a young friend of mine was recently diagnosed with cancer. it arrived with a suddeness and ferocity that is hard to comprehend, let alone understand. the manner in which this young man, sam, has shouldered this dark card in his deck is as hard to comprehend as the event itself. i have twenty years of life experience over this fellow and even had the privilege of once calling myself his teacher, and he has faced this moment with a maturity and courage i don't think i've ever witnessed first-hand, like ever. suffice it to say i often feel as though i'm the one in the auditorium looking up at him standing tall and confident at the lecturn. to give you a taste of this young man, i share his latest broadcast from his company web-site:
When I got my cancer diagnosis in November I was completely blindsided. I went in on a Friday afternoon to get a lumpy piece of my chest checked out and the doc, calm as a hurricane eye, stepped back from the table and crossed his hands.
"This is going to... sound strange. I'm nearly certain that this is cancer. You'll need to get it cut out as soon as possible."
I went out to my car and had an earthshattering bawlfest that lasted a brief 4 minutes. Then I called my brother Seth, the programming half of our studio.
We are a two-man team, doing everything from inception to launch on the games we make. In telling him about the diagnosis I admitted I was terrified that this cancer would take our fledgling indie studio and throw it under the ground, as it may throw me. Seth reassured me and became my chauffeur for the next week as we went up to Iowa from St. Louis to do surgery, get the diagnosis complete, and figure out treatment.
It was Stage 4 lymphoma. It was on my spleen, my liver, my pelvis, my entire lymph system. The docs at the time said it might even be in my spinal fluid. A PET scan showed that my insides, rather than consisting of nice fleshy pinkness, were a coating of tumor. Despite how aggressive the cancer was, I was given a 65%-ish cure rate. Chemo was to begin the next week before I decided to up and die from tumor load.
The two weeks between diagnosis and treatment was a true whirlwind of activity and emotion. It wasn't until after I received my first chemo infusion that my anxiety settled and Seth and I sat down to begin again on our project at the time, Extreme Slothcycling.
As we began to plan a wry feeling started bubbling up from my chest. Something about this was wrong. Hysterically wrong. I interrupted Seth as he was in mid marker-swing across the whiteboard.
"Seth. I don't want Extreme Slothcycling to be the last game I make before I die."
you can follow the adventure, and get plugged into their next game which my alex is feverishly awaiting, at their website butterscotch shenanigans.