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Leo Simmons

Age Group (If you are a caregiver/family member please check Caregiver/Family Member)
Adult: 21 and over

Artist Statement (include type of art, techniques & materials used, what it means to you)
A short piece describing the moment when my partner and I were told I had a tumor. After two previous misdiagnoses, this was my third (the correct diagnosis would follow a month later) and implied a non-treatable tumor at the base of my brain. Of course, we feared the worst...
The alignment and shape of the text reflects the loss that I had experienced in the lower left quadrant of my field of vision up to this time and until my first surgery.

Bio (include your age, tumor type and date of diagnosis)
Leo Simmons, aged 57, Craniopharyngioma diagnosed January 2018.
I was 52 when I found out about my tumor, following a period of increasing headaches (go figure) and eyesight which was worsening slowly enough for me to pretend it wasn't happening. I was already writing by this time, but my output stopped for none months while I underwent two surgeries, radiotherapy and convalescence. I returned to writing principally as a form of self-therapy; I felt a need to try to explain the inexplicable to myself and to my small, remote community. My writing provides goals, forces me to try to organize my thoughts and work (a real struggle post-tumor) and reminds me not to hide from public view. After an initial misdiagnosis, I am still finding joy in being alive and recovering.

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