Date of Defense





My English teachers used to say "write about what you know." I know about being a cancer patient, and that is the topic of this Honors Thesis. My thesis is a retrospective exploration through which I actively recall my experiences with brain cancer and the nuances of life that accompany the disease. This work is more than a chronicle of my experiences; it is also a recollection of my reflections, a collection of my communications, and a resurrection of significant moments and insights. The surgeries, treatments and medications that brought about my recovery are described. This thesis also explores my physical, emotional, spiritual, educational, occupational, and social selves—all of which were transformed along the journey of cancer. Some of my most fundamental perspectives and priorities about life were challenged and many were changed.

During my journey through cancer I brought others with me along the way via a series of e-mails. This outlet provided me with the opportunity to communicate news to my supporters, and also to process what I was going through. I have included some e-mails in their entirety, and have lifted excerpts from others. When I composed each e-mail, I devoted much time and effort into my writing. One reason for doing so was that I didn't want the messages to give the impression that I was brain damaged. The recipients of my e-mails were relatives, friends, professors and colleagues, and I wanted to demonstrate that I was not losing it. Also, my e-mails were serving a dual purpose as progress updates and personal diary entries. I wanted to have an account of my feelings and experiences that was written in real time. Most of the time, my spirits remained high. However, there were times when I had to dig deep to find a positive spin for situations that were less than enviable. In those tough times I enjoyed reading replies to my emails that gave my psyche a boost. I received several responses to my early e-mails that implied I "might have a future in journalism," and I didn't want to disappoint.

Access Setting

Honors Thesis-Campus Only