Living Brutally Honest

Living Brutally Honest

December 5th, 2009  |  Published in Live

A Year in a Life:

Greg’s Personal Journey of Life, Love, and Life’s Many Splendid Lessons

At age fourteen, a time when most children are dealing with typical teenage issues like dating, acne, beginning high school, and a menagerie of other milestones, I was blessed-yes, blessed-with a diagnosis that has afforded me a life of lessons that have shaped my character, personality, drive, and being. While initially characterized as an enemy that invaded my body, over the years this enemy became an ally that I have embraced and vowed never to let overcome me. I have chosen to have it assist me, teach me, and guide me. Benign tumors, throughout many areas of my body, would debilitate me at times, causing me to be unable to walk or lift my arms. I experienced multiple bouts of radiation therapy; severe lethargy; thousands of hours in hospitals; hundreds of different doctor visits; innumerable hospital stays all over the East coast; tens of thousands of X-rays, MRIs, CT scans, mylegrams, bone scans, blood tests, pokes, and prods; multiple periods of disability; multiple surgeries; and a traveling army of pain that would cripple me at times. All this created an inverse effect on my brain, as it strengthened my resiliency and determination. Through my well-documented medical journey I may be able to help other children someday who are afflicted with a similar condition, as I am the test case for future generations and have been written up in medical journals.

They say that the mind represses those things that would cause pain if revealed. In the pages that follow, I reveal to you a year of my personal journal (a year where I went from performing martial arts, weightlifting and being close to 180 pounds to being operated on 4 times after being paralyzed from the waist down and unable to walk as a result of a tumor on the spinal cord, hospitalized for 2 months, long and extensive rehabilitation and a weight loss of over 40 pounds) in an effort to show firsthand how I have used my journal to capture, learn from, grow, and permanently memorialize significant life events that have shaped who I am. With minor exceptions, what follows are exact excerpts from my actual journal. As such, while some sections may appear repetitive or disjointed, I have left them that way for accuracy and accountability. While most entries were written on the date referenced, some of the entries were written after the fact out of necessity. Keep in mind that your journal is your journal. There is no correct format. Use the following as a guide only. It is with extreme reverence and respect that I share these pages with you…

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