As Funny as a Brain Tumor! Part 15

The next morning, our last day in Disney, I woke up to my kids talking to each other.  I sat up in bed and just looked at them.  There voices sounded normal.  I couldn’t believe it. Matter of fact, I didn’t believe it. I put on the radio, it sounded normal. I was so excited and happy but I still didn’t say anything to my wife because I was afraid I was mistaken. “What if it was still messed up? Let’s not get overly excited, Steve”, I thought to myself.

About 15 minutes later I told my wife. I then shared with her the whole story about the prayer I had prayed the night before.  She didn’t seem surprised.  I was shocked and in awe that God had actually performed a miracle for me and answered my prayer.  She just smiled and said “Of course, he does that all the time”. I just looked at her amazed at her faith.  “Not like this!” I said.  We went home to New Hampshire later that day and I was one happy camper.

For the last five years things have gone pretty smoothly.  Normal life stuff. Nothing to write a blog about.  I’m happy about that!  I don’t know the why behind all the things in this story and I doubt I ever will but part of me thinks this last story was so very important to me and my journey.

You see, as you could probably tell as you read the story, I was growing increasingly more and more negative.  Many times I doubted if God existed.  Other times, I thought “Well if he does exist, he’s kind of a jerk!”.  Other times,  I thought “Well, if he does exist, he could care less about me!”.  I know many of you who are reading this might be thinking it was just a coincidence and God had nothing to do with it.  I just happened to pray that prayer the night before my hearing was to return to normal.  Believe me, many times I have even thought that myself.  But I keep coming back to that prayer that I said. I laid it all out like I never had before.  I told him that if I were to see him work immediately then there would be no question in my mind.  He did exist and he does care about me. He is involved in my life and working and moving.  The next morning, I woke up and was cured.  You might think it was a coincidence but I like to believe it was something else.

Since that time in 2005, life has been good.  My girls are getting bigger everyday.  I’ve had many fun and happy times with them. More than I can count.  I’ve had great times with my wife who is my best friend. We bought a house that we all love and feel lucky to live in.  I feel very grateful and fortunate.

I had someone ask me once if I had any regrets?  Would I go back and change something from my past if I had the power to do so?  Without even thinking about it I said “No”. I wouldn’t change a thing. Brain tumor, cancer, bacterial meningitis, Toxic Epidermal Necrolysis, headaches, shunt and even depression.  Those things have all worked to make me who I am today.  They have all brought me to this place.  It feels good to be here.  I don’t want to leave this place.  I’m afraid that if I were to change one thing in the past then that would change where I am today and who I am right now.  I like this place. No thanks. I’ll stay right here.

I’m not sure what the future holds.  I’m not sure if I’m out of the woods yet.  I pray daily that none of my girls take after me with health issues.  That’s my biggest fear.  Every time one of them says they have a headache I get scared.  I’m hopeful though. It’s out of my hands.  There is nothing I can do. About me and my future or about them and their futures. All we can do is the best that we can and at a certain point we all come to a point where we are too weak to handle things ourselves.  Some people never get to that point until they are lying on their deathbed.  Some people have too many of those moments through out their lives.  I do believe that if we can look at those moments with the right perspective we can learn a lot about ourselves and the people around us.  There were many times during this story that I thought I was cursed.  Now as I write this story out, I have a different view, maybe I am blessed and not cursed, maybe I am one of the luckiest people on earth.  I think it’s a matter of perspective.

Like I wrote earlier in the story, I’m writing this to those of you out there that will read it and get something out of it.  I’m not even sure what you will get out of it and I have already received many emails from people who were touched, moved or inspired in ways that I had not anticipated.   I do pray for those of you out there that are in a dark place such as I was in.  I’ve been there and know how sad and lonely it can be.  I pray and hope that you can and will come out the other side and end up in a place that is good to be in.  A place that you yourselves don’t want to leave. Thanks for taking the time to read about my journey!  Take care and stay healthy!    Steve

Neff Family

Steve & Brenda with Sarah,Melissa, Jillian and dog Tucker

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Steve About Steve

Steve Neff has been playing and teaching saxophone and jazz improvisation around the New England area for the last 30 years. He is the author of many effective jazz improvisation methods as well as founding the popular jazz video lesson site Neffmusic.com.

Comments

  1. Vito, Thanks so much for taking the time to read this story from my life. Steve

  2. Avatar Brigit Büttner says

    Hallo Steve,
    vielen Dank für das Schreiben deiner Geschichte. sie hat mich sehr berührt, ich habe einige Tage empathisch mit ihr verbracht….
    Ich bin, gerade in diesen Zeiten von Corona, davon überzeugt, dass unser Glauben an eine höhere Macht und an uns selbst uns in Frieden, Gesundheit und Liebe weiter leben lässt…
    Pass auf dich und deine Lieben auf
    Brigit

    Translation:

    Hello Steve,
    Thank you for writing your story. It touched me very much, I spent a few days empathetically reading it….
    Especially in these times of Corona, I am convinced that our belief in a higher power and in ourselves allows us to live on in peace, health and love …
    Take care of yourself and your loved ones
    Brigit

  3. Wow! I’ve been following you for several years, bought some of your excellent lessons and rely on your meticulous mouthpiece reviews as I try to find my sound. I have thoroughly
    enjoyed your saxophone playing and been inspired by it. Thank you!
    And now I just read every installment of your health blog. Your story and success is truly impressive! It motivates me to work harder and be thankful for health and life in general.
    You are an amazing guy, Steve!

  4. Wow! I’ve been following you for several years, bought some of your excellent lessons and rely on your meticulous mouthpiece reviews as I try to find my sound. I have thoroughly
    enjoyed your saxophone playing and been inspired by it. Thank you!
    And now I just read every installment of your health blog. Your story and success is truly impressive! It motivates me to work harder and be thankful for health and life in general.
    You are an amazing guy, Steve!

    Hi Mark, Thanks so much for taking the time to read my personal story. I also appreciate you reaching out to say so. It is very encouraging! Steve

  5. Avatar McGregor says

    Hey, Steve: I bought a Meyer New York 100th Anniversary alto mouthpiece because I heard your test on this site and I thought, “That’s how an alto should sound.” I picked up my sax a couple months ago after it sat untouched for virtually 30 years. And now I’m really excited and interested in trying to teach myself how to improvise, which was always the thing I regretted not being able to do. Your videos and blog have been really cool in this effort. Today, I saw the link, “Funny as a Brain Tumor,” and I thought I’d see what was the story behind it. So I just read all of the parts and they inspired me to make this post and just say, “Thank you for sharing this story.” My wife is a cancer survivor who fought related problems and I thought I would lose her for sure on more than one occasion. But I have her. We have our two daughters. I love how you play and explain how you play, but now I really love how you have persevered as a human and a dad and a husband. Congratulations and best wishes for continued health. I’m really glad I rediscovered my old Yamaha YAS-62, for which I still have the receipt in the case from 1985. I’m also glad I discovered your life story. It’s inspirational, man.

  6. McGregor, Thanks so much for taking the time to read my story. I am so happy that your wife is still with you and your kids! I believe that when we survive health issues like this it can make our lives richer as we are more appreciative and thankful for what we have. We also realize that it can be taken away at any moment by forces outside ourselves which reminds us to make the most of each day. In a way I see my past experience as a gift that has made my life so much better. Thanks for writing and I wish you and your family the best! Steve

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