Today we climbed to 5000meters (16400ft) above sea level in Peru , rainbow mountain. Last year around this time , I was prepping for my brain tumor extraction surgery. Last year, my friends and I went to Peru and they climbed rainbow mountain but I bailed and return to NYC, afraid of the altitude could affect my brain tumor which was the size of golf ball. Celebrating today , an year later , there is life after brain tumor! Ask me anything! Social media link proof

Comments: 33 • Responses: 14  • Date: 

ironskin5 karma


What were the first symptoms you felt before you discover the tumor?

travelogion3 karma

Thank you for asking . Short answer - double vision. Long answer - I did CrossFit . One day we did overhead squats which is squatting with barbell weight above head level. I felt a pinching sensation , shooting electricity like pain. However, I completed the set and thought that after I relax , the pain would go away... It did not . It bothered me for months , I ignored it . I correlated the pain and the possible injury , so i had logical explanation for myself . Then a few months later , I started having nightmares. I would hear a menacing voice which persistently claimed - " you don't have much longer to live !" I would wake up in sweat . I ignored this also . Eventually I noticed that I had double vision and alcohol intake made it worse . My drinking habits were excessive not...Had apointment with opthalmologist who sent me to have a cat scan . Actually , instinctively anticipating the worst , I asked him if my double vision could be due to a brain tumor. This was before the cat scan . He said this was too extreme as hypothesis, and we should rule out other possibilities first. The following day he called my cell phone . " Unfortunately, I don't have a good news for you , you have a large mass right under your brain , you need a neurosurgeon and mri , immediately !

lostinthe5305 karma

Congratulations on your recovery! Where are you climbing in Peru?

travelogion4 karma

We climbed Vinicunca, also Montaña de Colores or Rainbow Mountain. It  is a mountain in Peru with an altitude of 5,200 meters above sea level. It is located in the Andes of Peru, in the Cusco Region. You can see some of my pictures that I uploaded on Instagram , my handle is travelogion .

travelogion1 karma

Vinicunca, also Montaña de Colores or Rainbow Mountain. It is about 3 hour drive from Cusco. I have to confess that I am not a mountaineer . I went to Peru because last year I "put my life on hold!" Let me explain . My best friend wedding was planned to take place in Peru and he organized a nice retreat which included visit to Cusco and rainbow mountain. However, life surprised me with a brain tumor diagnosis a week before my departure . I tried to reason and call it off but he insisted , so I flew in to Peru with my 3.5cm brain tumor. I was fine in Lima bit once on Cusco the altitude really got me. I felt seizure like symptoms , or what I thought might be seizure symptoms . So , I packed and left . Now, an year later after my brain tumor surgery , I returned to Peru to reincarnate the past and relive it for a better outcome . This is a brief version of my story .

CafeandoMole3 karma

Would you say the tumor affected the way you behaved/took decisions? Where was it located?

Where would you go next? What do you have nexr on your bucket list?

travelogion3 karma

The tumor was located at my cerebellopontine angle. The neurosurgeon reflected that it was tough location to operate since it was right under my brain , and he needed an ENT to lift the brain so he would reach and operate . It turned out that neurosurgery has a lot in common with real estate and it is always "location location , location !" They could not answer two important questions , both important to me . What caused the tumor ? How long has it been growing for ? Usually , if there is inflammation in the area near by the tumor , they could read this to predict the longevity of the tumor ... It could have been a reason for my behavior and or certain decisions I made, or it could have been the other way around and some.of my choices and behaviors could have caused the growth of the tumor , or maybe such set the conditions. This is a little bit like the chicken and the eggs conundrum. My argument is that tumors are physical metaphoric expressions of emotional and psychological trauma. If we fail to resolve a situation at a conscious level , it would manifest in the physical as faith . Next, traveling to India , Nepal , south east Asia and china .

AMAInterrogator3 karma

How are you financing your climbing and travel?

travelogion1 karma

I am not a professional climber , also climbing Vinicunca does not require any special gear. The altitude could propose some challenges along the way but the terrain is easy to walk. The local community maintains the hiking trek. They are horsemen and offer their survives , plus you can ride their horses for a small fee. The horse does not take you all the way to the top but it really helps since at this altitude , every little move requires a lot of effort and the lack of oxygen makes your heart work several times faster. The reason I have returned to Peru and climbed this mountain is because I could not do it last year . It was my attempt to re-live the past and produce better outcome for myself . I run my own business in NYC . I do real estate property investment .

IllyriaD1 karma

The 7 colored mountain hike is something like 25 dollars, with transportation, food, guide included.

travelogion1 karma

This sounds like a good deal! I paid $250 and this included private transportation and guide. No food . Maybe we got duped :)

IllyriaD1 karma

That's the price per person, in a group tour. Not private.

