It’s amazing, when you get a diagnosis for which you were unprepared, how quickly your lexicon expands. 

Pilocytic astrocytoma and hydrocephalus and third ventriculostomy were three of the mouthfuls added to our vocabulary when our son Matt was diagnosed with a brain tumor. 

In the following years, neuropsychological testing and 504 Plan and TBI joined our dinnertime conversations. 

It’s amazing, too, the capacity our brains have for growth. At the moment of crisis, it seems to shut down, and all we can remember are the awful words. Then our brain recovers, creates new neural pathways, and starts processing and filing information.

It’s a metaphor for life. 

We’re not always prepared for what’s thrown our way, but we have the capacity to shut down when we need to, then recover and grow.

We’re amazing creations, aren’t we?


  • An emerging writer in upstate, NY, Karen DeBonis tells her story on her website, in publications like the NY Times, (a Tiny Love Story), in her “Become Emboldened” projects, and elsewhere. "Portrait of a People-Pleaser and the Son Who Paid the Price", Karen’s transformational memoir about a woman’s quest for authenticity and the courage to speak her truth, is currently available for representation.

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  1. alnwebsite on May 9, 2018 at 10:02 PM

    “People…there is something special going on inside our heads!” That is the conclusion of a long spoken essay by a philosopher with roots in the 1960s. But you said the same thing more succinctly and more personally. Keep up the great writing!

    • Karen DeBonis on May 10, 2018 at 1:01 AM

      What a wonderful comment! With support like this, of course I will keep on writing! Thanks 🙂

  2. jmlkepes on May 9, 2018 at 11:28 PM

    Dear Karen, My lexicon is expanding too! It must be painful to relive those moments but knowing that there was a light at the end of the tunnel is so wonderful! Joanne Sent from my iPhone


    • Karen DeBonis on May 10, 2018 at 1:03 AM

      The light at the end of the tunnel is what allows me to write. I don’t know that I could have done it from a place of darkness. Thanks for your comment Joanne!

  3. […] astrocytoma was one of the words I introduced in my Day 8 post. It’s the type of brain tumor my son has—benign and […]

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