Thursday, March 28, 2013

Chief Complaint: Brain Tumor -- John Kerastas

Who knew a brain tumor could be funny?

Fortunately, John Kerastas's tumor isn't malignant, but it still sucks, of course. Chief Complaint: Brian tumor begins when 57-year-old Kerastas begins to suspect something is wrong with his vision, and continues through the first year after his diagnosis. Many worrisome things happen, but this is not a depressing book. His chronicle of this eventful year is full of self-deprecating humor. Okay, occasionally it gets a little too punch-liney for my tastes. Kerastas is that kind uncle who makes too many jokes to put people at ease and ends up making them more uncomfortable because now they have to feel awkward and laugh at his jokes. He knows this about himself. In fact, he's self-deprecating about the fact that he's self-depracating, and so you're reading along thinking, "Geez, John's trying too hard to make me laugh, here," and he's like, "I know, right?! Jane, stop this crazy thing!"

In my opinion the book would have benefited from letting the story ripen for another year, rather than cutting it off at the one-year mark. One year works great for the flurry of memoirs along the lines of  "I ate nothing but sea life for a year," or "I carpooled to work on horseback for a year," but when it comes to health issues, the timeline may need to be longer in order for the full story to unfold. This book ends with Kerastas still in treatment. In fact he's still in treatment now, while publicizing the book, so he's not yet at the end of his brain tumor story. Readers who want to see how it ends will have to follow the author's blog to find out. I certainly hope it ends well.

The Soundtrack: "Everything Gives You Cancer," from Joe Jackson's 80s album, Night and Day. I haven't listened to Joe Jackson in years, but I loved this album when I had it on cassette tape in 1982.

This book was sent to Worducopia by author John Kerastas. The opinions expressed in this post are solely my own and have not been approved or influenced by the author or a publicist.


  1. I liked Joe Jackson in 1982 too! I hadn't heard of this book, but I see what you mean about wishing you knew the end of the story. Maybe the author is working on another book about the second year!

  2. As everyone now brain injury has become very severe issue from the couple of years. Your report about the brain injury especially tumor in men and women is very informative and helpful to fight against this severe disease. traumatic brain injury

    1. Thanks for the comment, John. I checked out the link that you posted, and TryMunity looks like a terrific resource for people coping with brain injuries.