Saturday, August 7, 2010

The End of Self Loathing

This past week Autumn and I had a couple of sad days but I think we're done without the self loathing.

On Friday I had a doctor's appointment with my other oncologist. A little more confident after my positive meeting on Wednesday I dared to ask braver questions: "What's the prognosis of my disease? Can I live 60 more years?" The oncologist answered, "On paper the odds of living another 10 to 15 years aren't as great as we'd like but we'll have to see." My heart sank.

Just getting married, with brights plans of a future together, starting a family with children, it's tough not to let those numbers go into your head. Will I see my unborn children graduate high school? Will my 9 month old dog out live me? It's all really sad.

My cousin Sandy, who eariler this year completed rounds of chemotherapy to eliminate her own cancer, guided me along, "No one in the world knows how long he will live. We go ahead with our lives assuming that we'll be very old when we die. It's all so surreal when we finally see that we are mortal beings. The thing is, we've always been mortal. We just didn't think about it until something scary happened. You make your plans for your future, Jeff. You have as much a one as anyone else in this world."

And she's so right! Just this past month my friend's son died of a sudden heart failure and another friend's sister died from a freak car accident. We just don't know what the future holds.

So I'm going to fight for those next 60 years if not more and make all the plans for a future. There's a lot of great research out there and the medical field is changing fast, so we're all going to cross our fingers for a cure.

If there's one thing I know about my future it's that I'm going to enjoy the hell enjoy out of every single day: wake up with a smile, hug my beautiful wife and kiss my children (just Benson & Hemo for now).

p.s. I also got told on Friday that this is likely going to take more than 6 rounds of chemo before it's beat. Tear,


  1. Jeffrey, I am so sorry you had to learn the "golden rule of life" this way, but like the cliche "out of adversity comes strength." You have always been a wonderful human being, but you are much a stronger and wiser person as a result. Many people just tread water through their entire life not realizing how wonderful it is to be alive each and every day regardless of the circumstances. And I feel sorry for them.

    Your inner strength and determined attitude will be one of your fiercest weapons against your cancer. I am so proud that your are my son and you have been an inspiration to your family and friends all over the world.

  2. right by your side too champ, you are beyond brave.
    sandy is totally right. "one day at a time"

    love ya pal

  3. You have an amazing attitude, spirit and heart. I learned a long time ago that each day is a gift and to live it to the fullest, but it's easy to forget. Your positive attitude and strength remind me and inspire me to put one foot in front of the other and LIVE IT UP each day :).

  4. 60 years...that's a lot of Red Sox games!

    Jeff, it was great to spend time with you last week and we hope to connect with you guys again soon. Please consider us a part of this incredible web of love and support that surrounds you and let us know if there's anything we can do to help.

    Erica and Dan

  5. Jeff,

    You may not remember me but I went to elementary school with you. I heard about your fight through family friends and I found your wonderful blog. I wanted you to know that you have one more person fighting on your side. I am thinking about you, sending strength your way and I look forward to seeing you and meeting your wife someday. Your optimism is inspiring and is positively affecting more people than you know. You are helping me learn to cherish all of the good things in my life and not to let small things ruin my day. It is a reminder that all of our days are numbered and you should enjoy each one. I have a feeling you have many, many more days (years and decades) ahead of you. You are amazing! Please let me know if there is anything I can do to help. I am thinking about you often.

    Jennifer Richman Charney

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  7. Jeff,
    Growing up you were my idol. I demanded 2 fans in my room after discovering the greatness of sleeping like a polar bear in your room. I can mark the dates I started to sleep in late, because I learned it from you. I learned tons of great music from you, I'm a huge Shins fan. I still own and wear one of the many many shirts I used to scrounge up in your closet. I guess we were the perfect age gap for me to look up to my older cooler cousin. I'm sure you knew that but I thought I would tell you anyway. And you still are. I feel like every time I see you I learn something new, and I think a lot of us are. I also deeply believe that medicine will make huge advancements in the near future.

    Cousin David