The Tower Journal

Jayden Riley



The Year of the Tumor

It was the year of two broken legs
The year I heard “brain tumor” by my doctor
The year I spent more than a month in hospitals
The year I lost the ability to speak
The year I went blind
The year I could no longer hear
The year I spent weeks in a wheelchair
The year with so many questions
And very few answers
The year that oncoming snow brought forth so much pain
The year I could no longer climb stairs
The year I couldn’t bathe myself
The year I couldn’t use the bathroom without help
The year of failed tests and failed medications
The year I was told “we don’t know”
The year I was told it wasn’t actually a brain tumor
The year I learned about my pseudotumor
The year of so many losses
And not nearly enough gains
The year I had to learn to walk again
The year of using a wheelchair
The year of using a cane
And still doing so occasionally
The year of the two broken legs
That weren’t actually broken
The year I was convinced I was going to die
Terrified I would die
The year I wanted to die
It was the year that I lost hope
The year that exhausted me
The year I fought
It was the year I didn’t let the pseudotumor kill me




Copyright © 2014 Jayden Riley


Jayden RileyJayden Riley works as a mental health worker at New Hampshire State Psychiatric Hospital. He is an avid writer, and has published a few poems. He also enjoys writing short stories regarding his history with mental illness, his coming out, and other works based on his lived experience. He lives in New Hampshire with his fiancé and their numerous pets.

The Tower Journal
Fall/Winter 2014