Chris Corn is an everyday average guy. He is 29, and a Colorado native. He keeps it Strange, like the rest of us. The major difference between most of us, and this soft spoken, intelligent guy is that he has stage 3 Brain Cancer, Oligoasrocytoma. When I called to interview Chris, it was one of the hardest interviews I have ever done. I have had my own experiences with cancer, and of course, none of them were good. Strange music helped me pull through the hard times, and the story is no different for Chris.
In March of 2009, Chris started feeling sick. He was normally a healthy person, when he started getting horrible headaches. When he admitted himself to the hospital, they thought that he might have a sinus infection, but after several tests, they concluded it had nothing to do with his sinuses. It turned out, Chris had a mass on the left temporal lobe of his brain a bit smaller than a dime. After waiting to see if things would change, they opened him up and tried to remove the mass. They thought they had been pretty successful in removing the mass during surgery, and Chris felt great for a few months.
One day, in June of this year, he started to feel dizzy, and the vertigo made him almost fall over. The headaches had come back. When he returned to the hospital, there was no good news to offer. The mass was now bigger than the size of a grape, and closer to the size of a golf ball.The cancer had returned with force.
Once again, Chris found himself in surgery. The following day, he felt better than he had in a long time. The attending doctor even went so far as to tell him he looked great, “like a rock star.” Everything was starting to look up for Chris. But a few days later, he received a phone call from one of the nurses at the hospital. The cancer was not gone. It had shifted from stage 2 to stage 3, and he needed to start chemotherapy and radiation as soon as possible. She also let him know that even then, the odds were not in his favor.
It took him a few days to make the decision whether or not to go through with the chemotherapy. He had always been against certain types of treatment, and chemo and radiation isn’t exactly a walk in the park. It can make you really sick, and it’s been known to make a bad situation worse. The deciding factor for Chris was his family. His mother, his sister, and her children. He didn’t want to miss out on his sister’s kids growing up and of course, he wanted to spend as much time with his family as possible. He explained to me that his mother is an amazing lady. Chris is unable to work due to his illness so, his mother works two jobs to help support the family and the ever rising medical costs.
“When I was young, I did some things that I am not proud of. Things that I know must have hurt her, and through all of this, she has stuck by my side. She is amazing. My sister, her kids… amazing. I want to watch them grow. I want their future to be sound. I don’t want to miss a thing. I want to watch the world change. Sometimes I feel jealous that I might not be able to see everything, but then again I don’t want to feel sorry for myself. I’m just trying to take it as it comes.”
Silence followed. I felt tears coming to my eyes. So I moved to a different subject. Music. When I did, the mood changed considerably.
“Tech, man. Listening to Tech, Brotha Lynch, Kutt Calhoun…for me, it’s better than any prescription drugs out there. When K.O.D. came out, I could relate with every song. . I felt like he (Tech) had gone through a lot of pain and mental suffering, and the music spoke to me.
When I am having a rough day, I throw on ‘Show Me A God’. I jam that song. ‘Delusional’, All 6’s and 7’s, ‘Cult Leader’, ‘Mental Giant’, and if I didn’t have this music, I would be really depressed. I don’t know how I would make it through.”
Chris would love to go to a Tech show. The last time the tour came to Colorado, he was very ill. Even so, he tried to get tickets, which were already sold out. “They go quick around here. I have heard it is an amazing performance, and I hope that the next time they are around this way, I might be able to go check it out.” Until then, he will continue to battle the beast, for himself, and for his family.
We continued our conversation for a few minutes, talking about music, books, politics. Chris is a real person in every aspect. After we said our goodbyes, I sat and thought about everything he had said. I even cried a little. For someone who is dealing with so much, he continues to stay positive while staring at his own mortality. It puts things into perspective. All that matters in the end is family, friends, and the memories we make and hold dear.
This is no dress rehearsal, folks. It’s the real deal, the main event, the big show. And the curtain is closing. Live, laugh and enjoy life every chance you get.
– Written By Meagen Couch