Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Book Review: Chief Complaint; Brain Tumor

Chief Complaint: Brain Tumor

Author: John Kerastas

Publisher: Sunstone Press

Date: November 15, 2012

About the Author
John W. Kerastas has worked at a global advertising agency, at several technology start-up companies and as a free-lance writer. Now, in addition to non-profit and charitable work, he spends his time blogging, speaking and writing about brain health, brain tumors and rehab.

Meningioma (The Blob) 
"CHIEF COMPLAINT: BRAIN TUMOR", that was the subject line on the memo sent from John Kerastas' neurosurgeon to his general practitioner.

This memoir chronicles the first year the author spent addressing tumor-related health issues: preparing for his first operation, discovering a dangerous skull infection, having the infected portion of his skull surgically removed,learning about his substantial vision and cognitive losses, undergoing rehab and radiation treatments, and learning to live with his "new normal".

Mr. Kerastas is brutally honest about the challenges he faced during his operations and treatments.  He depends on his humor to sustain him during the emotional highs and lows that come with a serious illness.

My Thoughts
I am sure that the Kerastas family has been through a very difficult time during the past several years. I wish I could give each one of them a big hug. A serious illness like this has a ripple effect among the entire family.

This story is a wonderful example of the power of laughter. John did not find his brain tumor funny but he was able to look on the bright side and laugh at himself during the difficult days that he experienced.

John's occupational therapist gave him lessons from Lumosity to increase his brain function. This site is is an online tool for cognitive enhancement. The author would take tests and work puzzles each day to improve his memory, focus and attention. I had never heard of this site so I went to Lumosity to test the condition of my brain. I scored in the top 85% of all who have taken the test on my first day. I will go back each day and see if I can improve my score. 

I think this is an outstanding book about exactly what happens when you are diagnosed with a meningioma brain tumor. However, you don't have to have a brain tumor to benefit from reading this book. This is a story of courage, persistence and determination. You will draw strength and inspiration from John's story. Highly recommended!

My Rating: 5 Stars out of 5

FYI ~ The author sent me a complimentary print copy of this book to read and review.

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