Saturday, January 03, 2009


Yesterday, Friday the 2nd of January, marked the year anniversary of my last chemotherapy treatment. I'd like to think that my team in crimson won the Sugar Bowl in my honor. Really, it doesn't seem that long ago. I remember that last infusion session quite well. It was bittersweet in that I was happy to be done with one long therapy and on to my radiation treatments. Also, I think that I barfed my spleen that night. I was given a blanket for my chemo graduation, a blanket in memoriam of a young boy that had passed away that year. His name is sewn into the flannel.

I want you to know, Ben, that I've often thought about your life and how it ended--what dreams that you had that were unrealized due to a life cut short. I wonder what fears you had of death and dying, because my fears were tremendous. That is a reality that all must face, but with diseases like cancer, it holds a unique form of dread. Did you suffer much? What did your family go through? How are they feeling about it now? Is there an afterlife, Ben? Is it worth giving hope to the hopeless? I certainly pondered these things as I went through that special hell and I don't query in spite or bitterness. In all humility, I just want to know.

However the many questions I have, I want you to know that the blanket that bears your name comforted me through the rest of my hardship onto recovery. That was tangible; a real shelter that I could not find in scripture, nor in ecclesiastical leader. I find it odd now that church people wish me to inspire them through my experiences when the time that I was suffering I could not find solace in but a few of them. I will do it. Not because I feel the burning in my bosom. Rather, because I know that I can offer them a blanket of my own instead of hocus pocus. If there is no god, may god exist through us.



NYD said...

Happy anniversary! We'll have one heckuva jam session to celebrate your golden one.

Keep on Gruntin'

the projectivist said...

oh what a great read that was!
may there be many more anniversaries for you!

Julie Schuler said...

Indeed. You speak wisely.
If you have a favorite cancer charity, I would be happy to donate to it through my etsy shop. First I'm doing Operation Smile, then the Animal Rescue League for my friend, Cara, who just passed, but after that I'm open.

Christielli said...

Congratulations on your anniversary. Thanks for sharing the story about the blanket.

Jay said...

Happy Chremoversiray!...?

Logophile said...

The divine in me recognizes the divine in you, Grunty.
Congrats on the anniversary, here's to many, many more

Scott said...

God, when I think that your posts can't get any better you throw this one down. That is some seriously touching stuff Matt. Thanks for sharing and sharing your insights. Glad you are still here with us.

The Grunt said...

NYD~ And that jam session will now include my newly completed Telecaster!

TP~ Yeah, living is pretty awesome. I gotta have more of it!

Julie~ I'm sorry to hear about your friend Cara. You are doing a lot with your site. I will see what the Huntsman Cancer Institute has as far as charities. I truly believe that the HCI will be the ones who find the cure. Also, I still haven't forgotten:)

Christielli~ It was my pleasure. I wish I knew more about Ben Naylor so I could share it with you.

Jay~ I think that is an appropriate name for it. Thanks man!

Logo~ May Buddha bless you.

Scott~ Scott, I am glad that you stuck with me through some pretty erratic posts. I really have to wonder about the hard times I had just prior to the diagnosis. It is hard sometimes to pin something down, but you just know something is terribly wrong with you.