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.
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.