So, I've got cancer

good morning John so there have been a bunch of times over the last few weeks when this has become more and more real uh this is the big one though so I uh notice that my lymph nodes were big I talked to my doctor she says probably nothing will send you in for an ultrasound got an ultrasound the tech and the ultrasound room was like I’m gonna go get a doctor that’s not what you want to have happen she was great at the tech and so was the doctor and they’re like this looks like it

could be suspicious uh for lymphoma and we’ll get you in for a biopsy and then I took the order for the surgery like the paperwork down to the surgery office and I like gave it to the woman in the window and she’s like who hand delivery and I was like well yeah the surgery is tomorrow and she’s like oh procrastinator and I was like well no just got scheduled just now and shoot and then like like her eyes change it’s like when you’re in the American Health Care System uh you don’t expect things to move

quick like that’s not what it that’s not what it does that’s not what it looks like and then when it starts to get a little bit efficient uh it’s actually quite disconcerting I’ve seen

that so many times and it doesn’t look like that what’s happening right now it’s like seeing a horse that has hands it’s just not that’s very upsetting like it’s good I’m glad everybody’s taking things seriously right now but holy so her eyes change and it’s like seeing a flight attendant on a plane that’s in the air running down the aisle like that

can’t be good I just either somebody or everybody’s having a very bad day because I don’t know all the noises a plane makes and I don’t know all the ways that the Health Care system works but you do and you look like something is weird I already knew it was weird though everybody has been great and very supportive but biopsy uh good news bad news uh one it’s cancer it’s called lymphoma it’s a cancer of the lymphatic system um and the good news is something called Hodgkin’s lymphoma it’s the most treatable like one of the

most treatable cancers um it responds very well to treatment the goal was cure the procedure to get there is fairly well known if unpleasant I have a friend amazingly enough who has been through a diagnosis and treatment and remission and is 10 years post with Hodgkin’s lymphoma it’s been really nice to have that in my back pocket for texting and being like is this normal and am I panicking and um please tell me I’m gonna be okay but the treatment is a fairly well established like system of chemotherapies which I’m going to start very soon

um not looking really forward to it but I’m looking forward to starting on the path yeah prognosis is very good for people with Hodgkin’s lymphoma it seems likely that we caught mine early really I’m still waiting on a scan to sort of confirm that but even when it’s not super early even when it’s in multiple parts of the body Hodgkin’s is super treatable like solid Mass tumors like lung cancer prostate cancer um to figure out how to live somewhere else in the body is like a really big leap for them it means that they’ve changed

and they’ve evolved and they’ve got like a bunch of new strategies for survival which is why metastasis and solid cancers is a really big deal this is a blood cancer so it’s a cancer of the immune cells the lymphocytes and so they are already all over the body other parts of the body are like hey yo that you’re you’re fine here whereas like prostate cells in the lungs would normally get attacked and so prostate cancer cells in the lungs means that they’ve developed a whole set of new strategies lymphoma cells don’t have to do that

so it doesn’t mean something super bad if lymphoma has spread um it’s worse for clarity but it’s not the same giant gap between like stage one and stage four with lymphoma as it is with solid Mass tumors anyway I have a bunch of risk factors for lymphoma including medications I’ve taken including the fact that I have an autoimmune disease include in fact that I had Mono when I was a kid all these are are risk factors um so it was something that I was looking out for and have been aware of I’m glad everybody took

it seriously and we got a diagnosis pretty quick I said this to you already John I said um you know this is the best time so far in human history to get lymphoma which is a very Hank Green thought and then you would give me a very John Green thought and said well a year from now would have been better so I’m going to talk about this in like a weird way now and I don’t want you to think that I’m not processing this uh in a deeper sort of more emotional way or with regards

to my personal life it’s just that I don’t really want to do that here right now because it’s very heavy um to talk about the diagnosis from those perspectives but I do feel comfortable and ready to talk publicly about it um in terms of my work whatever that is which is important you know like one of the things that I’ve noticed about this is that there are practicalities and this is also true of like any big unpleasantness in a life that there’s like Logistics to take care of and so I’ve been dealing with a lot

of logistics like who do you tell how do you tell them what are we going to do about different things that I’m working on so I’ve talked to a few friends who have been through various different Cancers and Cancer Treatments and one of the things that they all said is this is your job now do this one day at a time don’t have obligations you can have things that you can do if you want to that day and it’s good to have those things because depression and anxiety are a big part of this and like

I’m not a person who has struggled a lot with that but I have seen firsthand now how intricately linked those things can be and the call of just lay in bed and feel bad is very strong and even though I don’t feel bad at all right now except for like some soreness because of the biopsy and and maybe because my lymph nodes are big I don’t feel any symptoms of this I feel fine I don’t even really feel fatigued it’s hard to tell I feel stressed by a bad symptom but the moment I start chemo

