Brain tumor treatment reveals hidden artistic talent

My husband, Coleman Schoessow, draws vibrant, abstract, stream-of-consciousness art with ink on canvas. He discovered this hidden talent during brain tumor treatment. He began using art as a form of relaxation and meditation, but it’s become something so much more than that. Black and white: a brain tumor diagnosis On Oct. 5, 2013, Coleman and I had our own uniquely perfect wedding. We were practically giddy in love. Then, on Oct. 15, 2013, the day after we returned from our honeymoon, Coleman had a grand mal seizure. We were stunned to learn that he had a brain tumor. Everything about our new reality seemed unfair. Coleman was diagnosed with an anaplastic astrocytoma, a malignant grade III brain tumor. When the local neurosurgeon suggested waiting four months before taking action, we sought a second opinion at MD Anderson. We haven’t looked back. Shades of gray: brain tumor treatment and side effects After Coleman’s initial surgery, we temporarily moved from our home in Granbury, Texas, to Houston so that he could undergo six weeks of radiation therapy. This was an intensely stressful time. We learned that brain cancer can cause patients to doubt their own thoughts, abilities or even who they are, and treatment can exaggerate these doubts. The radiation treatments affected Coleman’s ability to think clearly. He began having trouble discerning one voice from another when multiple people were talking, which led to intense social anxiety. A year of chemotherapy (oral Temozolomide) also brought fatigue and exaggerated his headaches and anxiety. As Coleman’s wife and primary caregiver, I saw through his uncertainties and knew that the kind, witty and interesting...