Woke Up This Morning To A Smoothie

Unfortunately it wasn’t the mixed berry kind I’d had yesterday.

No, this morning in the midst of an early snugglefest with Dutch de Dog, something trippy clicked in the old brain piece, and I felt like I might be on the highway to seizure-town.  It wasn’t an unpleasant smoothie (which you’ll remember from this post is the term I use for my pre-seizure “aura” feelings), and I was in a very safe place (in my bed, with Dutch by my side) so I wasn’t too worried.  But these things still always come with a tint of terror; part of the smoothie package is that “this could be the seizure that you just never wake up from!”  So to play it safe I reached over and downed some (always on hand) anti-seizure medication.  And then nothing happened.  Which is good.  Even better, one of those medications moonlights as an anti-anxiety drug, so I spent the morning feeling rather un-anxious.  Which was even more nice.  But another one of the other side effects of this anti-seizure-anxiety drug is deep sleepiness, so despite it being 8AM and me having had  a very solid and comfortable nights’ sleep, I totally passed out face down for another hour.  And upon waking up felt like somebody had mainlined Nyquil into my carotid artery.  So I was a little groggy.

So it goes.

But now I’m awake again, and it’s a beautiful day, and yesterday a few really nice things happened that I’d like to mention here.

1) There’s a new world record GBM survivor that I just heard about who is actually someone that I know! (Though a friend of a friend of a friend, but it’s a close enough connection to be very real and very exciting.)  This guy, you see, I was just told yesterday was diagnosed with GBM 15 years ago.  FIFTEEN FREAKING YEARS AGO!!!  When you got GBM 15 years ago, most doctors would just lightly pat you on the shoulder and apologize and say something like “You’re totally goners pal, sorry,” but this guys has managed to stay alive for 15 years from that moment!  And not only that, from what I hear he is thriving.

The longest continuing GBM survival I’d heard of before this was 7 or 8 years, and I just realized that for a long time I’ve kept that number in my head as the “Best Case Survival Scenario.”  So 43/44 has been my high limit for how long I’d allow myself to dream that I will still be alive.  And then this guy comes along and ups the ante to 15 years!  36 + 15 = 51 — I’d make it to my 50s!  Man I could get A LOT done by then.  (As long as all this seizing and smoothing stops, that is).

But anyway, this is extremely heartening news to myself– and to anyone else out there reading this who has GBM, I promise you this is true!  I will hopefully be talking to him in the near future and will find out what he’s been doing to keep himself… doing, and as long as it doesn’t involve anything crazy like regular trips to the moon or freebasing shark cartilage for breakfast, I will report on anything that seems relevant and helpful to myself and my fellow GBM All Stars (and we’re all All Stars, since  GBM is the Major Leagues of Cancer).

2) Yesterday in the same phone conversation I was told about a foundation that is dedicated to helping people who have cancer live their lives and FEEL alive and (most importantly) do the things that make them feel most alive.  Whether those things are sport or exercise or arts related, this magical foundation puts people together with the things they need to help them lift up their own cancer riddled bodies and get out into the world and try to feel ALIVE again.  If you’ve been reading my recent posts you’ll know that this is exactly the type of thing I’ve been experimenting with and hoping to trying to do more of, so to think that somebody already established a foundation specifically for the purpose of helping cancer patients run up mountains or paint or weave or or take yoga classes really shows me that the world isn’t quite as sad and cynical as we can easily begin to believe if we’re not careful.

When you’re in a bad spot, there are people out there who care, and who want to help you.  I have been the recipient of a great whopping dollop of this type of care and help, and despite the unfortunate memory of that Kevin Spacey movie I am very much dedicated to (and obsessed with the idea of) paying that shit forward.

So I’m going to make a remake of “Pay It Forward,” starring only people with terminal cancer!

Everyone on the crew has to have cancer, too, and the big players have to have big cancers.

I’m the screenwriter, I’ve got brain cancer… check!  √
the Director should have or have had something impressive like lung cancer or liver cancer (which implies that they’ve done it to themselves)
The Producers all have to have stage 4 pancreatic cancer
The actors all need to be bald, and in the MIDDLE of chemotherapy treatment…
And finally, all the low-level assistants and PA’s need to at least have a low-grade melanoma.

Sounds like a blast, right?  Getting the production insured might be a bit of a problem, but hopefully the Affordable Care Act has stupulations related to that as well.

{All of the above is a joke.  Or at least that last movie part.  Maybe.}


Anyway where was I?

