me, dancing

On my cancerversary a few weeks ago, my parents sent me a beautiful bouquet of flowers with this message attached:

Life is not about waiting for the storm to pass; but learning to dance in the rain. Have fun dancing.

At the time, I thought this was a perfect description of my situation and certainly something to try to live by. This cancer storm won’t pass for awhile, if ever, so I might as well learn to live with it. I am a liver. And maybe I shouldn’t just live with it–but dance in it. Have fun with it, if I can. Let loose. Feel the beat of life and find the moves to match.

This video, these interviews–all of this–is me, dancing.

That’s not to say that I was looking for all of this attention. That this, being Internet famous, is the only way to dance. Of course it’s not. But it is fun and exciting and unreal while it lasts. I think those of you who took the time to read even a little of my blog or know me personally know that it was never my intention for it to get this big. Or to get big at all. I am not trying to force Joseph Gordon-Levitt into anything.  He has every right to say no–I will not hold it against him.

For most of the past year I have been selectively telling people about my diagnosis. In August, I started this blog, so a few more people found out. This weekend, I “came out” as a cancer liver on Facebook and I got tons of well wishes from old friends and acquaintances alike. Now, thanks to my video and Reddit and the power of the Internet and the news, at least 170,000 people know–and counting.

It’s amazing.

And now that it has gotten this big, and when I take the time to breathe in between reading and answering emails and talking to reporters and being filmed (!!) and marveling at the speed that this has became popular, it feels good. Weird. But good. This has been my problem all along: people knowing or not knowing because i’m not bald. After spending the last year feeling slightly uncomfortable in my own skin because I was lying by omission, now I have all of the support and encouragement that I ever wanted and more. I feel real now and more comfortable in my own skin. The scar still feels weird, but that’s a different story.

This is me, also, saying thank you. I have gotten so many more emails and so many more comments than I ever would have thought possible. I would like to, but I am not going to be able to, respond to all of you who reached out. Especially those of you who actually know me in real life, and those of you who took the time to write long, heartfelt messages. Until I muster up the strength and the words to respond, I have been touched by your stories of illness, I have been flattered by your date requests, I have laughed at your jokes, and I have been comforted and moved by all of the support.

Thank you, again.

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15 Responses to me, dancing

  1. Dan Nichols says:

    hi Lindsey,

    I was touched by your video; not so much the asking Joseph out, as the honesty in your sharing and the reality of your situation. It made me want to reach out and say hi. Also, my mother is a breast cancer survivor and she went for non-standard treatments (no chemo or radiation). That to say, I could offer a couple ideas that might help, in conjunction with what you’re already doing to overcome.

    just let me know!

    -Dan

  2. JC says:

    Hang in there Lindsey. I’m a guy also in my 20’s and as a young person I know you want to enjoy life to its fullest.. No one should have that kind of disease.
    But things happen and It will make you stronger..
    Just keep on praying and do what you love.. and get healthy!

    – JC

  3. Debbie Moguillansky says:

    Lindsey, I’m so thankful for your video because since you told me you have cancer, I’ve struggled with how to be there for you. We’ve been friends for so long, but have not always been in close touch. Despite long pauses though, you will always be my three-doors-down and an important person in my life. With this video, I’ve been able to be on your team and show that I care about and support you, where it has otherwise been tough to do that with words. It has lifted the elephant (zebra?) in the room. At least a bit. I’ve probably watched your video about 50 times now, and counting. It makes me so happy to watch it, and read all of the kind comments. I can’t wait to catch up over winter break, assuming you will have some free time away from all the fame and suiters. Thanks so much for sharing!

  4. Debbie Moguillansky says:

    Lindsey, I’m so thankful for your video because since you told me you have cancer, I’ve struggled with how to be there for you. We’ve been friends for so long, but have not always been in close touch. Despite long pauses though, you will always be my three-doors-down and an important person in my life. With this video, I’ve been able to be on your team and show that I care about and support you, where it has otherwise been tough to do that with words. It has lifted the elephant (zebra?) in the room. At least a bit. I’ve probably watched your video about 50 times now, and counting. It makes me so happy to watch it, and read all of the kind comments. I can’t wait to catch up over winter break, assuming you will have some free time away from all the fame and suiters. Thanks so much for dancing!

  5. Debbie Moguillansky says:

    (oh dear. now i’ve double posted and don’t know how to delete. whoops!)

