Top 10 silver linings of having stage 4 melanoma

Yea cancer pretty much sucks, but there are small benefits here and there if you know how to find them:

10. Facial hair freedom – First it was the playoff beard, now we’re rocking the Fu Man Chu (poorly I may add), who knows what is next. 

9. Mid-day naps – I average two. Per day. And they are fantastic. Somehow, this will continue after all is said and done. Siestas are way better than trying to plow through the afternoon on 5 Hour Energy.  Josie and Tommy are the perfect cuddle buddies for one of the aforementioned naps, as long as they don’t kick too much.

8. Baby weight loss – Granted, this wasn’t the ideal way to drop the sympathy pounds I put on while Jen was pregnant, but I do not have to worry about counting calories anytime soon.

7. Fashion – Elmo pajama pants, CMU Football t-shirts, gym shorts, and anything else comfortable makes the cut, funny looks from others be damned.

6. Outsourcing – Honestly I’m not a huge fan of the mundane housework stuff that guys need to do - yard work, the little home repairs, cleaning the garage. For the last several weeks I’ve had plenty of volunteers to pick up the slack. 

5. Air traffic control parenting – When the responsibility of knowing where your kids are and they are safe is the only one you have. It is enjoyable to watch them, especially with other kids, while others pick up the slack in keeping everyone in line, safe, fed, etc… (Note, this only goes so far, especially when it’s just Jen and I).

4. Reconnecting – The far-reaching support I have received has been unbelievable, touching, and humbling; from the sheer volume to the depth that many have gone to help, it has been amazing.  It’s not just family and the guys from the wedding party. Old friends and teammates from Eustace have reached out – from my Dad’s class all the way down to my brother’s.  Guys and girls from CMU, Hoboken, Philly, the Shore, and pretty much every place I have hung my hat (or had a few drinks with new friends) in between.  When this thing is kicked and we have some kind of celebration party, it’s going to be HUUUUUUGE. 

3. Talking with Him – I’m fairly and consistently religious, even if some personal views don’t always align with the Catholic Church. Regardless, being a light for God has been less about talking dogma and more doing things every day that brings God into the lives of those around me.  Religion can become slightly monotonous and ritualistic, and “going through the motions” has described more than one trip to St. Sebastian in the last several years (usually after late Saturday nights). Prayer now means a lot more, that taking the time to close my eyes, think, and really talk to God - AND listen to what He says – makes it much higher on the priority list. 

2. Resetting goals – Lots of short term goals involved checking things off a list that worked to longer term objectives.  Things like a more successful career, bigger house, new vacations, etc… now all seem a little out of whack. While there will always be things “to do”, goals have now become “see Tommy walk for the first time,” “go to Josie’s first day of school,” “have two kids in high school not kill each other,” “pay for college for the same two kids at same time,” “walk Josie down aisle,” and “watch Tommy graduate college”. 

1. Reallocating time – Fantasy football, Facebook updates, and catching up on the DVR fall way behind playing with the kids, talking to Jen, calling my brother, and spending quality time with our families. It’s easy to stay in the rut of normal, without realizing the best moments are just waiting to be enjoyed with those I love the most. I’m sure this won’t keep me off Facebook or eliminate fantasy football (sorry Jen!), but it certainly helped me see that time is all we have, we don’t know how much we get, and we should use it wisely.