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02:05 PM on 03/24/2013
Please see my riposte to Kramer: Brain Tumor as a 'Gift'? That's Codswallop
Suzanne, bereaved mom of Natasha
Pro-choice, pro marriage equality
04:26 AM on 04/01/2013
F & F
09:46 AM on 03/24/2013
I loved what you said. I had benign meningioma and a tumor that was twice your size, the major operation was this past December. It was a blessing, a revelation of my path. I had asked God all year for wisdom, and here it came as a 6th chakra or 7th. Saw my family after so many years...and the light emanating from my girlfriend's eyes. I can't work for a year, and I miss the gym but have missed the gym. Still, I am more than I was, much more.
08:06 AM on 03/24/2013
These constant stories about peoples thankfulness for their cancer or other trauma and what a gift it turns out to be - are just dishonest.
There is nothing wrong with grieving for a loss. Acceptance and making the best of things should be a goal for us all- and people that overcome are certainly an example to be followed but running around saying what a gift your cancer , your child's extra chromosome etc are is just not believable.

I have had some obstacles to over come in my life- maybe some made me better or tougher - but if I had the chance would I avoid the grieve and trauma that led to that outcome. Absolutely!!!

I am not going to sit here and pretend for example that chronic pain has brought some beautiful fulfillment to my otherwise perfect life. No it has brought the knowledge that yes- I can still got on with my life- but it takes a little of the beauty out of a day all the same and I have a good life despite it not because of it.
08:05 AM on 03/24/2013
I had a brain tumor and it was no gift. I was very sick and went to over a dozen doctors saying that I felt like there was something was wrong with my brain. The first MRI said "normal", so I was told that I probably had a personality disorder, but I didn't give up and kept trying other doctors. Ten months later, Neurologist number five sent me for a second MRI that found my tumor. They re-checked the first MRI and saw it had been there and it was growing, and it was in a bad place.

I had surgery a year and a half ago and all I got was two cooked chickens and a lifetime of worry for me and my seven children, even though my tumor seems to be gone at this point and I feel 50 percent better. Sure, it made me appreciate life more, but it's no gift.

I was lucky to be self-confident enough to be persistent, but still feeling angry that I had to suffer so much indignity in the process, feeling like I was judged to be guilty of faking it until I was proven innocent. It seems like too many Doctors are way too quick to think people are just seeking drugs when they complain of headaches and pain.
02:19 PM on 03/23/2013
Just seem the video. Hemangioblastoma is a grade 1 brain tumor with an excellent prognosis. It's not even regarded as a cancer by neuro-oncologists. Suzanne, Natasha's mom,
01:40 PM on 03/22/2013
Unfortunately I can't say my child's brain tumor dx was a gift. I will always be appalled. Suzanne,
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In a gentle way, you can shake the world.
01:33 PM on 03/22/2013
This is true for most people who successfully navigate some trial in life. After all it is the trials that test us and help us grow.
But for the majority of others.....who go bankrupt, who do not recover from being fired from the job, who are in despair after a divorce, who are scammed out of all of their retirement, who have chronic diseases and are on the medical care treadmill, who lose a loved one in a violent crime, people who get Alzheimer's, and yes people with cancer who die.....traumas and trials are not gifts. They truly do not get over them.
04:07 PM on 03/19/2013
After all she learned how can she continue to promote corporate products like sports drinks to children that have GMO ingredients, artificial flavors, artificial sweeteners, and artificial dyes?
12:45 PM on 03/19/2013
I'm sure she meant well, but this "talk" is going to be highly offensive to thousands of cancer survivors. For the vast majority of patients, there is no gift, no being appreciated more than you have ever been, and no "more gourmet meals than you can eat." For those of you who are not familiar with TedTalks, they are short naratives by the leaders of our time on a vast array of topics (medicine, science, food, technology, etc.). Most of them are very interesting and informative (I watch them via Netflix).
10:35 PM on 03/19/2013
But see, most of us cancer survivors WANT to think this way. Even though I didn't have gourmet meals, my family didn't gather around me or send me flowers by the truckload, or appreciate me even more, I learned something valuable about myself. And that was that I have worth, no matter what happens to me. My life matters, I'm not just a number or a statistic. I'm not just a name in a doctor's folder. That is my gift from my experience. I am young, and I didn't have anything as serious as this woman did, but the concept is the same. Everything happens for a reason, and to move on you have to be able to see the good. My cancer was a gift. It may not be the best gift I've ever been given, but it is a part of me that I wouldn't ever let go of. It makes me who I am.
12:21 PM on 03/19/2013
This is one gracious young woman who can teach alot of us about her courage and attitude when something terrible comes knocking at our doors. I don't know if I could be that brave, but I admire her for the strength she obviously has. I know I am going to do less complaining or whining about trivial things although I learned that when my beloved father died of a malignant glioblastoma multi-forma grade 4--the worst of the worst for brain tumors. That was 35 years ago already and now I am relearning it again with one of my precious 4 year old granddaughters who was diagnosed with leukemia last year. Life is so short--I try to be very positive about everything, and this story reinforces my beliefs about it even in the worst of times. I love life dearly! every single day!
ya never know.
12:02 PM on 03/19/2013
Cancer took my father away when I was 10 and there was no gift in that or silver lining.
02:27 PM on 03/19/2013
I am so sorry for the loss you suffered as a child. Please accept this in the heart-felt meaning it is sent... while there is no way as a young child you could have possibly seen a "gift" or "silver lining", it is possible that due to the sorrow you felt, it changed who you were to become. Possibly, it gave you a bigger heart, more patience, understanding of others in pain, the reason to find the perfect partner in life, etc. Cancer is truly one of the most horrible diseases thrust upon mankind. While being at the bedside of my loved ones, it humbled me, made me more aware of my time on earth, and even more reason to be kinder to everyone. For we never know when it is "our" time. I pray you have peace now and hold dear wonderful memories of your father.
ya never know.
04:44 PM on 03/19/2013
Thankyou Storm2nte for such a nice letter. It took a long time to make peace with his death and my loss. I'm glad you understand.Thanks.
11:50 AM on 03/19/2013
Most cancer victims are poor, alone and in terrible poverty. The sick and suffering of the world don't have beds let alone supportive families. It is for the .001 percent that cancer can be called a gift. Many diseases are chronic and can not be cured. This lady was born lucky, but at least she knows it.
11:13 AM on 03/19/2013
Thanks for sharing! This should be required of all those who think they have something to complain about.
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06:55 PM on 04/08/2013
Like gas prices?
11:12 AM on 03/19/2013
There is another disease that needs so much more awareness than what is gets. It is called Intracranial Hypertension (aka Pseudo Tumor Cerebri). Basically, it is elevated pressure in your head that squeezes the brain and pushes out on your skull causing unbearable pain. This disease does everything to your brain, vision, balance, and health that a brain tumor does, except it is incurable. You can't have surgery to remove the problem. Yes, there are treatments for the symptoms but many times the treatments just make the symptoms worse. There are those of us who need surgery after surgery (I am on my 4th in two years while others I know have had more than 40). Unfortunately, those of us that do have IH/PTC generally don't have our families and friends come together and surround us with live and support. This is due to the fact that many of them say "it is all in your head" or "you don't look sick" or "you are faking it". All because there is so little known about this disease. Please help us get more awareness for this horrible disease that steals our lives?
Vince Vaccaro
It must be true, it's on the internet...
10:10 AM on 03/19/2013
(sniff) ...