laugh out of that… and honestly in a way I think I would too.)

But that’s not to say we’re reaching the end of any sort of road here in downtown Brainchancington!  In fact there have been all sorts of lovely new beginnings happening lately.  2013, for example.

And so a Happy New Year to all of you!  I hope your poop today is as sparkly as mine.

(Note to self: Next time you’re grinning stupidly at a chorus line of dancers who appear to be exploding into bursts of glitter, confetti and balloons at midnight on New Year’s Eve, try to keep your mouth closed.  Unless you want sparkly poop, that is.  Oh and also cover the top of your champagne glass.  And your beer.  Hey, why are you double fisting it?  Because it’s New Years, why aren’t you?)

Since it is the time of year for celebration and rumination, here’s something I was ruminating on last night:  2012 was a pretty great year, all things considered.

First of all, it wasn’t boring.  Man was it not boring!

I can’t think of another year when I’ve experienced so much love, so much intense and beautifully overwhelming emotion, and so much growth (of both the tumorous and non-tumorous kind).

It’s 2013, and I’m still here.  (Sing to the tune of “Jimmy Crack Corn and I Don’t Care”)

On that note, I resolve on this first day of 2013 to be here in 2014.

And if this year is anything like the last one, I’m going to be a happy, happy man 365 days from now.  (With glitterless poop, if I’m any good at learning from experience.)  And I owe pretty much all of that to you.

Oh and one final note!  I forgot to update after my last brain-test, so I’ll do it super quick right now:  Brain Chance is relatively stable at the moment, so we keep on keepin’ on, one foot in front of the other like they teach us, like we teach us, and after all what feels better than moving forward, rounding corners, jumping over cracks, being not boring?  In the very least, it reminds us that we’re alive.

Terry Fox reminded me of that.