  6. David says:

    Lindsey, I am touched by your site/video. I wish the very best for you in the future. Cancer had always been a foreign word to me. Like you, though, we were hit with this issue in October 2010. My three-year-old was diagnosed with a treatable cancer and we spent the last 12 months dealing with her treatment (42 weeks of chemo). She is cancer free at the moment and it looks good. But I have an inkling of what you are dealing with and I just wanted to let you know that you are not alone. Hope your wish comes true!

  7. JoLee says:

    I sure hope there’s a coffee-date in your near-future!

    I ran acrossed your story yesterday on Yahoo News, then I read your whole blog! Your story is deeply moving and I just adore your message!

    Keeping my fingers crossed for you (for so many reasons!),
    JoLee

  8. Matt says:

    By sharing your journey…you are touching people…and your dance is echoing thru the cosmos bringing hope & inspiration to countless people you may never meet.

    Dance your dance, young lady!

    And wear purple…with funny hats…because you’ve earned the right!

    The greatest healers have suffered the most adversity.

    Dance your dance, Lindsey.

    You have the gift!

    Matt

  9. Monique says:

    Lindsey! I had been thinking for a long, long while that I needed to reconnect with your through blogging! Yours was one of the first blogs I’d ever read and over the past two years somehow I lost touch. I’ve always admired your writing and knew that some day you’d make it into the media…. all of this, is heart-felt, touching, and impressive!

    I regret that I ever was so busy to have missed all of this news, but I’m glad to be able to reconnect with you (at least through blogging). I wish you nothing but the best of luck in this journey and since seeing your link on facebook the other day, have been thinking about you constantly! You’ve always been impressive to me: moving to Chicago, your writing, traveling, everything :) I love hearing from you and look forward to reading more about this new journey. So many people support you, love you and are thinking good thoughts for you, I can tell by what everyone’s written on FB or through this blog in particular.

    I’m also going to admit that I’m anxiously awaiting to see what happens with this date request :) You’re so cute!!!!! (Also, I hope grad school is going well. I, myself, am back in school doing language and literature studies at Arizona State. It’s a rollercoaster, but I really enjoy it)

    Besos,

    Monique

  10. You are a rockin’ youn adult survivor who totally embodies the spirit of the young adult cancer community. From one survivor or another, we’d love to get to know you more and have you as a guest on our international talk radio show. Please shoot me an email to mz@stupidcancer.com and check us out at http://stupidcancer.com. Rock on!

    Matthew Zachary
    15 Year Brain Cancer Survivor
    Founder/CEO
    I’m Too Young For This! Cancer Foundation

  11. iheartguts says:

    you’ve got major guts, woman! hang in there!

  12. Regina says:

    I just read about you on the web, already can’t remember where. So I looked up your blog just so I could tell you that you’re beautiful. And I can see that you’re even more beautiful after reading what you have written here.

    Joseph would be one lucky guy to have coffee with you.

    I wish you all the best, you inspire me.

  13. Bree says:

    I was diagnosed with cancer at 28. Luckily, after a few months, I was declared cancer-free but your posts definitely resonate with me, especially the part about dating post-cancer. I met a guy not too long after I finished treatment. I didn’t announce right away that I’d had cancer but I did leave my radiation “graduation” certificate up on my fridge… He noticed and was very cool about it. It’s been a few years and we’re still together. I have no doubt that with your phenomenal attitude, you will find someone great!

  14. David says:

    The note your parents included with the flowers made me recall the brilliant, touching and outright hilarious album the comedian Robert Schimmel released that in large part reflected on his battle with and ultimate victory over cancer (Life Since Then). I promise that if you take the time to listen to it (provided you don’t find profanity to be particularly offensive) you’ll find it to be cathartic.

  15. Anonymous says:

    Lindsey – I in no way saying you are not courageous for fighting cancer. However (and I know I am going to get backlash) and find it appalling that you would ask a celebrity via YOUtube for a date because you are fighting cancer – you are basically exploiting your condition. I suffer from a rare connective tissue disorder that doesn’t have a cure, and doesn’t have treatment – I am NOT looking for pity but I am simply stating that I would never use that condition to attempt to get a celebrity to go on a date or coffee with me or any fantasy that I had simply because I suffer from this condition. It really sickens me to the core that you did this – many of people have fought cancer and many people are fighting cancer but not many use it to get a ‘gift’ or a ‘date’.

    I wish you in the best in your continued fight with cancer and pray you get better.

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