Rules of Calculation: One physicist's personal journey of science and healing

It started as a common annoyance – that feeling of water trapped in one's ear. "I know the moment very clearly," says University of Oregon physics professor John J. Toner, Ph.D., reflecting on what he came to find out was the first sign of a rare brain tumor.

"After taking a shower one morning, I felt as though I had water in my left ear," says Dr. Toner. "I shook my head, poked with my finger and tried to clear my ear. I couldn’t seem to get the 'water' out."

This was a man in good health, clearly in tune with his body, who biked to work every day and enjoyed backpacking and winter camping. The ongoing sensation of water in his ear – along with the feeling that his hearing wasn’t quite right – prompted him to make a hearing appointment two weeks later.

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