That’s what everyone says.
When you have a question and need an answer, you Google it. You ask the world wide web what you should do next, what this means, what that means, what’s going on. We solve problems ourselves, we become independent, we become know-it-alls.
I’m a victim of this. I Google everything. My throat hurts? I Google it. What medication should I take? I Google it. I find an answer, I read other people’s questions, and I trust it. But what if you were told that you had cancer? A type of cancer that is rare, dangerous and unexpected. Would you Google it? Would you trust the internet to tell you what’s happening inside your body? I hate to say it, but I think I’d research my fate. I think I’d panic, and wonder what’s going to happen next.
There’s a level of trust and patience that comes in a relationship. You trust that your person is going to be there for you, you trust that they will hangout with you on Friday nights, you are patient when they make mistakes and you work through problems together. But that’s the easy stuff. It’s when the difficult times sneak up on you that things get hard, get messy and get down right complicated.
Unless you’re Hadley and Adam.
I’ve known Hadley since kindergarten. Her family is a wonderful cluster of beautifully talented artists. From pottery to blowing glass, this family lives and breathes art. I was lucky enough to be friends with her early on and play with clay, pretend I knew what I was doing on the pottery wheel and just plain make art. I met Adam a few years later. Adam met Hadley around the same time. And when did they start dating? 8th grade. Are they still dating today? Yes. Did they know when they started dating in 8th grade that Adam would be diagnosed with cancer? Probably not. Did this phase them? As far as I can tell, no.
In the fall of 2009 Adam’s leg hurt on a school trip to Canada. Being a normal human being, he ignored it. It wasn’t until a few months later that he went to a routine check-up that he decided to mention the pain and get some X-rays. The day before leaving on a ski-trip to Vermont with Hadley, his doctor called him and recommended that he not ski, and that he come into an appointment as soon as he gets back. They were suspicious about what they had found in the X-rays and wanted to investigate. So Hadley and Adam went to Vermont. Though they didn’t get to ski, they went antiquing, hiking, and drove around enjoying the company of themselves. Life was good. Life was normal.
It wasn’t until a few days after the trip, on Adam’s 21st birthday, a Tuesday, that he was given the worst gift of all. He was diagnosed with cancer. And not just any cancer, but Ewing Sarcoma. (I’m sure you’re all Googling it right now). This cancer is not good. I’m no Doctor, but the statistics are in no-ones favor. Did Adam and Hadley Google the diagnosis? Nope. “It’s not productive,” they said. They listened to the Doctor, accepted what was in front of them, and stepped out the door.
Like normal, Adam went to school the next day.
About one week later after receiving the first diagnosis, the doctor called them back to let them know they had made a mistake. They were wrong. He still had cancer. But it wasn’t Ewing Sarcoma. It was Diffuse large B-cell lymphoma (it is also classified as a non-hodgkins lymphoma). Instead of having an appointment weeks later, the doctor asked if he could come in now.
As Adam is telling me this, he’s laughing, saying “but I was on campus!” Seriously, who thinks of school at a time like this? And the best part? Adam and Hadley celebrated. They celebrated the fact that he had cancer, because this was a better kind of cancer. I know I’m repeating myself, but, a better kind of cancer? It’s weird, sure, but it’s also absolutely amazing.
One day your on vacation in Vermont, and the next you’re knee deep in six-rounds of chemotherapy, five different chemotherapy drugs, hospital food, nights in the hospital, steroids, Benadryll, anti-nauseau medicine, IV’s of caffeine (yes, they make those) and more.
And that’s only the beginning. Then there you have 17 radiation therapy sessions (two a week), incredibly large amounts of steroids (which Adam and Hadley referred to as “roid raging”) and the constant battles of why, when and what, going on in your head.
When you start dating someone, you don’t expect things like this to happen. You don’t anticipate cancer. But if you’re Hadley and Adam, you deal with it. You never stop trusting in that person and you take every day one-by-one. You don’t look ahead and panic. You don’t plan. You cope. You love, you are there for one another, and you gather your small victories. You find a way to keep a positive attitude, and you never let go of that. You don’t spend your life Googling your problems, looking for statistics, looking for stories and looking for answers. You only do productive things. You only think positive. It’s the only way.
Nine years into their relationship they’ve been through everything from awkward middle school dances to high school graduation to cancer and back. Who can say that? And who can say they did it with a smile on their face, maybe not always, but most of the time.
Hadley and Adam don’t know it, but they are incredible. After spending three hours with them on a Sunday morning, hearing their story, watching them talk, seeing them interact, it’s clear that they are two people that were born, made, EXIST to be together. There is nothing accidental about their relationship. They are full of life, full of joy and it’s infectious to everyone who is around them. Their joy is real. There is not one hint of faux emotion in these photos. (Okay, except the one where they are making fun of Adam’s awkward smile). They are the real thing, guys. They challenged me to not worry about the next day. Enjoy the now. Love while you can, and look at the big picture.
This is Scout. He’s a cutie.They are just the two most joyful people. Oh, and look at the sleeping dog in the corner.“We love hugs!” – themUm, beautiful girl, yes?Imitating Adam’s cheesy smile. Which NEVER showed up unless they did it on purpose.I love this photo. So very much THEM.
I know that was a lot of photos, but, I couldn’t pick and choose. I hope you really get to see who these two lovely human beings are … and appreciate just how stinkin’ amazing they are. Stay tuned for Part 2 where I got to join Adam and Hadley as they made clay. Yep, made clay…
And please, share this story with everyone you know. They deserve to know how special they are. So, leave a comment and let them know! And remember, Inspira(shown) doesn’t happen without your nomination! So thank you to Kelly for nominating these two. Want to know what Inspira(shown) is? Read my “about” post! HERE!