I woke up this morning to a smoothie, but things could be worse so I expect the rest to go smoothly.

And I can now begin to envision myself as a 51 year old man.

Not a bad Tuesday.  Not a bad Tuesday at all.

Let’s hope I can roll this over into Wednesday, and from there all the way to my birthday, on December 28th… 2026.

In The Mood For Absorption (and Blaming)

At the very end of Wong Kar-wai’s film “In The Mood For Love” (which by a great leap of luck I just saw in the theater), a quote appears on the screen that has nothing to do with what I’ve been going through, but nonetheless struck me as particularly applicable to how I’ve been feeling for the past year:

“He remembers those vanished years.  As though looking through a dusty window pane, the past is something he could see, but not touch.  And everything he sees is blurred and indistinct.”

In the film, this quote refers to a particularly vivid and fruitful time in a man’s life that he probably wishes he could remember better.  Or even better, a time that he wishes he could experience all over again (through memory, or time travel, or some other form of magic).  But he can’t.  He can barely touch it.  But it was there.  It almost is, still there.

What struck me about this quote (even though it was written in Chinese) was that it’s pretty much exactly how I feel about my about my every day.  Even though it was meant to refer to memory, to past experience (and I’m sure all of you reading this can understand it well in that context), it crystallizes exactly how I feel about my present.

My present, to my great and powerful consternation, feels blurred and indistinct.  A large part of my day feels as if I’m looking through a dusty window pane, where the thoughts and emotions and sights before me are things that I can see, but not quite touch.

Life itself feels vanishing— it disappears more quickly than I can absorb it.

And the question that keeps running through my head as a result is “Are you really living if you’re not really absorbing what you’re living?”  This is scary question to ask, when you’re not quite sure of the answer.

There are moments that are clear, to be sure.  When I’m writing, it feels clear.  When I’m jogging, it feels clear.  When I’m laughing with friends or staring at 500 million year old rocks, life feels pretty clear.  And good.  And happy.

But a lot of the time, it doesn’t feel very clear at all.  Which scares me.  And frustrates me.  And I guess I just need to acknowledge that.

A friend reminded me today that we’d just had lunch last week, and when she said it I didn’t believe her.  After some cajoling and nudging (on her part) and apologizing and cursing (on my part), I realized it was true.  Which felt like a victory— I DID remember it after all!— but also felt like a horrible failure:  Why did it take me so long to remember it?

Other friends keep good-naturedly reminding me that this sort of mental deterioration is normal for those of us pushing middle age (or being pulled down by old age), but it’s no consolation to hear from other people that “Yeah I don’t remember shit anymore either!”

I want my brain back.  I know how it works, how it’s supposed to work.  One thing I do remember exactly is exactly how it worked before I went to Hong Kong (the setting, ironically, of the film that I just saw.  I haven’t heard that much Cantonese in one room since Jonny Slow Hands had his Slow Hands inside my brains).

It’s just that, to continue with the China references, I sometimes fear that over the last year I took a Great Leap Forward into the mind of an 80 year old man.  Which wouldn’t be so bad— and isn’t such a horrible price for being alive, after all— save for the fact that if I do make it the 42.5 additional years required to become an 80 year old man (that’s a lot of National Parks!), I cringe to think how my brain will be working then.  If this is how it is now, in 42.5 years (let alone 12 months) will I just be some drooling bag of Jello whose only daily neurological solace comes from the fact that he still finds farts and Daily Show reruns to be hilarious?

I realize at this point some of you might be ready to press the “waa waaaaa glass half empty” button, and I do apologize that this post isn’t as cheerful as the last.  I’m not feeling particularly uncheery at the moment— the movie was great, and my glass is actually almost exactly 1/2 half full (of Bulleit, soda, bitters and ice— delicious!).  And I meant everything I said about those parks, and about jogging and laughing and writing.  Those all still do feel great.

I just want my brain back.  I don’t mind that it has a hole in it (I do actually still find that really and particularly cool, and wouldn’t spackle it back up even if I could), it’s just that my old brain, the way it used to work, is so close that I can almost touch it.  It’s right there, on the other side of that dusty window pane.  I know it’s there.  But I can’t quite touch it.

Sometimes I am able to almost touch it (in fact I can walk into my bedroom right now and literally touch it, since I have by my bed a box of pathology slides containing infinitesimally thin slices of it).  But it’s this near-yet-untouchable proximity (and this clear memory of the way it was before) that I’m finding really frustrating.  And I guess I just need to express that frustration.

