lymphoma survivor
Diary 167
Cancer Survivor Blog Journal
Forward ... seize the day!
by Hugh Cook

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Cancer memoir - full text read free online - diagnosis, chemotherapy, radiation therapy


Life after Cancer

This cancer survivor's blog is about going forward after surviving cancer. This diary is by lymphoma survivor Hugh Cook who underwent chemotherapy and radiation therapy in 2005 for non-Hodgkin's lymphoma of the large B-cell type, in his case a cancer of the central nervous system, a cancer of the brain and the spinal cord. Treatment began early in 2005 and by the end of the year the cancer was in remission. The cancer got into the eyes and, by the end of 2005, the writer had undergone a vitrectomy (jelly-removal operation) and cataract surgery on both eyes. Surgery was uneventful and successful.

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brain dragged out through nose

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Obscene neurosurgery horror: brain dragged out through nose, body desecrated. True story! This really happened!

Obscene neurosurgery horror:
brain dragged out through nose.
True story! This really happened!

Brain scan of a cancer patient.

Section 167 Entry 0001. Date: 2006 January 01 Sunday.
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The funniest thing I saw over the Chrismas period was a five-year-old kid, who I'll call Winston, playing with a desecrated body. You may not find this particularly amusing, certainly not if there are a lot of desecrated bodies in vairous states of decomposition stacked up in your neighborhood right now, but my sense of humor is what it is, and this sight gave me a life.

Desecrated bodies became an issue in Winston's young life some months ago, back in 2005, when the kids at his elementary school (or, as we say here in New Zealand, primary school) were taught to sing a song about desecrating a body.

Terrible things happen to this body. It gets subjected to obscene neurosurgery, with the brain being dragged out through the nose.

Apparently all the kids, ages five and up, fully understand that this is a very, very rude song, so, kids being what they are, they rejoice in singing it.

Winston's mother, who I'll call Angelica, says that if the body in question was the body of a Maori person - that is to say, the body of a member of New Zealand's indigenous population - then everyone would realize how dreadfully inappropriate it is to sing joyfully about doing disgusting things to this body.

But it's not a Maori body. If it was, nobody in New Zealand would be able to get away with singing this song about it. Certainly not at a state-run school, which is the kind of school which Winston is attending.

This body belongs to a minority group which isn't going to bomb us, shoot us or sue us for the simple reason that they're all dead. They don't have any political clou tand they can't make waves.

So, being who we are and what we are, we exploit their helplessness by organizning it so they get mocked by our school kids, who are encouraged by their teachers to sing a kind of carnival song about the desecration of a body.

We take the solemnities of another culture and degrade them to the status of a dinner table cracker joke. And, in consquence, it may be that one day aliens with deathrays and with more advanced views of political correctness than ours will annihilate our cities in an act of judicious retribution.

Winston was not troubled at having to join the joyful singing about the desecrated body. He is, after all, five years of age, and the more you learn about the intellectual processes of five-year-olds the gladder you are that they're not running the world.

However, Winston was puzzled about the question of the identity of this desecrated body. This mummy, is that the same as his mummy and daddy mummy? Or something differeent?

Angelica took her best shot at explaining it, but the level of abstraction required for comprehension is really a few steps beyond what you're capable of when you're only five.

To really understand, you have to get into notions of resurrection and life after death, and so ...

And so, in the end, Angelica took her son to the Auckland War Memorial Museum, which has a good selection of traditional museum stuff, including a mummy in a casket.

And the experience of seeing the real thing, the concrete object, the mummy sitting there behind glass, its brains long since used for someone's garlic stew (or something - one hopes the brains didn't simply go to waste) resolved the confusion in Winston's mind.

No, that's defnitely not his mummy and daddy mummy.

Anyway, during the Christmas period, I happened to drop by at Angelica's place, gathering there with a bunch of other people, and, while I was there, I saw Winston playing with what I thought, at first, was a normal book.

Then, from this book, he started unfolding something.

It unfolded and unfolded, until it was human length. Not my length, but certainly longer than Winston. It was, in fact, about the same size as the actual physical object that Winston had seen in the museum.

And that (this is the way I'm wired) I found intensely amusing.

On the subject of brains being hauled out of the skull, I have now been privileged to receive into my hands an account, written by an expert, of the brain surgery which I underwent early in 2005.

What was dragged out was not the brains, but a tumor, described as being "rubbery", which was extracted not through the nose but through an X-shaped incision made in the dura, the tough outer lining of the brain.

I was interested to get these details, and I've added them to the site as a kind of supplement to the text of the CANCER PATIENT medical memoir.

neurosurgery details

Soul photo betrays the subject's secret idenity as a death agent of the demon lord Argil Abolisher.

Grayscale image of skull seen face-on. Photo betrays the subject's secret idenity as a death agent of the demon lord Argil Abolisher.

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