Since joining a new gym in mid-July I met a woman who lost her mom to a glioblastoma, a young man with a oglioastrocytoma who recently finished Temodar, and the woman who is the scheduler for the doctor who performed my shoulder surgery! Coincidence? Probably.
And this, ladies and gentleman, is what happens when you “come out” about having brain cancer. Suddenly it seems like everyone has brain cancer, or knows someone who has a brain tumor, or lost someone to a brain tumor.
This same phenomena happens to me whenever I get a different car. In 2004 everyone had a Volkswagon Jetta. In 2012 everyone seems to drive a Mazda 3. Zoom zoom! (This is known as the Baader-Meinhof Phenomenon.)
Not long after I joined the gym I met Christi, an awesome woman in one of my group exercise classes. Not to sound self-centered, but I think she is awesome because she reminds me of me: we both have short hair, tattoos in conspicuous places and a lot of energy. Christi and I cheer on others in the exercise class, and tend to set up our deadlift bars on the platforms next to one another. However, when I max at lifting 125 pounds, Christi is lifting 225 pounds. So, yeah… she is strong than I am.
Here’s the crazy part… Christi is an emergency room nurse and is studying to become a nurse practitioner. One night she asked about my brain cancer stuff, and I told her about all my experiences and Super Awesome Nurse, my neuro-oncology nurse practitioner. Christi is at a point in her schooling that she needs to pick a speciality field and shadow a nurse in that area. A week ago Christi texted me and asked if I could connect her with Super Awesome Nurse.
Long story short, Christi and Super Awesome Nurse are in the middle of getting all the paperwork filed so Christi can study with Super Awesome Nurse and hopefully (fingers crossed) become another super awesome nurse in the field of neuro-oncology.
And friends, isn’t that what we need more of?
Coming out with cancer
As a patient and a blogger I always thought brain tumor advocacy would be all about brain tumor patients, caregivers, friends and families. I never dreamed that being open with my story would spark the curiosity of students in the medical field.
As Super Awesome Nurse said when I told her about Christi, “The more people we can get interested in brain tumors, the better.”