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Patient Story: Living Life in the Grey - A Story of Living with a Brain Tumor

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HEADRUSH

The Funk FamilyChris Funk, pictured left with his wife Brandi and two daughters, was diagnosed with a brain tumor seven years ago. He reflects on how the disease has affected his life and what it means to live in the grey.
 
If you asked my family and friends, they'd say I'm a person that loves life, plain and simple. In many ways living with cancer is both a burden and a blessing. In one regard I'm unbelievably thankful for being alive, and yet, still afraid of what might come as my brain cancer affects more than just me.

I was diagnosed with a malignant brain tumor seven years ago while my wife was six months pregnant with our first daughter.
 
The doctors found a grapefruit sized tumor in my head, and to say the least, our world instantly came to a screeching halt. In our minds, everything happens for a reason, you just have to figure out what that reason is. On our search for the reason, we have found great joy and strength in giving back to the brain tumor community. (For more on this, check out www.headrushevent.org.)

Our journey with cancer has also taught us about living life in the "grey."
 
Life is never black and white, as we often wish it to be. Whether the information from our doctors is positive or negative, sometimes it's just nice to know exactly what is going on inside my head. However, that's not always the case. Answers about my brain tumor are not often found, and rarely as concrete as we would like them to be.
 
What's amazing, and ironic at the same time, is that we have the most brilliant and gifted team of doctors, technicians, nurses, and support systems in the world. Often, not knowing and living in the "grey" is the hardest part of life with brain cancer.

Our journey also involves unique extra curricular activities. MRIs every few months make tensions grow internally and externally. The week before an MRI, I hyper analyze every move I make, and think…
"“Did I just do this or that because of my tumor? Am I cranky because of ME or because of the cancer? Am I eating well enough? Am I staying fit?"
 
Unfortunately, the list of questions is longer than it should be.

Despite the fact that cancer has left an indelible mark on my life and those closest to me, it reminds me to savor every moment. It prompts me to give that extra hug, extra kiss and extra smile. Living with brain cancer has taught me to fight for dreams and to always have hope, no matter what… because that's what life is all about.