It’s not the best image I have, but it’ll do. The spinal MRI and CT produced better pictures but I wasn’t offered copies of those. As I was finishing the first MRI they told me I could get a copy of the scan and I was like “cool!” – what an idiot I am. I wonder if they knew they were handing me photos of my tumor, they must have right? Probably why my doctor called as I’m driving back from the appointment.

Anyway, I’m not a doctor, but I’m pretty sure that black smudge towards the back of my brain is not supposed to be there. I don’t have more info since my last post but thought people would be curious what “it” looks like, I know I am. I imagine it’s hairy with small,  unformed teeth.

I haven’t looked up the emotional stages of finding out you have a tumor but I bet it goes something like disbelief, anger, disbelief, sadness, acceptance. I never got angry, not sure why. It pisses me off when people tailgate, or when people bring their whole families to Costco and leave their cart blocking an entire aisle, but for some reason the tumor doesn’t make me angry. Maybe it’s because I get a headache any time I scream. That home Seahawks game against the 49ers? Yep, headache the entire game.

My acceptance has come with humor. Seeing as how the MRI makes me look like a Terminator, it brings back another memory of Arnold saying “it’s not a tumor!” I’m not sure if it’s less funny or funnier now when I say it – I’m going with funnier.

Other funny things going through my head… the doc has been testing my hearing, vision, all sorts of things and it’s made me wonder how much I’ve been held back by this thing. Could I have supersonic hearing? Can my catlike reflexes be even faster? They’re going to shoot me up with radiation after the surgery – xrays, gamma rays. Is it weird I’m hoping I turn into the green hulk?


I have this recurring nightmare a few times every year. I’m back at Stanford in my final quarter and I’m worried about failing a class. Sometimes it’s a paper I didn’t write or a test I didn’t study for. Right when I wake up I feel this dread of “oh no, what am I going to do?” And then a few seconds pass and this intense relief floods me as I realize I’ve already graduated and tests are a distant memory. The tumor is like that nightmare without the relief.