I’m going to feel a lot of symptoms from that and uh and they’re like that’s gonna be like just dealing with that is going to be a lot and you’re not going to be good at stuff you’re not going to be good at stuff like don’t expect to be able to do your life so basically what that means is like what am I gonna make I don’t know am I gonna make vlogbrothers videos am I gonna make dear Hank and John am I gonna make Sideshow and I’m gonna make tangents I don’t know I don’t

know I don’t know I don’t know I don’t plan it by ear uh I know that I’m gonna feel like garbage like it’s gonna be really unpleasant um you know it’s chemo is intentionally poisoning your body so that the super hungry cells get poisoned more and die and that’s that’s how it works and it works well um but like you’re you’ve gotta you gotta put a lot of poisoning oh now one of the lovely things about you know my experience of my colleagues and and this community nobody’s going to expect me to do anything nobody’s

going to be expecting things from me now I do operate off of obligation and so I do want some reasons to get out of bed and I’m going to try and set some of those up for me but I’m much more worried about me putting too much pressure on me to do things or worry about things uh and so that’s going to be something that I have to get better at you can see this probably more in my actions than my words but I’m a very driven person and I take obligations like I hold them

very seriously and they weigh on me a lot and cause a lot of stress when there’s like space between what I feel I should get done and what I feel capable of what I’m at what I am capable of doing and so that’s what I’m a big worries I’m just saying it out loud for myself mostly but also to say I hope you are down with me making stuff when I feel like it because I love it and like I need to be doing things when I feel up for it and also I know that

you’ll be fine with me taking breaks and you know I don’t like this could be I have no idea it’s it’s on the order it’s not going to be less than four months of chemo another thing I’m worried about that’s not a big deal and I know it’s silly but I’m wrestling with the reality that this is now part of how people are gonna imagine me um it’s like it’s an identity that I’m having thrust upon me which happens to people all the time and is totally the thing that I will get over but I

do like I do just kind of want to say it out loud that like I want to be like fun goofy Science Guy not like struggling with anxiety cancer guys and like you know you could be both so I think I just have to let that go um because this it’s just one more thing that I’m not in control of right now which is a lot of things like there are things that you have absolute control over very few and then there’s like a spectrum all the way to you have no control but now there’s

just this big set of my life that I have no control over and I’m struggling with that that’s hard that’s a that’s like a kind of it’s like a thing to grieve and my last lesson since I have you here is that all of the time I have ever spent investing in friendships and and even when they have been hard to try and keep them strong and even when I’ve been busy to try and uh spend time with them has been joyful in the moment and wise in the long term I have been I’ve really

needed friends in the last few weeks and I’ve been very grateful to have them I felt very lucky to have great friends and family uh around to joke with and hang with and support me uh and give me the Good Vibes you know and now I have requests if you could believe it my my requests are one I do not need health care advice I have been very well taken care of I know there are a lot of different ways and a lot of different things that are very helpful to a lot of different people

I have that and people suggesting things to me in my like World of friends and acquaintances this is too big of a group for that I think I would be overwhelmed and more broadly here are uh non-mainstream ways to deal with with cancer and to to fight cancer itself I’m not I find that that to of course be well-meaning but uh confusing and distracting and uh not for me second I’m not really a like let’s fight this thing together kind of guy I think that the the prognosis for illness is mostly down to good science

good health care good outlook good attitude and like chance like it’s too much of it much more than we would like to think comes down to chance and I just feel very grateful to all the people who have spent their careers studying disease and cancer and Lymphoma and Hodgkin’s specifically which if you can believe this was originally thought to be a form of tuberculosis when it was first discovered in the early 1900s it’s not but they thought it was so it all comes back everything is tuberculosis John all this is to say like I just

I don’t need there to be like a big thing about it I just want um y’all to know where I’m at and what’s going on now at the same time I do understand that people are going to want to do something like uh and I have a I have requests I do have things that I would like from you here are here two things you can do first if you haven’t you can sign up for our newsletter like I think knowing me I’m going to still find joy in creating and communicating with people if I

can and the easiest lowest lift way of doing that is probably going to be writing something down and putting it in a newsletter and so if I still want that but I’m not feeling up to making videos and podcasts that would be a nice thing to be able to have so you can sign up for that it’s the top thing in the description and I’d appreciate that second if you could give me ideas for movies and TV shows and video games that are not heavy at all like no emotion I go watch The Dungeons and

Dragons movie because I think that’s gonna be a fun time and not all of the themes were restful for me I have to say so really dumb things that will not make you cry could not make anyone cry because I’ve been told that I’m gonna have some time to consume media and I desperately need to be distracted as you can tell I’m fine uh but I’m not fine and it sucks like I know that this sucks most for me but I also know that it sucks for everybody uh in this community so I feel like

apologizing but that would be stupid so I’m not going to but I think you know what I mean uh I just want to recognize that it sucks so thanks I hope this isn’t my last vlogbrothers video for four months or whatever if it is it is I don’t want to put pressure on me um John will probably take some time off because it’s just probably a little weird to post just him on the channel um so but we’ll play it by ear we’ll figure it out as we go uh one day at a time and

uh I continue to be extraordinarily grateful for so many of the things in my life including this and John I’ll see you on Tuesday

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