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Diagnosis:  Tumor

My 93-year old uncle had brain surgery Thursday to remove 50% of a tumor that looks like a comet.  The tail was inoperable due to sensitive neurological areas of language and recognition.  He’s chosen to forego chemo or radiation and to live the rest of his life without a lot of intervention, to maintain the quality of his life as much and as long as he can.

Lesion, tumor, and mass are new vocabulary words, but do not define the person.

IMGP0854 - vege garden   Uncle Bob cut down 10 trees this year, split them, and loads his wood stove.  He bakes whole wheat, oatmeal, and flaxseed bread weekly.  His vegetable garden supplies spinach, broccoli, tomatoes, squash, etc…and the opportunity to work muscles and sinews in the dark New Hampshire soil under sunny skies in clean country air.  His mind is sharp, other than the disruption of the tumor, and he stills drives.  Uncle Bob is ready to croak and pass into non-physical energy versus living the last of his life feeling crappy with medication, needles, and hospital visits.

Croaking is inevitable

Okay, not everyone will agree with croaking, but hey – we’re all going to do it.  And the big question is – where do we really go when we die?  The physical body is a shell of cells, bones, and nerves.  The consciousness of a human is more.  Where does consciousness reside?  If the scientists haven’t identified it like they have a heart, eyes, liver, spleen, or backbone, then maybe there’s more to each of us than we know.

For writing prompts – there’s so much content here so jump in and find a question that resonates with you.  There are no right or wrong answers, just your point of view.  Maybe a question triggers you from an opposing viewpoint – that will generate some energy and writing so challenge yourself to take that on.

  • Have you experienced a family member facing a critical diagnosis?  How did she/he handle it?  How did you handle it?
  • What changed in family roles with care taking, legal decision-making, independent living?
  • When do you expect to croak?  Are you okay with the concept of death?
  • How do you define quality of life?  Do you feel ALIVE on a daily basis, or are you taking life for granted?
  • Uncle Bob’s physical status is truly outstanding and is better than some people in their 60s or 70s.  A healthy diet, daily work, and clean living probably account for this.  Think about this for your life or a character in your writing…what will you change? What effect will making changes have if you lived in vitality daily with good food, physical activity, rest, and reduced stress?
  • Does your lifestyle encompass for daily physical effort?  Work or exercise – how do you define physical effort? Do people who live a rural or farming life have a healthier lifestyle than city folk?
  • Pharmaceutical versus natural or alternative medicine – philosophies, methods, results, beliefs, traditions, science versus energy healing – what do you think and why?
  • Imagine your character getting a terminal diagnosis – how would that change their actions?
  • Is there a true you, a source you in non-physical realms as well as the physical you?
  • How do you define consciousness?
  • What will you change in your life given the death of a love one?  Does it shake you up?  Apply this to the plot of your writing – how would the story change?
  • What gifts have your mined from finding new strengths or resources in yourself after a diagnosis of a lesion, tumor, or mass, death, or life change?  Is there beauty to be found?  Transformation?

Grab you writing media, set the timer for 15 minutes to write – Go!