I hope it gets better.  I really hope that it does. [3]

And if it doesn’t?  Well look at this glass of bourbon and soda— it’s 37.636% full! [2]

whiskey glass

So what do I have to complain about!? [1]


[1] Not a goddamn thing.

[2] And I’m 37.636% old!

[3] In case you’re wondering if it actually WILL get better (lord knows I am), the answer to that depends mainly on the reasons for why it’s gotten like this in the first place.  Rather than blaming it on the cancer, or the hole in my brain, I blame it on Rio.  And the chemo.  And (possibly) the anti-seizure medication that I have to take every day.  But I can’t stop taking that, unless I want to start having more than one smoothie a day! [4]

[4] You see how tricky this whole BrainChance™ thing starts to get?  The stuff that keeps you up is the very same stuff that keeps you down!  Ah, hell– I’m just gonna blame it solely on Rio.  Well… how ’bout on Rio, and on The Bossa Nova. [5]

[5] Speaking of the Bossa Nova, Eydie Gorme just died last week, at the ripe old age of 84 (I swear I didn’t even know that until I put the link on that last footnote– which I highly recommend clicking).  84!?!  Maybe this blaming it on the Bossa Nova thing really works!  So screw Rio, and all the medication.  They had nothing to do with it.  I solely blame the Bossa Nova! [6]

[6] And don’t you even think about telling me to Blame It On The Rain, because every neuro-oncologist worth his salt knows that Milli Vanilli totally cures brain cancer. [7]

[7] I’ll prove it:  at this very moment, I am totally rocking out to “Blame It On The Rain” AND LAUGHING AT THE SAME TIME, which means honestly and truly, at this exact moment, I don’t give a goddamn shit about the fact that I have brain cancer.  See? I told you!  Don’t you dare blame it on the rain! [8]

[8] Cuz the rain don’t mind.  And the rain don’t care. [9]

[9] I think the lesson here is clear, thanks to the poetry of both Wong Kar-wai AND Milli Vanilli:

Whatever you do, don’t put the blame on you.


While by that title you may think I’m hunting down a deft South Korean neuro-oncologist who’s on the verge of something big, the happy pursuit I’m actually referring to is the continuation of my recent theory that United States National Parks cure cancer.

After what I’ve seen this month, I can tell you quite confidently that they do.

At least temporarily.

After my recent visit to Acadia, my friend’s mom asked me “How was the trip?” and without hesitation (or perhaps even exaggeration) I smiled, shook my head, and told her “I think that trip just added a year to my life.”  She smiled and nodded with complete understanding.  “So I’ve got at least one year left!” I said.  Then her face lit up.  “You should go to Utah!” she said.  “That’s three or four more years right there!”

And so I went.  Taking the long way home from the East Coast to California, I passed through Utah.  Through Arches, Canyonlands, Bryce Canyon, and Zion National Parks.  I was lucky (and awake) enough to be able to do that.  In one fell swoop.  In one fell Buick Regal rental car.

And so it is that I now know I will live at least 5 more years.  Acadia + Arches + Canyonlands + Bryce + Zion = I will live to see 42.  That is, as long as this experimental National Parks clinical trial turns out to be the real deal.   And assuming I wasn’t just administered a placebo in the form of some kind of weird hallucination-inducing Buick Regal.

But back to Utah.  Man I’d like to go back to Utah.  In October, when it isn’t 8,000 degrees and I have more time and energy and there isn’t an invading army of French families roaming the sandstone cliffs in their own fleet of rented Buick Regals (turns out they know how to enjoy our country better than we do).

It was a fast trip, but it was a spectacular trip.  And even in its fast spectacularity, it probably did add at least a few years to my life.  It definitely added a few days.  It definitely gave me quite a few moments and hours of Totally Feeling Like I Don’t Have Cancer, Or If I Do Who Fucking Cares Look How Beautiful This Place Is!

I mean, look how beautiful this is (and I don’t just mean that Dutch the Dog):

Dutch at Bryce Canyon at sunrise

When you’re in a place like that, at sunrise, looking at something like THAT, you can’t think about cancer.  You can’t think about anything bad, or annoying, or sad.  When you’re looking at something like THAT, you actually can’t think about anything at all!  All your mind can do (aside from trying to keep your jaw from completely falling off) is to process the unadulterated beauty that is being laser-beamed into your eye sockets at the speed of light.

