Why hairy?

Hairy is for hairy cell leukemia, the chronic cancer that, in 2019, began to reshape my life and those of everyone around me. It’s a rare, slow-growing and treatable condition that over time suppresses the immune system that I will carry for my whole life.

Why witness?

I am a disciple of Christ, trying to be a witness to His presence in the world. Just before the Ascension, Jesus told his disciples “You are witnesses of these things”, and I feel compelled to answer that same calling today.

This blog is about the journey of wrestling hair cell leukemia, witnessing to the faith, and life. Thanks for coming along with me.

  • Grateful
    Living with a chronic cancer means perpetually walking around with the knowledge that some day your cancer will return. Even when your doctors assure you that a long remission is likely, there is always, somewhere in the back of your mind, an awareness that one day you will be staring at concerning test results andContinue reading “Grateful”
  • Hope
    I love my kids dearly. I want only the best for them. I also want them to sleep a little later in the morning. While some of our friends lament that their young kids wake them up at 8 AM, I am ecstatic if ours make it to 7. For a variety of reasons, sleepContinue reading “Hope”
  • It’s Not About You
    My dad has a small frame on his desk at work that says simply “It’s not about you.” I have never asked him the story behind this frame, but I imagine that it could have been a gift or a Spirit-led purchase or just one of many random things that has accumulated over the years.Continue reading “It’s Not About You”
  • A Letter to My Children
    My kids, As I write this letter, we are living in a very interesting time. Even though you are 4 and 2, you have both learned how to say “coronavirus” and “COVID” and have heard your mommy and I use the word “pandemic.” You know that your preschool is closed, that Daddy has been workingContinue reading “A Letter to My Children”
  • Our Light Has Come
    Light has been on my mind quite a bit lately. Maybe it’s just the gray, overcast nature of winter in the Midwest. Every January and February I catch myself thinking “Couldn’t we just have one sunny day? I don’t even care if it’s cold.” The short days and long nights don’t help much either. WhenContinue reading “Our Light Has Come”
  • Grandma
    In November we celebrated the feasts of All Saints and All Souls, remembering our loved ones who have passed from this life into the next. It wasn’t a surprise, but I found myself thinking about my grandma quite a bit in November this year. It has been over seven months since she passed away, butContinue reading “Grandma”
  • Our Daily Bread
    “God surprises us and often likes to mess up our appointment books; prepare for this without fear.” Pope Francis recently shared this wisdom with a group of newly ordained bishops, but he could have easily been telling our family the same thing. The last couple of months have had us constantly adapting our schedules andContinue reading “Our Daily Bread”
  • The Dogwood Tree
    This summer we bought a small tree to plant in our yard. We had been wanting to get something to fill in a gap at the back of our property. Being the environmentally-conscious person that I am, I wanted to make sure to get a native plant. Meghann, who is better than me at makingContinue reading “The Dogwood Tree”
  • Adèle
    Catholic fascination with the saints is perplexing to many people. Even I, a cradle Catholic, have often found it a bit hard to understand. Shouldn’t we pray to God, not people? Last November our small church community gathered during the week of the Feast of All Saints, and we had a timely discussion on theContinue reading “Adèle”
  • Anatomy of a Treatment Day
    Treatment day starts with a visit to the lab, which is on the first floor of the cancer center. They draw a few tubes of my blood from my arm and send me on my way to the elevator. Some days I go to the fourth floor to see my oncologist. Other treatment days IContinue reading “Anatomy of a Treatment Day”
  • Treatment Begins
    With my hairy cell diagnosis in April, our life began to swirl with a great deal of uncertainty, especially around the topic of treatment. Unlike many aggressive cancers, since hairy cell is slow growing, a diagnosis doesn’t necessarily mean immediate treatment. However, treatment is inevitable at some point. With the meaning of “at some point”Continue reading “Treatment Begins”
  • April 17
    To say it was a busy day in a frantic week in a chaotic month might be an understatement. My daughter had just turned 1, and we had just hosted a modest but nice party for her. My 7th wedding anniversary was a few days away. My wife was actively starting an exciting and newContinue reading “April 17”
  • Hairy Witness
    Hairy Witness may be an odd name for a blog, but it fits this one and it fits me. Why hairy? I’m not one of those guys who grows a full beard by skipping shaving once nor do I style my hair in a pony tail. Hairy is for hairy cell leukemia, the chronic cancerContinue reading “Hairy Witness”