Yeah, I said it.
I think the above picture sums this whole mess up pretty well.
Cancer can go ahead and suck it.
Honestly, the list of people I have to thank is basically endless. If I start now, maybe I can repay the kindness by 2020. Maybe.
First of all, my entire family is just straight up ridiculous. Aunts, Uncles, cousins, second cousins, just god damn everyone. Hell, my baby cousins that probably don’t even understand what cancer is still want to send me cards (and have!) wishing me to get better. I wish I was as awesome a kid as all my little cousins are. There are too many of you to name, but fuck it, thank you Kathy, Tony, Lauren, Mason, Aunt Margie, Auntie Anne, Aunt Patti, Uncle Doug, Uncle Arnie, Uncle Lenny, Steve, Joanne, Patti, Julie, Julie, Grace, Lenny, Peter, Roseanne, Tina, Bob, Dawn, Mark, Jenny, Chris, Doug, John, Joanie, Robbie, Missy, Linda, Dean, Steve, Matt, Christine, and then holy crap this is going to test my memory, Isabella, Nicholas, Sofia, Ryan, Christian, Abigail, Tyler, Paige, Summer, Brody, Robby, Emily, Olivia, Brianna, Jilian, April, Deanna, Michelle, and Jenny. If I forgot anyone, or misspelled any names – blame my memory, not because of any intended slight. I love all of you, and I couldn’t be blessed with a better family.
My parent’s have a ton of friends who have been amazing as well, and while I can’t name all of you, just a special shout out to Uncle Spoons and Auntie Momo, the entire Brandy family, the Annunziata’s, the Clemente’s, the Breslin family, the Fasses (now with 1 more!), the Vitales, and just so many more. My parents always forward on your well wishes, and I am eternally grateful.
Additionally, my Dad has about a bajillion friends who are always asking after me, as well as just about all of his customers. I hear about it, I’m grateful for it, and every time, it puts a smile on my face. In particular, I still remember the homemade pasta from Chef Lenny, and I hear every week about how Chef Kevin is asking after me, and eagerly awaiting my next blog post. I know you guys both follow my blog, and so you two in specific get special mention.
I’m not too sure how many people from the PRIDE group follow my blog, if any, but in case any of you do, know that I heard all about how many of you wanted to see me at the last conference, and when I show up to the next one, the first round is on me.
One of the things writing this blog has given me has been the connection with some truly wonderful people, who were otherwise complete strangers, and because of their own blogs, I got some insight into their struggles, sometimes different from mine, but always inspiring to read about. And while I can’t mention all the awesome people I’ve met through this, I did want to mention four who write their own blogs, all of whom are terrific writers, all of whom make me feel weak – not because of anything they said, just because I am in awe of their strength and perseverance. If you have time, these are four blogs that you should definitely check out. Be prepared to cry, exalt, and cheer, though.
First up, we have Jessica. Interestingly enough, I actually went to college with her brother, though he and I were just fairly distant acquaintances. She kicked the crap out of Ovarian cancer, and she’s just a general bad ass. Read about her stuff here: http://jesssultaire.wordpress.com/ Honestly, she makes my struggles look like child’s play. As she and I said, post-Cancer Jess gives zero effs. She’s pretty cool, in other words.
Next, another amazing lady named Nikki. She is currently on day 38 post-transplant, and she’s already walking around with ankle weights, generally just being a beast (that’s a good thing, in case you’re not “hip” with the lingo). She’s out in seattle, craving great pizza, and is super open and honest with the whole cancer business. She has PH+ ALL, but it’s remarkable how much our situations paralleled. Read her story here: http://niki4acure.wordpress.com/
Third, we have a great writer, dealing with a totally different treatment regimen than I, but we both commiserated quite a bit during our mutual hospital stays. She’s a poet, a writer, and just generally a sweet, awesome lady. Read more about her here: http://emilyshead.wordpress.com/
And finally, I honestly think this was the first person to follow my blog, or comment, and to date, after me, she has the most comments of anyone on my site. We deal with totally different things, but she’s a young lady dealing with chronic disease with dignity, honesty, and a candor that is absolutely admirable. Read her shpeal here: http://chronicallyreal.wordpress.com/
I’d also just like to shout out the Farrell clan. Just…all of you. I think single handedly, with Christine’s influence, the Farrell family boosted the national marrow registry by at least a full percent. In like 1 week. I have never known another family to care so much about such an insignificant person such as myself. I owe a great debt to all the Farrells, and like most people I’ve mentioned, I have no idea how to begin to repay you all. Other than to say that I love you all, and consider you guys and gals to be my second family. And Dennis – we will be bike riding soon. As soon as I can get some legs underneath me so I don’t embarass myself riding some of those monster hills in Rye.
Finally, the last group of people to whom I am eternally indebted to are my friends. I’ve always thought that I had an amazing group of friends, but I really never understood just how outstanding you guys all are. There’s no way for me to express my love and gratitude to all of you, but you can be damned sure that the rest of the time I have on this stupid green and blue orb is going to be spent trying to show you all just how much I love you people. The books, food, visits, cards, messages, calls, texts, emails, pictures, just never stopped. People I hadn’t talked to in years not only checked up on me, but visited whenever they could.
I honestly don’t know how I didn’t cry basically any time any of you showed up.
The most ridiculous part, is that every friend found some way to do something that touched me, in their own way, in their own manner, and I just…can’t explain how much it meant to me. I will do my best to name you all, because I know some of you all get a kick from seeing your name on the interwebs, but please don’t take offense if your name isn’t present. I have a really bad memory, and I will try to update this if I think of anyone I forgot, but there’s a god damn lot of you to thank. That being said:
Jessie, Brit, Christine, Dan, Tiffany, Walter, Ben, Zach, Jess, Maya, Amanda, Dylan, Gabriella, Pat, Nate, George, Moki, Chuck, Cody, Brandon, Jake, Gareth, Andrew, Shannon, Jenna, Kris, Katy, Lauren, Caitlin, Stephanie, Holly, Claire, Anne Marie, Kaitlin, Stephanie, Brittany, Jillian, Anna, Margaret, Rachel, Dennis, Adam, Evan, Nick, Matt, Numi, Sierra, Greg, Peter, Jeff, Kristy, Jaclyn, Jason, Tiffany, Maggie, Ashley, Gabi, Suzer, Alex, Alex, Liz, Katie, Kim, Marusca, Belma, Kyle, Emily, Emily, Cara, Mitu, Junho, Mark, Victoria, Laura, Deb, Debbie, Debrah, Emma, Julie, Sonia, Brad, Stephanie, Brad, Todd, Herrick, Julie, and basically everyone else that I can’t currently think of. Like I said, there are an awful lot of you, and know that if you’re ever around me, you may or may not find the bill covered without you realizing.
It has been quite the year. I know that my family has gone through a bunch of things that they didn’t keep me in the loop for, but know that I love you all nonetheless, and just everybody out there that has wished me a speedy recovery, included me in your prayers, sent positive vibes my way, kept me company on gchat, facebook, text, email, phone calls, liked my posts, followed my blog, gave book suggestions, gift cards, or donated blood or joined the registry in my name, know that I couldn’t have done all this without all of you helping.