Cancer is strange.

And I don't mean the disease itself, I mean the life that anyone diagnosed with cancer has to live. 
There's so much more to it than being s...ick that one would never think about. 
It's strange what we prioritize when faced with it.

I remember the doctor telling me I had testicular cancer and afterwards sending a non-chalant text to Amanda and my mom like the doc had just told me I had a ear infection or something like that. Like, in a "I hope this doesn't mess up my weekend," kind of way. 
I remember clearly when the doc told me it was stage 3b cancer and I would need multiple rounds of chemotherapy. I was there with Amanda, my mom and my sister. The doctor is going through all of the science behind my cancer, how it spread, the aggressiveness of it, the success rate, etc. I wasn't paying attention to any of it. As the doctor is telling me there's a 70% survival rate, I'm just waiting to hear how long I was going to have to be out of work.

Cancer is strange.

I was not concerned at all about the success rate, my health, this disease. All that was running through my head was, how am I going to pay my rent, Gavin's child care, Olivia's dance class. Oh man, groceries?! I never even heard the doctor say 30%. Never thought, "dude, you could die". The fear of not being able to pay my bills scared me more than any disease could.

Then I reached out for help. 
And you guys sent help. The amount of support I received in those first few months was overwhelming, I felt so much love from around the world. Between the gofund me, 630 productions benefit show, and my family, friends, fans and coworkers kindness it looked like I would be ok. I had finally stopped stressing about finances and started focusing on my health. I was going to be ok. The rent would be paid

Cancer is strange.

Just as I planned on beginning the final leg of my treatment, a "return to work" date was all set, all I had to do was just power through this last part, I received a phone call from my doctor. Things have gone from bad to worse.

Again, as my doctor is explaining stem cell transplant therapy on the phone, I'm just waiting for him to finish so I can ask "How many more weeks will this put me out of work?" I remember actually asking him if maybe I can still teach part time during treatment.

Again, I start to dwell on the same fears I had in the beginning. Rent, Groceries, Child Care. Never mind the fact that your chances of survival had gone down, you needed to pay off some of your student loan.

My health became secondary in my head again. I started to apply for all types of aid through different cancer foundations and looking into disability benefits. But trying to cover 5 months of living just seemed futile. I had resigned myself to the fact that you were going to come out of this deep in debt. Not once was I thinking "was going to come out of this alive, and (hopefully) cancer free?" It didn't concern me. Lots of 35 year olds move back in with their parents, right?

Cancer is strange.

Then, shortly after getting discharged from the hospital after I had the seizure, I received a phone call. I was driving in the car with Amanda, it was my cousin Matt. He tells me the Andrew Weishar Foundation heard your story and wants to help you out through this. They are going to send you a check for 5,000 dollars. I couldn't even speak. Amanda is asking me what's wrong, tears start welling in my eyes, I can't push any words out of my mouth. I couldn't even tell my cousin "thank you".

All I really knew about the Weishar Foundation at this time was about the awesome fundraiser they would throw every year. Suddenly, all of those financial worries were lifted again by the kindness of others. 
Not just others, but strangers. I've since allowed myself to start thinking about my disease, learning about it, being scared about it and just being OK with being scared about it. Since then, I've felt the most positive I have since all this started. All this, from the generosity of strangers.

Cancer is strange.

So I began to read about Andrew and his story, and there couldn't be a more fitting foundation for what I was going through and the feelings I was having. At 19 years old, Andrew was diagnosed with colorectal cancer, and underwent intense chemotherapy, radiation treatment and surgery to save his life. After battling this disease for 2 years Andrew passed on October 12th, 2012.

Andrew's one request to his family is what hit me the hardest and moved me to write this today. Andrew had asked his family to pay forward all the kindness and generosity that was shown to him during his battle. So I have a favor to ask of you. Can we all show the Andrew Weishar Foundation that the Punk Rock Community knows compassion and generosity and how to pay it forward, so they can continue to help those in need, those fighting cancer who lose focus on their health and have to worry about how that next bill is getting paid. Those who aren't seeing the odds given to them but the financial hardships they will have to go through because of this disease.

Please go to their site here and give whatever you can. Even if it's a few dollars. I've witnessed the compassion our community can demonstrate first hand. It would mean the world to me if we as a community can overwhelm them with generosity the way the foundation did for me on that car ride. Thanks everyone for taking the time to read this. I love you all, you are all the light in the darkness.

Cancer. Is. Strange.