There is not much of anything good to be said about cancer. I won’t get into all the bad things, because there are so many, and that isn’t what this post is about. I’ve always been the type of person who tries to find the good in everything, even something as shitty as cancer, because that is how I make it through each day. The silver lining of cancer for me has been the friendships I have forged with other cancer survivors. (I know survivor is one of those hotly debated words in the cancer community – and I don’t want to get into that now except to say that, to me, from the moment you find out you have cancer you are a survivor, because no matter how long you live after your diagnosis you are surviving that shit.)
After my diagnosis, I hit Tumblr and started looking for people with cancer. I desperately needed a support group of people who would understand what I was going through. That’s how I met Greg. From the very beginning, he was a great supporter of mine. He would frequently send me messages checking in on me. He offered encouragement. He offered empathy and insight. He offered humor. He did all of this even when he was dealing with his own pain from the shitty side effects of his own treatment.
Greg has been an inspiration to me from the day we met. He was diagnosed with terminal cancer, but he didn’t let that stop him from living the life he wanted to live. He traveled. He loved. He laughed. He took the most heartbreakingly beautiful photographs. He showed me that there is life and beauty after cancer. He inspired me to find the beauty in every day and to live my life to the fullest, right now, because right now is all we are guaranteed. Greg truly understood that every day is a gift.
Our relationship wasn’t all about cancer, however. We also bonded over a mutual love of The Walking Dead, and I will miss our chats about the show. I very much looked forward to our conversations after a new show had aired. We liked to speculate about what would happen next. The Walking Dead just won’t be the same without you, man.
We talked about meeting up in Cape Cod and eating oysters. We never got to do it, and that is something I will always regret. However, only talking to him online does not in any way diminish my affection for him. I will always carry him in my heart.
Rest in peace, dear friend. I will miss you so very much. Unfortunately, my words are too imperfect to capture your essence, but my heart knows, and that is all that matters. Cancer may have taken your life, but it will never kill your spirit.