It forces you into a state of meditation.  If you’re a meditator (or even if you’re not, and are meditate-curious), you’ll recognize the appeal in having a moment where your brain isn’t doing any planning or worrying or even thinking.  It’s just taking in.  And relaxing.  And enjoying being here.  Which, if your state of “being here” is in imminent danger (like mine), is especially refreshing.

And it turns out somebody already thought of this!

(And I don’t mean the Mormons– although they were certainly onto something staking their claim to this state.)

It turns out somebody already realized how life-affirming and life-giving beautiful places like National Parks can be– and it also turns out that they already did something about it!

You see, when I was at the gate to Arches National Park at around 7 in the morning having a lovely chat with Friendly Happy Janet of the Parks Service (turns out everybody that works in these places is both friendly and happy– gee I wonder why), I noticed a little sign on the window that said that disabled people get a free lifetime pass to all the national parks and forests.  How lovely is that!  I said so to Janet, who immediately asked if I was disabled.  I laughed, and having already (gladly) paid my entrance fee, I told her “no, I’m not disabled.  I only have brain cancer.”  Upon realizing that despite my smile I was being serious, she smiled back and said “well that counts!” and proceeded to give me a free lifetime pass to all the U.S. National Parks and Forests.  How great is that!



It’s really wonderful that there was a meeting somewhere sometime where a bunch of Parks Service employees all agreed that people with disabilities should be able to get their eyes laser-beamed with shit like this for free, whenever they want.  Because clearly, if these places can cure cancer, they can cure all sorts of ills.  I love that they did that.  And I love that Janet, despite my insistence on paying, gave me my money back with a free lifetime pass.

Thanks Janet.

Thanks for helping me see more stuff like this:

Bryce Canyon

Bryce Canyon

And this:



And this:



Thanks for helping to cure my brain chance.  At least for a couple of days.  And maybe for a couple of years.

The Acadian Cure

I’ve been exploring an idea for some time now about the nature of the word “cure.”  When you have cancer (even better: brain cancer!  Whoopty-doo!) you’re hyper-aware of the fact that there is no cure.  There is no one thing that wham-bang-there-you-go-that’ll-be-fifty-bucks wipes it out of your body like an infection that was there and now just isn’t there anymore.

There are things that are close, and there are things that are getting closer (which is nice).  For some types of cancer, there are already pretty reliable ways to eliminate them for good (which is great).  That said, one thing you’ll never hear any oncologist say is something like this:

“Oh your type of cancer?  We TOTALLY have a cure for that!”

At least, I’ve never heard any oncologist say that.

Then again, I have glioblastoma  multiforme, the Penultimate Brain Cancer (some might even say The Penultimate Cancer.  {There I go playing the “my cancer is better than your cancer” card again.  It’s something we GBM’ers find to be a nice distraction from the gun inside our head pointing at… the rest of our head.})

Despite being nested inside two parentheticals, that word: “distraction,” gets right to the heart of this idea I have about cures.

Is a cure only something that completely rids a person of a malady or disease?  And if it’s anything less than that, does it make it not a cure?

When we talk about cures—particularly when we talk about cures for cancer—we always frame it in terms of a “magic bullet” that does away with “an enemy” once and for all.

But maybe that isn’t a very helpful way to think about it.

We’re all going to die, after all.  Every goddamn one of us.  (Or, if your business is in god-believing, every godloved one of us.)  So a cure for one type of sickness or death could just as easily be seen as A Ticket To Allowing Something Else To Kill You.  As in: “Hooray!  I’m cured of cancer!  Here’s my ticket to that speeding bus 13 years down the road that just sped up a little bit more in hot anticipation of another victim!”

But what sense would it make to look at life like that?  I say not much at all.  (Although it is a funny thought for a moment or two.)

If you’re still following me with this post, and this idea (look, I said it was an idea, not a perfectly crystallized theory), then see if you agree with this:

If a cure isn’t just something that allows us to die another way, maybe what it is is something that lets us live another day.

In that sentence (and herein lies the root of my idea) the word “day” really stands for any amount of time at all.  Any significant amount of time at all.  Because maybe what a cure really is (and this is what it feels like to me) is something that just lets us live, just lets us feel alive, and not just sick, for any valuable little chunk of time at all.

