Dear Inoperable Brain Tumor,

It is with a heavy heart that I write these lines to you here in the florescent light of the chemo recovery room, but I felt I just had do this—for both of us. I want you to know that I had high hopes for this relationship when we first met at the MRI. The romance, the drama—the prospect of certain death—all added a certain je ne sais quoi to what had been until then just a casual fling with another benign growth. And even though all my friends warned me that this relationship could go nowhere, I really thought with you it would be different this time.

I guess what I’m trying to say is that I tried to make this work. I really did.

Look, I know I’ve changed, but you’ve changed too. You’re no longer the dull headache, dizziness and vague feeling of unease you used to be. Lately all you seem to want to do is make me lose feeling in my left arm and go to sleep. I confess: it’s been increasingly painful to be in this relationship as time has gone by. I guess in the end I’m just sick of the constant seizures and blindness in one eye, not to mention the vomiting and hearing loss.

Where did the magic go?

I want you to know, though, that it’s not really about you: it’s me. I’ve just got to move on, do other things with the six months left in my life, and so should you. And, well, to be honest: I’ve met someone else. God, I know how horrible that sounds, but I never planned for this to happen. It’s just that I’ve always been attracted to kidney failure and after you metastasized, I knew it felt right for me at this point in my life. I mean, I still care for you and I always will. I just needed a change that only a progressive buildup of toxins and jaundice leading to eventual death could give me.

I think a lot of this is about my childhood, but then you know that.

I know this is hard for you. Hell, it’s hard for me too! But let’s stay friends. Keep in touch. And hey, I’m sure I’ll see you at the next CAT-scan. Until then, take care of yourself, okay?

Paul Houseman