James W. Truver & Monica Jean Brooks

The Story
JW Truver
James W. Truver
Philadelphia, PA
NK T-Cell Nasal Lymphoma Survivor
Twist On Cancer: My personal "twist on cancer" is a story of bad luck, good luck and a timely realization.

Bad luck: I missed catching a softball in 2007 and ended up, quite literally, with a broken face. A lot of stitches, a surgery and a couple months later, I was good as new. My stint as Frankenstein ended knowing in about 10 years, I'd develop scar tissue and would need at least one more surgery.

Good luck: In the fall of 2014, I started losing the ability to breathe through my nose. In early 2015, I went back to my doctor, knowing I'd need my nose "roto-rooted" as I jokingly referred to it. X-rays confirmed the extra tissue and the very much "routine" nasal surgery was scheduled.

Timely Realizations: Surprisingly, I woke up within an hour of my surgery start: waaaay too early. During the surgery, they found cancer instead of scar tissue. Within five days, pathology results showed a very aggressive form of cancer that statistically I should not have. I was admitted to the hospital and my treatment immediately started. Since that journey began, I've realized there is no such thing as luck. There is only appreciation of life and the respect of each person's time. I've since committed both personally and professionally to trying to help others realize, although we have no idea how much time we all have, we do have the ability to determine how we spend our precious commodity of time each and every day.
Monica Brooks headshot
Monica Jean Brooks
“Foul Ball”
Photograph Print on Canvas
21 x 26 inches
Artist Statement: After listening to Jim’s story, I set out to create a piece that reflected the complexity of his experience and the quickness of it. The image, though simple, represents something haunting and profound. It reminds us that not everything is what it seems. The softball is the catalyst in what has come to be Jim’s reality with cancer, and also his survival story. To know Jim is to know humor, determination, gentleness and strength. As the years pass, our stories take on more meaning. Our new memories melt with the old and certain moments become harder to touch. It is my sincere hope that this picture will forever capture a moment of unknowing and known, hardship and overcoming, deliverance and grace. With love and gratitude Jim, this is for you.