Following that logic, I can say this without any hesitation and with absolute certainty that I’m not only right but not even exaggerating:

Yesterday, I was cured of cancer by a hike to the top of Cadillac Mountain.

cadillac mountain

It turns out that Acadia National Park in Maine is so astonishingly fucking beautiful that it cured my cancer for a whole day.  Yesterday, I didn’t have brain cancer.  What I did have was a 360 degree view of Mount Desert Island and Frenchman Bay, an uncannily intelligent and loyal dog named Dutch, and an unlimited supply of fresh blueberries, which remind me of my Pop Pop, are a great anti-cancer food, and grow pretty much all over the fucking place around here.  So yesterday was a good day.  I was totally cured of cancer yesterday.

As ready as I am to submit myself as test subject in a clinical trial to prove that the National Parks of the United States of America do in fact cure brain cancer, I have found that there are some other promising potential cures out there— many of them within a short trip of no matter where you live.  Laughter is one of them.  Hope is another.  Those two things regularly make me feel like I felt yesterday: cured.  Which is to say, alive.  Which is to say, not sick.  I wasn’t ignoring that I still had cancer (because I still did have cancer), the thing was that yesterday it just didn’t matter.  I was alive.

Me & Dutch on Cadillac Mountain

So I hope to visit all the National Parks, because if they’re all this beautiful (I’ve seen a couple others, and they were), then they probably all cure cancer.

And even if I never get to visit them all, that little thought nugget alone—that hope that I’ll get to see them all— is a tiny cure in itself.  It’s something positive to occupy my brain.  Something to look forward to.  A reminder that I’m still alive, and that I am still looking forward.

And that’s something.

That’s a kind of cure now, isn’t it?

– CP

PS:  To give you some idea of how astonishingly beautiful Acadia National Park is, as I reached the top of Cadillac Mountain I actually began to weep.  If you’ve been following this blog you know that I’m no stranger to happy tears, but this place really is something else.  Go, if you can.

And if you do, do yourself a favor and eat the blueberries.


(I just said “do do” ; )

Frequently Asked Questions About Brain Tumors

One of the nifty features of writing a blog (instead of a book, or a journal, or a fortune cookie fortune) is you can see exactly how many people are reading it, where they’re reading from (I know you’re on your phone, on the toilet, and I’m OK with that), and in some cases you can even figure out why they’re reading it.

There are probably two main “why’s” that lead people to this BrainChancery: either they know me and they’re curious how (or if) my brain chance is developing, or they don’t know me and they’ve come across this blog somewhat unintentionally as a result of some (generally worried, and probably late-night) google searching.

Which leads me to the nifty part: the WordPress blogging software actually shows me a list of the most popular (and unpopular) search terms that randomly lead people to this blog.  Some are questions, some are (interestingly) statements.  I’ve been compiling a list of some of my favorites, and I’d like to share them with you.  I would also like to respond to and if possible answer some of them, since it’s clear that many of the virtual people who e-arrive here are looking for real answers.  Real answers about BRAIN CANCER!

So here are some of the exact search terms (word for word) that people have typed into computers and as a result have been delivered to my BrainChancery:

– “How do i know if i have a tumor in my head?”
Great question, Todd from Poughkeepsie.  Simple answer: find a machine (magical or otherwise) that can show you the insides of your brain.  I recommend an MRI machine (not a shaman).  Failing that, get someone to actually look inside your brains by cutting open your skull and digging around in there.  (NOTE: The first method has fewer side effects, but the second might, depending on the results of the MRI, be required anyway.  Also don’t use a shaman for this second part.)

– “What does it feel like when you have a tumor first growing in the brain”
Having never had a tumor that wasn’t first growing in the brain, I can’t really compare.  But I can still give a definitive answer:  tumors take up space, and your skull is already pretty crowded with brain.  As a result, having a tumor in your brain feels like having too much stuff inside your skull.  Literally.  That’s what it felt like for me, at least.  It gave me a headache.

– “What do you feel like when you have a brain tumor?”
Similar to the last question, but the answer is much more complicated.  What do I feel like, having a brain tumor?  Sometimes, pretty amazing.  Other times, kinda horrible.  In that sense not that different than what I felt like when I didn’t have a brain tumor–  just much, much more intense in both directions.  There’s intense pain, both physical and emotional, but there’s also a lot of other intense stuff that ranges from the totally trippy (like my smoothies) to the absolutely deliriously wonderful (like my life, and my friends, and this world).  That’s how I feel, at least.  I don’t know how you feel.  A lot of times I feel sleepy.

