To say a lot has happened in the past two years would be an understatement.
You know about most of it. You know that Aaron’s brain tumor revealed itself in a grand mal seizure (the medical terminology sounds far more chic than “a seizure at his desk while we were chatting online during work hours”), he was diagnosed with brain cancer, we got married, he did a year of chemo and 30 days of radiation, we moved, his brain tumor came back, he had another brain surgery, he threw me a surprise party for my 30th birthday EVEN THOUGH HE WAS IN A HOSPITAL BED. We had a baby! We moved again. And in between those last 12 months he spent 5 days a month in the hospital for some gnarly chemo that makes me nauseous to describe.
What you don’t know, or maybe you do, is that it’s not just chemo. It’s a total disruption to his life that he has handled with such grace and class that I honestly wonder what on Earth he sees in me. I got the flu for a day last week and literally cried in bed while screaming “GET AWAY FROM ME! I NEED GINGER ALE! NO, TAKE IT AWAY!”
In 12 rounds of chemo, Aaron has only complained like 5 or 6 times. Something along the lines of, “oh, I just don’t feel very good.” He’s never puked. He is kind and patient and loving towards me even though I am the kind of person who writes a letter to a Papa Murphy’s franchisee when their teenage employees fail to “live the brand” and are rude to me. Even though I’m the kind of person who kind of sees how that sentence looks ridiculous but would do it all over again if I had the chance.
Every month, Aaron has packed a bag and kissed his family goodbye, has put his work on hold and been held hostage in a hospital wing where his fellow inmates are typically on the other side of 70 and have all but given up on life. He withstands poisons that have brought others to their knees, and keeps smiling (and playing soccer). He lives his life as fully and joyfully as ever, even though he got dealt a shittier hand than most of us, who are busy doing things like angry tweeting about how Starbucks got our name wrong on our latte cup or writing letters of complaint to Papa Murphy’s franchisees about their surly teen employees.
The thing about cancer (okay, there are a few “things” but here is a thing I will say right now), is that it isn’t special. It’s not. It’s kind of like an iPhone: we’re all getting one eventually, we just don’t know which model. Aaron got just about the worst kind of cancer you can get, and since his diagnosis plenty of my other hot, young friends have found cancer hiding in their young, hot bodies.
Let me be frank here: this sucks.
I’m not a scientist (sorry to all you readers who thought I was) and I’m not a doctor (again, my apologies). I’m a girl with a blog and two legs and too many opinions and too many friends fighting an invisible enemy inside their own bodies and a feeling that god damn it, I want to do something more because Aaron and my friends aren’t the only people with cancer and unless we all do our little part, they won’t be the last.
Purmathon was a start.
Next up, 3 friends and I will be running the New York City Half Marathon in March. Each step of the way, we’ll be raising money for the American Cancer Society.