On March 24, 2012, Jack Eadon, along with his Team Jack walked the 6th Annual ABI Walk for Brain Injury Awareness at Huntington Beach in California. Jack is an incredible individual with an amazing story.
Jack is well aware of surgical injury. Since August, 2010, his fifth and final surgery, he has been unable to swallow and is tube fed. Diagnosed at an early age in 1978, Jack had 4 surgeries before his epidermoid brain tumor was completely excised in 2010. His battle with the epidermoid brain tumor has been challenging, yet he remains hopeful and determined.
He’s a man of many talents from his younger days when he led his own band, a rock ‘n’ roll band, Khazad Doom, from suburban Morton Grove, Illinois, throughout the sixties and early seventies, performing in and around Chicago. Artistically, over nine years, they forged a kind of music now called Progressive Rock. Jack in a sixties memoir, Got To Make It!, wrote of his rock band and about his years with the band and their unusual decade together. After their split in 1972, during the eighties, the band achieved cult status when their promo album LEVEL 6 1/2 was reissued and distributed throughout Europe. As leader, Jack drove the band toward its goal of stardom.
He entered the corporate world with his MBA in 1974, which took him to 1983, when he opened a business in southern California. Now, after having lived in Illinois, Texas, California, and Kansas, Jack resides back in southern Californiawith his wife, Karen, and has established a full time career as a writer. Author Jack Eadon’s diverse life has inspired his American Drama Series. His latest marketing feat has been to serialize his newest book worldwide. Click here to read about Eadon Books and Jack’s drama series.
Asked about his writing, he remarked about his books – fiction-based-on-fact – that readers will read how he parlayed a handful of brain surgeries into a handful of careers and a future. He relies on a few close friends and a network of e-mail buddies to provide him a support system. He travels occasionally; doing book talks in the many places he’s lived.
Jack has built an incredible, inviting, and entertaining website about his journey. Even more amazing is an illustrated easy to follow 13-step process for coping with and recovering from a major health trauma or life event. Click here to visit Jack’s healing steps. You won’t regret it.
In an interview Jack Eadon had this to say:
Briefly discuss the trauma you have suffered.
At the age of 27, I saw double. Since then, I’ve had five brain surgeries to reduce and finally remove a large benign recurrent tumor wrapped around my brain stem. Since my last surgery in August 2010, I have not had a thing to eat or drink; I’m waiting for my swallowing to return and am taking steps to make that happen.
Talk about a moment of hope you experience in the midst of this trauma.
During my last recuperation I began to rehabilitate my facial nerves and muscles, one at a time while looking into the mirror. I applied a similar approach to exercise my larynx to exercise swallowing muscles. Once I regained some control over my healing body, I felt incredible hope surge within me. I knew then that I would eventually return to normal.
What gives you the strength to persevere?
I never realized how my gregarious existence was wrapped up in food until I had to be tube-fed. No Super Bowl parties or barbecues for me. Most of my friends have disappeared, family has not been available, and people have hung up on me because of my garbled voice. I have never been a particularly religious man, but one friend who has stuck by me suggested that my perseverance in the face of this trauma seemed almost “other-worldly.” For the first time I really sensed that my strength was a gift of God’s; that whatever I did was truly a reflection of His love of me. For the first time in my life, I really did not think that religious talk was corny; I understood the power of infinite love. I think my revelation has given me the strength to do my daily therapies – physical, balance, facial muscles, and swallowing – and I’m now seeing results. I think I will swallow soon.
How has your spirit changed, prior to the diagnosis to now?
When I felt in control but had the strength of God with me, I improved. I think I had to hit bottom before I truly found that hope. Then I dug myself out, slowly but surely! Enthusiasm about my writing continues, working on book #2 of my series. I’m rediscovering my love of photography and listen to music again, too! Finally, I want to speak about my story to people across the country.
What is your advice for someone suffering a traumatic health diagnosis?
Attitude is everything and having a spiritual base is helpful. Acceptance makes recuperation easier. With each step, you’ll gain momentum!
WHAT’S JACK UP TO NOW?
An important trip to solve some very troubling issues – Since having brain surgery August 17, 2010, Jack has not swallowed. That means he hasn’t had a thing to eat or drink – except liquid food through a G-Tube – for over two years, and has lost over 100 pounds. Jack also needed to mitigate the feelings of dependency he has been having from his dysphagia and being so naturally gregarious. Life seems to revolve around eating, doesn’t it? Something that’s easy to take for granted.
One thing you can say about Jack, HE NEVER GIVES UP. Following a trip, which is a story in and of itself; Jack visited the swallowing team at University of California at Davis on October 24, 2012. He had a high tech swallowing study and a follow up consultation. The result short term will be intense therapy with a talented and accomplished speech language pathologist, Liza Blumenfeld, at Scripps in San Diego. Longer term, Jack will be considered for a Phase II clinical trial targeted to improving his swallowing capability. In Jack’s words, “this is all good and raises hope to a new level!”
Jack has written a story about this trip, his visit with a friend in Victoria (across from Seattle), enjoying an IMAX theater experience, and the complex logistics one must address when traveling with dysphagia. Click here to read this episode in Jack’s journey.
Byline and credits:
Much of Jack’s story was written by Fay Powell. Fay is part of an all volunteer international non-profit organization, the “Epidermoid Brain Tumor Community.”
Jack Eadon writes about his life and his health journey. To visit his website, click here. He too contributed mightily to this piece.
The NFOSD Team thanks Fay and Jack for sharing his story.