‘My biggest thing is, I’m not ready to go yet, too much to do. You have to stay positive; you have to fight.’
“I wasn’t feeling good last summer, and I kept putting it off. So I finally decided to make a physical appointment. The doctor didn’t do much. I called my son at work, and I said, ‘Can you take me to the emergency room?’ Three-thirty in the morning in September, I found out that it doesn’t look good. I said, ‘Well how bad is it?’ It’s metastasized stage 4 pancreatic cancer, and it’s in the portal of the liver also. So they can’t do radiation ever. They can’t do the Whipple, which is a surgery to stop the cancer from spreading.
The more cells we can kill, the longer I’ll be here. I’m going to be here. I’m watching my son get married next year.
“So I’m on chemo for the rest of my life. I was upset when they first told me. In January, I was upset and angry because they gave me a timeframe, and that’s when I took back my life. I said, ‘No, I’m on God’s time. I’m on His time, His plan.’ I’m fighting hard, as hard as I can. The last few weeks, I’ve been very emotional. Has it been tough? Yeah. Has chemo kicked me down? More times than not. But I’m trying every day, and I have the best support group in the world. The LGBT community are some of my biggest supporters. I have rabbis praying. They pray for me in mosques. There are prayer chains for me everywhere. They want me to get better. For the longest time, I didn’t post anything on Facebook. And finally, after I shaved my head, I said, ‘This is what six months of stage 4 pancreatic cancer looks like.’ I wanted to keep my bangs, but as he was buzzing my head, they were coming off in his hand.
“So I’m going to keep it shaved for the summer, and then see if it’ll grow again. It’s a long battle. And to think, five years ago, the minute they said you had stage 4 pancreatic cancer, you went into hospice and died. There was no optimism. My faith’s gotten stronger. I’m like, ‘I know He’s got this, and I’ll get through this.’ I’ll never be cancer free. But the more cells we can kill, the longer I’ll be here. I’m going to be here. I’m watching my son get married next year. My biggest thing is, I’m not ready to go yet, too much to do. You have to stay positive; you have to fight.”
Interviewed by Jay Max