Finding Bright Spots

To be clear, the title of this post is not referring to my MRI scan.  That’s not until tomorrow, and we’re not expecting to find any bright spots.  (That’s a cancer joke, in case you missed it.  A Cancerful Double Entendre, if you will.  Kind of like this…)

Brain Cancer: nuthin' beats it!


This post is about a different kind of bright spot.  And actually, I wrote this a couple of days ago, in my journal, with a pen (it was green).  I’m only now getting around to typing it up.  Read on and you will understand why…

[Friday, March 25th, 2016.  10:33 AM]

I took a pain pill, but my head still hurts.

I took a wake-up pill, and had some coffee, but I’m still sleepy.

I was gonna say “At least my tummy doesn’t hurt,” but now my tummy even hurts.

What the fuck.

This sucks.

I had an OK day yesterday– felt pretty good when I went for a walk– but I feel much worse today.

I’m fucking tired of this.

And I don’t want to sleep anymore.  I got a solid 8+ hours last night.  But I don’t know what else I can do right now.  I wanted to make an appointment with an acupuncturist today, which I think is going to help me feel better, but I’m way too wiped out to even figure that out right now.


This sucks.

At least it feels good to complain.  I just wish I had somebody to complain to right now, other than myself.

I think I’m gonna stand up and get away from this computer screen.  Move around a little bit.  See where that leads me.  Might just lead me to lying down again…


It actually lead me outside, which is really nice.

I still feel like shit, but this is an improvement.  It’s nice out here.

I don’t feel better, but this is better.

It’s funny, I was just sitting here with my eyes closed, and I found myself trying to think of things to be happy about.  There are quite a few, despite everything.

I have a pathological desire to find bright spots.  I’m slightly embarrassed by this, because I feel like other people might see it as forced.  Or even cheesy.  And I also fear that it might make people who don’t (or can’t) do the same feel bad, or annoyed.

But maybe it’s just as likely that they could find it inspiring.  Which would be good.  Maybe a little cheesy, but still good.

Anyway, as people always tell you: who cares what other people think?
(Unless it’s positive, of course. 🙂 –Why don’t people always tell you that?)

But now that I’m thinking about it, I do know one thing about this tendency to look for bright spots: it definitely is not forced.

I also don’t think it’s particularly heroic, or inspiring.

For me, I think it’s more just a survival instinct.

Because it feels terrible, to lie in bed and be filled with despair and anxiety about death or sickness or what terrible secrets your next MRI might reveal.  It’s almost physically painful.  Sometimes, it actually is physically painful.

And just as you would quickly grab a hot coal that was sitting on your skin and toss it away in a desperate (and logical, and instinctive) attempt to stop the pain, so do I want the pain of worry and fear and anxiety to stop as quickly as fucking possible, when it does appear.

And so I look quickly for bright spots.  I search for the shimmer of a positive thought in whatever happens to be around me– even if that happens to be a total fucking nightmare.

To save myself from pain (because I am actually a big pussy!) I turn to laughter, or hope, and hope that I can find–or even invent–something that will help me get the burning coal off of my skin.

This, I realize, is why I make jokes about it.  (Cancer!🙂


This is why I wrote a musical about it.  (Cancer!!)
And why I hope to help other people who have it (Cancer!!!) feel better.

Because it’s painful, having this disease.  (Cancer.)

No matter how you got it, or where you have it, it can really hurt.

It can be really scary.

And it doesn’t give you a break– it constantly dominates your thoughts and fills your mind (in my case, literally).

So when I go searching for bright spots, my search is often rooted in The Cancerful.

That might seem odd, but whatever I can do to cure myself, I do it.
It doesn’t always work, but sometimes it does.
And even if it only lasts for a moment, a cure is still a cure.

And when you’re in pain, you’ll take all the cures you can get.

Top of the Mountain


Speaking of which, I feel a lot better now.  Stomach, headache, and sleepiness have all ratcheted down to a level that is tolerable.

I have no idea why.  I mean, I could get all grandiloquent and suggest that I just cured myself with my own mind, but I think the reality is that I just needed to close my eyes and get off the computer for a few minutes.  Maybe go outside, get some fresh air.

Hey– whatever it takes, I’ll take it.

Incidentally, I just realized that it was three years ago that I was talking about the positive side effects of having brain cancer.

Three years!  There’s another bright spot, right there.

12 thoughts on “Finding Bright Spots

  1. Thanks for writing Chad….I was wondering how you were doing. Feel free to “complain” here. We’re listening. I sort of understand, as I have a chronic disorder …. And it’s freakin hard feeling bad all the time. You have a right to complain, worry, have fear etc. I think the “bright spots” way of living is great! Sending prayers and good thoughts your way for a uneventful and dull MRI!!! Please let us know how it goes!!! 🙂

  2. I hope you can continue to get outside, and that all that’s out there helps. I hope you get some comfort from all the people, known or not, who care about you and wish you well. I hope the MRI is good and boring, and that you keep finding bright spots and bright places. Peace and good wishes.

  3. Hey Chad! So good to hear from you, a definite bright spot in my day. Have a super boring MRI tomorrow, and grab some chocolate ice cream afterwards. Or pudding. You choose.

    • by telling us about your days like this as well as good you really make this a real blog and not a fake ass one. Keep looking for the laughter x

  4. Hoping for a totally boring and dark MRI tomorrow! And please feel free to complain as much as you need, we’re hear to listen.

  5. I’ve been following your posts for a few years now but have never written because I think it’s weird to comment on a total stranger’s very personal blog. HOWEVER, I wanted to ask if having a pain in the head bad enough to write about means that most days you don’t have a pain in the head bad enough to write about?- which is maybe a bright spot for your day.

    It’s cool that you keep a journal, in pen, in green ink even. Hope the MRI was OK.

    (PS Thanks WordPress for the slightly pervy avatar.)

  6. Your story and writing is incredible.
    I lost my husband 2 years ago from brain cancer. The pain of loss will always be with me. The bright spot- he’s nolonger in pain. My friend who is a nurse and helped us is also going through this tragic brain cancer.
    May God Bless you.

  7. Hi Chad! I really hope you had the most boring MRI in the world. Totally empty and no bright spots. I hope you’re OK. I am very loyal to all your posts on here and somehow I believe that everything will be OK. You know you’re a twinkle and you’re my inspiration. I don’t have brain cancer I’ve mentioned that before. But. Everyday you are on my mind and I am stupid because I believe in miracles. Will be waiting for your update on here and please keep curing!!!

  8. Chad, here is a bright spot. My Grandson has been dealing with brain cancer since early 2013. He has gone through two operations, several months of chemo and subsequent MRI’s. Today’s MRI showed stability and the staff is very please. Keep up the blog, it inspires us all. Like some of the other replies, I also believe in miracles.

  9. I’ve been reading your blog for the past few days and you are truly inspiring. (And you have a great sense of humor) ! As a person with a chronic illness, I never know what tomorrow brings. There are days (weeks) I don’t even make it out of bed. But reading your blog really changed my mindset. I want to thank you for that. You have an incredible story and you are a strong guy!
    I hope to see many many more Posts from you, I’m getting impatient for the next one 😉
    My thoughts have been with you every night since I started reading your blog (hope that’s not creepy)
    Remember that brain cancer is what you have, not who you are.
    Sending lots of positive vibes ❤❤

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