– “Pretty sure I have a brain tumor.”
Pretty sure you don’t.  Then again, what the hell do I know.  I don’t even know you!  Which brings up a better point: What I do know is that if you’re telling Google you’re pretty sure you have a brain tumor, you’d probably be better off having that conversation with a human being.  Ideally, a medical professional.  Failing that, at least a friend.  I mean, what kind of response are you looking for when you tell a computer you’re pretty sure you have a brain tumor? For it to respond “Nah, bro, you’re totally fine.”  Or “Yeah I totally think you do too.  You’re gonna die in like five minutes, so hurry up and look at some porn or pictures of kittens.”   (The computer will of course already know which you prefer, and will give the appropriate response.)

– “Passing out brain tumor”
I hope by that you mean you’re passing out a brain tumor (in the way that one passes gas) and not passing out because of a brain tumor.  If it’s the latter, you’ve got more than flatulence to worry about.

– “How can I know if I had a brain cancer?”
If you had a brain cancer, there are two options: A) you’re now dead, and how are you accessing the Internet from heaven?  Or B) you somehow weren’t paying attention during those 12-36 months of surgery, radiation, and chemotherapy that made the aforementioned brain cancer go away.  Actually, there is a third option:  C) Your awkward grammar and verb tenses could very well be a sign of some kind of cancer of the brain.*

*NOTE: I’m totally kidding, and at your expense.  But  you probably don’t have brain cancer and I do, so just laugh and let me get away with this one.  Just this one time.  Sorry.  Thanks.

– “i fink ive got a brain.tumor”
I fink you do.too.  And I wish my email address was chad@brain.tumor.  I’m sorry, it’s so tempting to keep making fun of the phrasing of some of these questions.  But we’re talking about BRAIN CANCER for godssakes, and that’s not funny at all!  I’ll prove it.  Let’s continue…  (I swear these are all 100% real…)

–  “I’m turning 37.”
You are?  Congratulations!  And you probably don’t even have brain cancer!  More importantly, though, why are you telling Google and not your friends?  And why for the love of god did you click on this blog amongst all the other results you were probably given?

–  “Something ugly in my brain”
Ugh.  You and me both.  All of us, in fact.  Here’s just hoping that YOUR brain ugly consists of  imaginative thoughts, not malignant cancer.   If it is imaginary ugly, however, do us all a favor and keep it to yourself.  If it’s cancer, do yourself a favor and deal with it as quickly as possible.

– “Chan Ping Hong”
Since I don’t think the Hong Kong Yelp has reviews for neurosurgeons, I’ll put my two cents on record and give old Jonny Slow Hands a four star rating.  I trusted him with my brain, and he didn’t let me down.  Plus, his cell phone ringtone was a Bach concerto, which I feel like is a good sign.  He also has very soft hands.  Do yourself a favor and don’t shake them too hard if and when you meet him.

– “chad peacock brain cancer”
That’s me, forever immortalized (as far as the Internet goes) as good old Chad “Brain Cancer” Peacock.  Hooray for that.  Thank god I totally made my mark on the world by getting cancer in my brain.

– ” ‘get to see the light of day’ meaning”

How on earth this search led to my blog I have no idea.  But I found it kind of beautiful that it did.  There are lots of things we hope get to see the light of day, and lots of things we hope never do.  If you do really have a brain tumor, I hope it gets to see the light of day.  Because that means somebody took it out of your head.  And trust me, it’s better on the outside than on the inside.   If your brain tumor gets to see the light of day, you might even be able to laugh about it one day!

Speaking of laughing about brain cancer, that’s it for “Hilarious Brain Cancer Search Terms Of The Day”.  Before I sign off though, I would like to mention that all of the above is not intended to make light of the probably slightly (or less than slightly) terrified people who are searching the Internet trying to figure out if they have a brain tumor.

It’s a scary situation to be in, and if you suspect you’re in it I do have a bit of advice: the Internet won’t help you much, but doctors will.  And above all, remember that you’re lucky that it’s 2013 and not… well, any of the hundreds of thousands of years preceding this one when a human being would just die before even being able to think about asking anyone what the hell was going on inside their head.

So even if you do have a brain tumor, consider yourself lucky.  You’ve made it this far, and that’s not bad.  Not bad at all.  Congratulations!

Oh and one final thing:  It’s pretty cool when you actually HAVE the thing that dozens or hundreds or thousands of paranoid people out there in the world constantly secretly worry is afflicting them.  Just think of all those hypochondriacal human beings who are constantly saying or thinking “Oh my god I bet I have a brain tumor, I bet that’s what it is!”  And most of them don’t even have a brain tumor.

But I actually DO!

And if you do too, well then that’s really something, ain’t it?

Just think of the odds!