Monthly Archives

July 2015


A few words

I wanted to share this video of my speech from The Love Benefit event on June 2, 2015. The event was dreamed up by my friends and colleagues in the wedding industry, who went all out, and put together an amazing evening. Since I couldn’t be there myself, having come off an intense chemo round, I was asked to prepare a video. I figured I’d surprise everyone and show up instead :)  NOTE: I mention in the video modern humans existing 200 years, meant to say 200,000 years.


Why me?

I am currently in the hospital, having the big dreaded Round C. Oooooohhhhh. This is the round where they take you down to zero and then bring you back up. The round where if a side effect can happen, it does happen. The round where everything gross and uncomfortable surfaces before you feel better.

So far…. all the rumors have unfortunately proven true. Two days ago, my neutropenic level (immune system) officially dropped to 0.00. This means NO immune system. When your body can’t fight anything off, things start to get weird. In comes the crazy painful mouth sores, upset stomach, four blood transfusions, one platelet transfusion, fever, chest X-rays, infection, seven bags of antibiotics over ten days, total dehydration, itchiest rash everywhere, a numb left foot, and a completely f-d up GI track (stomach pain).

I also had extremely low blood pressure, which apparently causes me to have brain loopiness. This loopy feeling almost earned me a trip to the ICU (I secretly think it stands for Induced Coma Unit). Fortunately, three or four doctors assessed me, and I was able to prove that my brain was working well enough. If it had dropped just one more point, it would be no bueno for my brain, and they would have had to do some intense stuff. Scary stuff. They had actually called down to ICU, and then cancelled it.

Wouldn’t this be a perfect “Why Me” moment? Yes it would. But NOOOOOOOOO!!!!

Tonight is the 4th of July. April (who is amazing) was not only willing to be with me tonight, but had counted on it. I insisted she go out and have fun for the two of us. She has been with me every day, and I plan on being here in the hospital tomorrow. So I would not accept otherwise, and asked that she go have a drink with her friends. One for her, and one for me. It makes me happy that she ended up going. Now, when I see her tomorrow, we will have something fun to talk about besides Cancer.

So tonight, if I just paint the reality for a moment, I am totally alone in a hospital, on the 4th of July, hooked up to an IV. I just peed in a urinal, I have ointment being applied to my body for the rash, and I had a really crappy meal. I have been walking around literally in circles in a hallway for the last forty-five minutes.

Wouldn’t this be a perfect “Why Me” moment? Yes it would. But NOOOOOOOOO!!!!

Why am I sharing these wonderfully sad stories? To look for sympathy? So people will think I’m brave or something? To depress all of you? NOOOOOOOOO!!!! (sorry for all caps, I thought it would add to the drama).

So why share? Well… two purposes. The first is to serve as a reminder to everyone, including my future self, to appreciate every moment that we are healthy. Soak it up! Appreciate everything you have. Take full advantage of it. Don’t get stuck. Go take a drive, move your body, climb a rock, skip, jump up and down, watch a sunset, throw a frisbee, do jumping jacks, go swim, do it while you can. Even if it is for only 15 minutes, take advantage of being healthy every single day. Don’t say you don’t have time, because at some point there really won’t be a time. I will NEVER take health for granted again.

The second is that sometimes we all can feel very alone. Tonight, on the 4th of July, I am technically alone. But mentally, I made the decision that I am not. I have my brain. Inside my brain are a lifetime of memories with so many people that I love. I know that sounds cheesy, but my thoughts really helped me have a peaceful night tonight.

If you were to view me through a glass window, you would have seen a guy walking around a hallway in circles, holding an IV pole. But mentally, as I walked, I relived great moments in my life. I remembered 4th of Julys that I spent with my parents. I pictured myself sitting in a car at a church parking lot, overlooking the bay, and waiting for the fireworks to start. I thought about when I was with my sister and friends, riding our bikes in PB. My sister looked back at me, and when she looked forward again, she flew over a car. Like a ninja, she didn’t even spill a drop of “soda” that she was holding in a red cup. I thought about being in a small dingy boat behind Sea World, with fireworks right over my head, and how powerful that was.

Tonight I wasn’t alone at all. I had the love and stories from all of you to keep me strong. I was technically “alone” but I was laughing and having a great time. All while walking circles around a hospital hallway.

Not always, but most of the time, we choose our misery or our happiness. I believe it is a choice. The instant I feel too much compassion for myself, I’m toast. I can’t let myself go into “why me” land, or else the Cancer wins. No matter what hits me, I have to stand up again.

It is a battle for sure. It is impossible to not get knocked down. But misery should be a moment, not a lifestyle. By applying the right strategies and techniques within our minds, we all have the ability to get through anything in our lives. What really helps me during this time is to replay all the amazing adventures and stories that I have had in my life.

Tonight, in my mind, I choose to not be alone or sick. Instead, I choose to be happy and healthy. Happy 4th of July!