Whose hand is Your brain in?

It is definitely crazy how life has a way of taking you through so many experiences you never would have expected, yet somehow it all works out in a way you never thought possible.  I’ve heard it said,

When you look out the windshield, the road looks very narrow, steep, and winding, but when you look in the rear view mirror, the road is  straight and smooth.”

Allow me to elaborate:

In the last 66 days I’ve been to Las Vegas 3 times,once to get my head cut open and lose some brain I guess I didn’t need that bad, two to sit in a chemo chair and have some old guy sitting across from me tell me why I should get a $100 bill tattooed on my penis, and three to do it again. I’ve fought with middle eastern French Canadians in a Payless car rental in Montreal, Quebec. I’ve stood in a customs line in Tijuana, Mexico spitting blood for over an hour into a non-discreet see-through plastic bag. I’ve chased untamed cows  in the wild forests of Utah.  I’ve successfully killed a handful of disgusting adult parasites  that had taken up residence inside  my body, the details of which I will refrain from sharing. And somehow through it all, I’ve grown closer to the One who created me and allowed all this craziness to happen.

I went to Canada to spend a week with a naturopathic cancer specialist who was most insightful. I can definitely say I didn’t say much to the folk outside of Montreal who either only speak  French or pretend to only speak French so as to bug the “stupid Americans.” Somehow Tim Horton’s has won the market share battle with Starbucks; too bad I’m not doing donuts anymore. However, reminiscing on a time when I wrote a college paper on Krispy Kreme and was forced to take a research visit can be just as satisfying if you know how to connect your memories, taste buds, and imagination. Canadian Tire is also everywhere, and they sell much more than tires, despite the name. Canadian Tire is French for K-Mart, I think.

(I’m trying to imagine a Starbucks and Autozone combination here in the States-not sure if it would work)

Canada led me to Mexico to see Dr. Solorio, a biological dentist located in Tijuana, Mexico. For those of you who have never heard of tijuana, lets just say it doesn’t exactly look like this.

Fortunately I have lots of relatives in San Diego, which happens to border Tijuana’s lovely streets. Two mercury filling replacements,  local anesthesia only, and two pulled wisdom teeth later,  I had my spit bag and was on my way back into the blessed Estados Unidos.I’ve even had two miracles happen to me within 1 week of each other! They involved a hospital and an insurance company deciding to reimburse me for around $350 of charges that had been somewhat unfairly charged to me, but I was legally responsible for.This happened twice, totaling over $700 that I saved because God  changed someone’s mind!

I fought with Sierra Health and Life for six months, disputed the charge 3 times, requested written copies of a phone conversation, presented my case on the phone to a board of people, and they still denied my request. One month after their final “no” I recieved a phone call to hear they changed their minds and were going to pay it! Last I checked insurance companies are in it to win it, not to give it. Maybe we are that big, happy family afterall…yeah right…

A similar event happened 7 days later involving Intermountain Healthcare and two $180 office visit charges that I was told would have been $10. I stood speechless, cellphone in hand, after each of those calls. Speechless at the second time I’d unexpectedly had over $350 refunded to me. Speechless at the truth I’d just witnessed from Isaiah 43:

Fear not, for I have redeemed you, and called you by name, You are mine. When you pass through the waters and the rivers, I’ll be with you and they will not overflow you. When you walk through the fire, you won’t be burned.”

I wouldn’t say that I’ve been burned by brain cancer or the trials associated with it. If I could go back 3.5 years to my first diagnosis/surgery, when the docs said I had about a 2% chance of making it 3 years, I wouldn’t change anything. I wouldn’t wish it away or somehow undo what has taken place in my life.  It has totally changed me, and each step in the journey is a lesson to learn.

It’s been a wake-up call to how short life is, regardless of whether or not you have brain cancer.  A wake-up call to get my priorities straight, and figure out what I’m really living for. A wake-up call to realize who’s hands I’m really in.


3 Responses to “Whose hand is Your brain in?”

  1. Wow, Daniel. Crazy stuff. Nice thoughts too. What the heck are they doing to you!!!? Mercury Fillings?! Cutting out brains?! parasites in your body–you must elaborate on that one for me sometime. 🙂 So glad you’re still with us and i wish you decades more.


  2. Jeffrey Harper Says:

    Amen Daniel. Awesome blog bro. I was inspired reading it!

  3. Dear Daniel,

    I read with interest your post on April 12 (of this year) on the Cancer Compass message board:


    …and came here to your blog, via the link you gave there, to hunt out the 10-page research paper you mentioned that you had put together. Where can I get a link to that? (Would be very interested.)

    (Also: if you don’t mind me asking, who was / what are the details of the naturopathic cancer specialist you visited near Montreal recently? I ask, because I have a cousin’s wedding near Montreal in 10 days’ time, so would be very interesting in combining the trip with a similar visit.. )

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