Still in Cusco? Go to Mil Centro by Virgilio Martinez.

If you end up in Lima, go to Central Restaurante.

Cooked there for a year. Worth the visit and money.

travelogion1 karma

Oh, got it! Thank you , we left already . Maybe, we will do it next time. Our group was 3 ppl.

lucy_the_ewok2 karma

You are a true inspiration! What advice would you give to someone who is 6 months into recovery from brain cancer and suffering, not sure what to do next?

travelogion1 karma

Thank you for sharing ! I have never had brain cancer , my brain tumor was benign and even though it was large , it is rather different than yours. You mentioned that you are suffering . Would you please explain . How would you describe your suffering ? I am asking because my suffering was anguish, anxiety and fear for my life ...I learned that suffering is part of my humane experience and I ha r to accept it . It is part of me , the same with my anger , my anxiety , my sorrows ... Those are all pieces of the big "Me" . I sometimes don't know how to deal with those parts , they appear foreign , different than my perception of who I am or should be ... Sometimes, the most challenging part for me is to accept myself .

[deleted]2 karma


travelogion3 karma

Hi , thank you for your questions! I am not seeking 100% re-covery. The experience changed me completely - psychologically and emotionally . As far as physical shape, I resumed my gym activities and kickboxing practice only a month after the surgery . Again, I am not searching for re-covery , life was more conceptual , flat and one dimensional. Now , life takes place simultaneously all the time, it is more meaningful and every second is worth living ! I run my own business and I started meeting clients 9 days after the surgery , I still had my metal staples , 54 of them on the side where they made the incision. Surgery was done at nyu langone , the neurosurgeon was Dr Jafar Jafar.

BringMeLuck2 karma

Did the doctors have to remove some of your brains? Are there any side-effects after the removal?

travelogion9 karma

No brain tissue was removed :) the tumor was extracted successfully . The side effects are tremendous . My priority system change and now I prefer to travel, spend time with friends and family . Things came in prospective very quickly . Actually, I proposed to my gf before the surgery took place and she accepted , so 6 months after the surgery , we hosted 500+guests wedding ceremony . You can check my FB page

tattoosandcoffeee1 karma

Did you have any profound spiritual experiences or remember anything while being out during surgery? Can you elaborate more on how your perception of reality has changed? Thanks!

travelogion1 karma

Yes , there were a few spiritual experiences , or experiences which could not be logically explained , hence they provoked Spiritual insight. Perceptionwise - the veil of illusion concerning my invincibility and unlimited time was removed . With other words I learned that whatever I want to do , I should do it now because there is no tomorrow

Dogmun101 karma

Was the view mind blowing?

travelogion1 karma

The view was great ! But I am not sure if I was more excited because I have reached the summit, or because I didnot have to climb anymore. The altitude made me lightheaded and I burst into laughter for no apparent reason at some point... I think people might have looked but it was so great to not care , not care about anything at all! Freedom on steroids as stupid this might sound

_peppermint1 karma

Did you notice any changes in your personality while you had the tumor or after it was removed? How did you come to be diagnosed?

Also, I just wanted to say that truepic shows the exact location where you took that picture on a map. I’m sure you knew that but just in case you didn’t and don’t want people to know exactly where you were when you took this picture, I figured I would let you know

travelogion1 karma

Thank you for the message ! Yes, I am familiar with the fact the app reveals my exact location. I took the picture at my hotel room in Cusco right after we did the rainbow mountain hike. Sorry for the delay in my response , we are traveling today . Funny , I am actually with my parents in law , they are in their 70's , they also did the hike . My father in law was proud to declare he did it without even taking the coca leaf tea which I sipped on a few occasions while hiking . It helps with the altitude sickness and it is a natural remedy. Personality changes Before surgery I used to be bad-tempered, angry and quick to disagree with others . I was very opinionated and unwilling to accept that my ways were only my personal interpretation of reality but not reality itself. This built anxiety and since I was constantly seeking ways to escape myself , I abused alcohol . So I could pretend to be something I was not ... Now after the surgery , I am still short tempered sometimes , however, I am willing to accept that I am here to be in service ...and I am not for my own sake . Call it a spiritual awakening, this experience allowed me to see the bigger picture. I did not have to run away from my Self anymore. This process of acceptance is gradual , it still takes place now. However, I don't have to constantly defend what I am not ... This release of the chains of my own creation -my personality , allowed me to know that I have a spiritual part, hence it is my duty to address its calling ..hope this make sense

[deleted]-1 karma


travelogion5 karma

Hi , not sure who "Deez" is ... If you mean the photo on the post which appears on the picture on my FB page , this is my wife