The main point I want to make here is that brain injury awareness is very important, and now is a great time – as good a time as any – to get involved in brain injury education, research, awareness, #BIAM17. As much as I read and hear about amazing research, and impressive developments in brain injury, there is still an enormous amount of work to do, and ground to be made before brain injury reaches the level of awareness that it will take for such a daunting issue to be properly addressed.
I have been grappling with why it is that such a huge issue – “Brain injury is the NUMBER ONE cause of death and disability WORLDWIDE among children, youth and those under age 44. Close to one and a half million Canadians live with the consequences of brain injury everyday” Brain Injury Canada websiteÂ – is still struggling to capture the attention of the large swathe of the population, even after famous professional hockey and football players have been directly affected. At first I thought, “Maybe it’s because nobody wants to talk about it” However, my own cursory research and anecdotal evidence seem to refute that idea.
As I wrote in A New Situation, my dad died in August 2015 from colon cancer. He was first diagnosed and treated in 1990/1991, when he was only 44. Because of his young age at diagnosis and because so much is known about colon cancer, genetic testing was conducted and has shown that he, my sister, and I have Lynch syndrome.
A lot is known about colon cancer, yet it’s also not a subject many like to talk about. Nevertheless, because of what is known, I have been monitored since I was shown to have Lynch syndrome, and last week I was diagnosed with colon cancer.
It’s going to be tough for a bit, but the doctors know so much about it, they’re confident and very competent, and I’ll be fine. Surgery, chemo, future monitoring, are all well understood, as are the risks. As with any human experience, the personal situation is one of, if not the most important part.
I have an incredibly supportive family, especially my sister and mother, who, along with my dad, have been caring and supportive stalwarts throughout my brain injury, and now cancer, experience. The same can be said of my friends! No matter what situation I throw at them, they’re always there, offering their love and support.
Before getting back to brain injury, I’d be remiss not to remark on the steadfast and enthusiastic support from my GP, Dr. Jessica Bishop. Thank you so much!
Now, back to brain injury awareness, #BIAM17! Cancer can be so well treated because it is so well understood. Brain injury is not yet well understood, at least not by a large proportion of the population, and it won’t be until there can be a more unified voice behind spreading its awareness. Brain injury comes with many different causes and symptoms, as does cancer. They are also opportunities for awareness!