“Memoir of a True Airhead”

I recently had the opportunity to connect with brain tumor thriver and author, Brenda Nearpass.

In May of 2018, after enduring years of headaches, Brenda was finally diagnosed with a grade II Meningioma brain tumor. She went through emergency brain surgery and then thirty radiation treatments. As she questioned those around her about what was happening, she documented her story of survival and transformed it into a book, “Memoir of a True Airhead“.

Welcome, Brenda. How would you summarize your story? 

“Memoir of a True Airhead” is my story of surviving a massive brain tumor, God’s perfect timing, and love. I didn’t know the tumor was growing inside me until I was in the ICU. I was given two choices: not having surgery and dying within a few days or having surgery. The neurosurgeons informed us that if I survived the surgery, I probably would never talk or walk normally again, and I would never drive again. I am a walking, talking, and driving God miracle. In this book, I share the good, the bad, the ugly, and the humor of living with brain disease.

Humor of living with a brain disease? Some readers are probably wondering how that’s even possible. Would you like to elaborate?

There have been many moments to laugh about. When I woke up from the surgery, a nurse asked how I was feeling. I joked about how I had always claimed I was an airhead, but now I truly was one. The large space the tumor had taken up was now one big pocket of air.

The large space the tumor had taken up was now one big pocket of air.

My kids sometimes get a birthday present a week or even a month late because I forget where I hid them. I like to try to make jokes about it because laughter is the best medicine. 

I couldn’t agree more… laughter truly is “the best medicine.” When I was first diagnosed I recall asking a pest control company for a brain tumor discount on tenting our house but for some reason, the sales representative failed to see the humor in my request. I thought it was pretty funny but in all honesty, my sense of humor has always been a bit questionable. Anyhow, What inspired you to document and share your story?

Many days and hours were missing from my memory. Waking up in the hospital with a bandage wrapped around my head was quite startling. To help myself figure out what happened, I asked questions. My brain was in a fog from the trauma and didn’t allow me to retain the information my family provided. After asking multiple times, I decided to put pen to paper for future reference. When I shared my writing with my husband, we both thought that others going through trauma might benefit from my experience and may find hope.

What was the biggest challenge you had to overcome?

There are many emotional challenges that I have dealt with. I wondered if people would think I was smart enough to continue in my career and if I would be able to remember things. The brain tumor has taken many memories from me. Anxiety is something I never had before the surgery and have had to learn to deal with.

What motivated you to persevere?

God didn’t bring me through that for me to give up. I believe God saved me so I can help others.

What are one or two messages you most hope readers will glean from your book?

Never give up! Believe that you are enough and God loves you more than you will ever understand, and God’s timing is perfect.

What did you learn during your journey?

In those moments when we think God has forgotten about us, or that we have done too many bad things for God to love us; we need to open our eyes and we will see that God never left us.

What else would you like readers to know?

There is always hope! Too many times we think we are all alone and that no one will understand what we are going through. I have found that many people have experienced very similar situations and can help me.

Is there anything else you would like to share?

Believe and have Faith!

Where can your book be found?

Amazon and Barnes & Noble

How can people reach you?

People can contact me by email [email protected]

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