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!

Congratulations!

2 thoughts on “Frequently Asked Questions About Brain Tumors

  1. Everything you’re sharing has the potential to help someone. While we wouldn’t want to purposely put someone through a tough experience, you’re showing that there’s plenty to be gained from the experience…and you’re quite funny. Also, I’m happy that my daughter isn’t the only person slinging around the word “nifty” like a true rebel. Thanks for sharing. Really.

  2. I’m about to celebrate one year post tumor. I had a follow up appointment and my Dr said the Mayo clinic didn’t know what it was. Is there anything else I can do. Surely that’s not the end, right?

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