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Goodbye and Hello

Goodbye and Hello

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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 poem to explain my feeling of loss caused by the symptoms of my tumor which caused huge changes in my body over a matter of months. In those few months, my body seemed to age by decades; I grew old too soon and without the benefit of years of experiences. I am still coming to terms with the lingering effects of this event. You might say that I am haunted...The alignment of the poem reflects the loss of vision I experienced on my left side, caused by the tumor pressuring my optic nerve.

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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