Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Cancer is an Asshole, Dude

I met this guy, Shawn, through blogging back in 2006. We were both single and shared male/female perspective with each other in order to dissect the dysfunctional people we met through online dating. And there were a lot! We both had dirty dating blogs to bitch about and make ruthless fun of our victims (or predators, as was the case most of the time).

In 2007, Shawn was diagnosed with stage 4 colon cancer and started another blog here. He kept dating! He also kept going to the gym and playing softball and living life as normally as possible while fighting the battle of his life. He modeled for a colondar. At the bottom of that page, there are youtube videos of Shawn sharing his story. You should definitely watch. I am in awe of his spirit and his positive attitude. I regret not telling him that when he was alive.

Stephanie and I both ordered colondars from Shawn. In October, he signed them and sent them both to me. I kept forgetting to give Stephanie's to her. On December 13th, the day he passed (before I knew he passed), I put the colondar in the front seat of my truck so I could give it to her that day. And I forgot. I am mad at myself for that. Last night, Steph came over and she opened her calendar. The first line was "Steph, whenever we meet...." and went on to say some Shawn-type stuff that was hilarious. She immediately started bawling. She had gone to DC a couple of years ago for a funeral and decided, for whatever reason, not to meet up with him. She is mad at herself for that.

You know, it is weird, the people who affect our lives. I've never physically met Shawn, but we have shared friendship and swapped emotions and he has just a big of an impact on my life as any friend whom I see regularly. This has made me realize that I am not the friend I want to be. I don't let people know how amazing they are. He was so strong, I never thought cancer had a chance. Death can creep up on you and you are left with an ache and an emptiness. There is solace in knowing you've gotten to say goodbye, but all too often, we don't get that chance. I'm sorry, friend, for never telling you how much I respected you and for sometimes not answering IMs or emails or phone calls because I was lazy. Our last communication was on October 30th. We were discussing his treatment options and he remarked that he was afraid he may not pick the right one.

Cancer is scary to me. I have lost several family members to it and I think I have tendency to avoid the fact that people I love were/are terrorized by it. I have to quit being scared.

It is important to tell the people you love that they rock. Even if you have never had coffee with them or gone to a Pitt game together. Emotionally and spiritually, we are connected and that is what matters.

11 Comments:

Blogger The Grunt said...

After reading your post I went and read from Shawn's blog and watched his youtube clips on the colonder page. It was watching those clips that I found myself crying a great deal for somebody I didn't know. Why? Because the pain and the experience hit way too close to home--his feelings mirrored mine regarding having cancer--and I feel very sad that he didn't have the chance that I had to finally say goodbye to that asshole, cancer.

Don't beat yourself up about any unanswered emails, Crystal. We all could have said more to people that we've lost. Shawn did some very important things before he passed in reaching out to people with his story. He used his talents well in this regard.

I wish I had done more sharing when I went through mine. Shawn had to have had some big balls to lay it all out there because the risk of driving people away when you need them the most is rather big. It seemed to have had the other effect in drawing people near him.

10:03 AM  
Blogger Ed Adams said...

Sorry about your friend.

Sounds like he was a cool guy.

Cancer's a douchebag.

10:16 AM  
Blogger Jay Ferris said...

FUCK cancer. You're still cool though.

2:41 PM  
Blogger Amber D. said...

I love you, Crystal. :)

7:46 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Shawn & I met by chance in 2004 at a party in DC and instantly bonded over Match dating horror stories. Even though I live in Philly, we quickly became close friends. He was an amazing person in that he shared so much of himself with people - you couldn't help but love him!

Shawn got me hooked on reading your blog several years ago and even though you & I have never met, I feel like I know you. Shawn was really good at bringing people together like that. I will miss him terribly, as I know you will too, but his memory will live on in the hearts of everyone he has touched. Take care.

Carla McCabe

9:51 AM  
Blogger The Harbaugh Family said...

Sorry you are going through the loss of your friend. It is so hard to keep up with friend these days, even ones that are really close. Just remember that he came into your life for a reason and your are lucky to have had such a friend. Miss you and can't wait to see you guys this Sunday :))

7:26 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

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11:20 AM  
Blogger Anthony S. said...

Happy New Year. I am sorry for your loss. I have never known anyone close who had cancer.

3:06 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Your blog keeps getting better and better! Your older articles are not as good as newer ones you have a lot more creativity and originality now keep it up!

7:26 AM  
Anonymous denise said...

When you told me today about Sean, I just cried and cried. He was so gracious - donating to my fund. I MEANT to keep up with him, Meant to keep up with The Grunt, but my own battle has kept me "preoccupied", has pretty much taken over my life. And when I Do have time, I am so tired that I just want to sleep. The chemo/meds do that to me, do that to all Warriors.
Cancer Sucks.

I understand about pulling away, it has happened with me too... but we understand, we try to. Cancer is scary. Its scary to think that this person you know and care about might not be there next year, next month, next week... tomorrow. Its easier to play the "out of sight, out of mind" game. Believe me, it's scary to us too, but it's always in our sight... Fighting cancer is a reminder that all of us will die, just some of us sooner, and no one likes to be reminded.
Cancer Sucks.

I'm sure that Sean knew that you cared for and about him. And I'm sure he was happy for your happiness. Don't beat yourself up, he would not have wanted that.

Yes,
Cancer Sucks.
Big time.

12:52 PM  
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