Friday, January 5, 2007

Supplement # 1- The truth about where I have been since June by Akiva Zablocki

February 7th 2006 - Supplement:

Supplement - the truth about where I have been since June by Akiva Zablocki

A lot has changed since last letter. The body is an amazing thing; if I thought 3 months ago that I will never be able to run up stairs again, or bend over without getting dizzy, but nature and time has proven me wrong. My pulse is almost back to normal, I run up and down stairs, and even ran to the bus the other day. I still wear an iPatch but I have gotten used to the pirate look (like how I called it iPatch?), also, I went from being the guy everyone loves to forget to the one eyed pirate everyone remembers. Two weeks ago my eye started to be able to be closed again, cannot blink yet, but it is coming back. This past weekend my cheek started to move, I feel I will be smiling in no time. I can feel hot and cold in my leg now, so I hope the arm and hand will follow soon. Still see double, but it just makes the world twice as beautiful (that is so corny). Over all I am feeling great.

Life has also been extremely busy since I have been back. I still go three days a week to NYU for therapies of all kinds (occupational, physical, speech, vestibular) but besides that I keep myself overly busy. I am taking two classes, one called Bearing Witness, a literature class about writings from and about the Holocaust. Yes the Holocaust; I am really happy I am finally reading about it, and the class is rally interesting. The other class is called Historical Foundations of Modern Economic Theory. That class is exactly as complicated as it sounds. But I like them both. I am back to being Senior Class President so that keep me busy.

And lastly I recently fulfilled a long life dream, and took part in a new start-up café opening up on campus. Café Nana, which I helped open, and I am one of the managers (Financial director to be exact), is a new student run Israeli style café on campus, you should all check it out if you are around. It is going great, but consuming most of my free time. Still I am doing it mostly to gain experience in running a business, in an entrepreneur setting. And to make sure the place is a success, because I truly believe in the concept. I am not being paid, but I am enjoying every second of it.

I have a girlfriend now, and it is going great, and she is really amazing. She been with me throughout my whole journey, and she is truly the sweetest girl I have ever met. I am trying to do the whole relationship thing now for the first time, and I like it.

I still have a long way to go, and a lot more to heal, but I know it is going to all happen soon, so am not worried.

I had received a lot of responses to my email I had sent out. People were forwarding it to friends and colleagues and putting things into proportion. Others were so inspired that they are quitting their jobs and going on the road and cross-dressed midget clowns. All in all I kept on getting people telling me how amazing it is that I sound so optimistic about all this. In response I say, "Is there any other way?" I mean this is the only response people ought to have to trouble. If good old Job could pull through, anyone can. People who are pessimistic usually like saying about themselves that they are only being realists. A realist, in my opinion, is not someone who needs to make up excuses to why things are going wrong; a realist does not escape realty and blame the situation on some external truth that things just suck. Being a pessimist is being a coward. Being a realist, is looking at the world, looking at yourself and where you stand, taking a deep breath, and smiling.

You are where you are because of the choices you made and the path you took in your life, and the journey is yours and no one else’s. A realist is one who knows that there is no other way then just to face your situation, deal with it, and travel the path you chose. No one is to blame for misfortune, not God, destiny, or karma. You are the only person you need to answer to, and no one is reasonable. My belief is that one should always be happy with where they are, and work to improve whatever they can.

No, I do not believe my brain surgery has changed me. I think it only tweaked what I know all along. That you are only as strong as your personality and you have no one to answer to besides yourself.

Jean -Paul Sartre once wrote in Existentialism is a Humanism “So, in the bright realm of values, we have no excuse behind us, nor justification before us. We are alone, with no excuses.”

I hope all of you are well wherever you are, and I wish you nothing but good health and happiness. Don’t forget the sunscreen; they are not paying me from Coppertone Corporation for nothing.



Ben Totushek said...

Thanks for sharing your story. I have to say I favor expanding healthcare over the majority of other issues, but your case is an example of an entirely different issue. The quality of the care we get could be improved, but I am never totally sure how that would work... I lost my mom after a 6 year battle with lung cancer, and I saw it all... we never really knew whether we were getting the best advice and yet she was getting some of the best care in the world. It's a tough nut to crack, but I admire your commitment to the issue. long time no talk.


molly said...

Akiva, your story is truly inspiring. My 9 year old daughter was diagnosed with a brain stem astrocytoma (JPA) Sept 2006. Her 2nd surgery Dec 2009, left her with many deficits, but we believe she will make a recovery and reading your story has given me hope. She also had to re-learn to walk, talk, and make brownies. It's been a long year but also a life-changing experience for the better.