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New Video: Fighting the Big Black Bird With Some Help

April 3rd, 2013 by Jeff Simmermon

I can’t tell you how happy it makes me to be able to share this video of this story. I told it at The Moth’s “Love Hurts” show on February 13th of this year.

I’ve been working it over and over for a few years – it’s a significant revision of a piece about the depression that comes after cancer surgery, and also all of the stupid shit that people say to you when they hear you’ve had cancer. Just a hint: Yoga can’t actually cure cancer, but getting high and watching ‘Pootie Tang’ will help you to feel better.

I put a lot of jokes into it that I’ve written over the last year, and it feels right. This is also the first time I’ve been able to adequately communicate in public just how much my fiance means to me without using any cliches, and why I can’t imagine living life without her.

Think what you want of Lance Armstrong – the doping scandals, the lying, the bullying, whatever. I didn’t follow cycling or that story that closely, so I’m shielded by a thick cushion of ignorance on that one. But the thing that helped me the most through this whole process of having testicular cancer was being able to talk about it openly, on stage and in the street.

People get a little weird about it now, but they used to get a LOT more weird about it, and it was something that wasn’t discussed at all. We used to say that people were testicular cancer victims, and now they’re cancer survivors. It’s a major cultural shift, and it’s come through the hard work of the LiveStrong foundation.

It’s OK to feel however you want to feel about the man, but let’s please recognize that the foundation has done – and continues to do – really, really important work. I benefited from it directly and indirectly, and a lot of other people have, too.

Archives Posts

Welcome to the Club – A Few Words About Having Cancer

December 6th, 2011 by Jeff Simmermon


Originally uploaded by Jeff.Simmermon

You know, there’s an awful lot of cancer going around. I’m not sure that it’s not catching.

Or, you know how people used to smoke cigarettes with asbestos filters and X-ray their feet at the shoe store to see if they had a good fit? I think we’re doing something like that right now, something our grandkids are going to find so shocking and appalling when we tell them about it. They’re going to say “well of COURSE you all had cancer.”

Maybe it’s plastics.

A friend of mine got diagnosed with breast cancer last week. And before that, other friends and other friends. The words that follow are for anyone that’s been diagnosed with cancer and is really, really freaking out about it. That should cover pretty much anyone that’s been diagnosed with cancer, period.

I’ve just found myself emailing versions of what follows out to a number of people recently, and I thought maybe I’d put it out here so strangers could read this and share it.

Here it goes:

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