Cancer, whiskey and a razor

We all go through times in our lives where are just living day to day, getting things done, pushing forward. We forget to stop and smell the roses, to take time for ourselves and our family and we forget to enjoy this precious gift of life we have. Moving, for us, took a toll on our lives and our time – I feel like we have been playing catch up for the past few months and a lot of days, I am the first to admit I have forgotten to do all these things. Last week on one of these very days I am talking about, where I had my head stuck in the computer, we got news – the kind of news that really makes you drop what you are doing and sit, stare and pinch yourself. Is this a bad nightmare? “Hey guys!  We’re working on getting that testimonial over very soon, just been a bit hectic lately.  I actually got news that I have Hodgkin’s lymphoma earlier this afternoon…I’ve been preparing myself for this, however, and the good news is, it’s very treatable with a high cure rate and…I’m gonna’ beat this so please don’t worry!  We have had to cancel our honeymoon though (we were supposed to leave today) as they want to get tests underway immediately and move quickly with a treatment plan.  Good news is we have lots of free time all of a sudden and we’ll be passing through your way on Sunday though and we’d love to catch up.  Talk to you soon!” Tears. The first time we met Adriana and Ro, we bonded immediately and became quick friends. We met them for dinner in San Francisco to talk about their wedding plans… next thing you know, the evening turned into night and then turned into the wee hours of the morning…. and then we had a second dinner (which has actually become kind of a trend when we get together). This pair is so special, has so much vitality, so much love in their hearts – they enjoy life to its fullest and are just all around amazing human beings. We are grateful to call them friends and it was a huge shock to hear this news. We’ve never known someone, so close to us in age, so unlikely to get cancer… to actually get cancer. But… this is going to be another emo-cancer story. So no more tears. Ro is extremely positive and, from our first email from him with the news, we knew that cancer had picked the wrong guy to f with.  He’s fortunate in that he lives just minutes from the Stanford Cancer Center and that his wife Adriana also happens to work at Stanford (in Pediatrics) and they both have family that live nearby.  For Adriana to have to go through this alongside the person she’s planning to spend the rest of her life with – just months into their marriage – is very difficult for us to wrap our heads around. But if any one can beat this, with a smile on their faces, these two can. He WILL pull thrugh this, but the fact still remains that the next few months of Adriana and Ro’s new life together is going to be hard and Ro is going to get sicker before he gets better. In a few days, Ro begins an aggressive treatment plan know as the Stanford V which should eradicate the cancer cells in his body but in the process, the treatment will kill a lot of other cells too, like his hair cells.  Rather than letting the treatment take his hair, he thought he’d take control of the situation.  On Wednesday afternoon, we stopped by their home in Redwood City and were treated to a champagne brunch before Adriana took the razor to his head. Ro’s spirit and the love the two have for each other inspires us, and we were honored to be there to document this time in their lives. As before, this morning brunch, turned into evening, the evening turned into night – and after several amazing meals and a few* (ok a lot) too many drinks, we hugged our friends tight and wished them luck. It’s crazy to think that, on an otherwise ordinary day, one phone call can change the course of the rest of your life. On the way home, I promised my self to never take anything or anyone for granted. To remember to stop and smell the roses – no matter what is going on in life – to really take every single day as a gift and make the most of it. You never know what will happen. We wish our friends all the strength in the world… and to Ro… you got this!!!          

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