Look, I'm just gonna lay it out there: I usually hate people, especially people I don't know, with the white-hot fire of...of...something that's pretty hot. But I need to tell you a story of a guy whose real name I don't even know, and whom I wouldn't be able to pick out of a lineup.
He's a fellow poker blogger, and the only name by which I know him is lightning38, or lightning36, or somewhere around there. The only things I know about him are these: He's polite, he's articulate, he likes my blog and Josie's, and he's got a son who's been diagnosed with cancer.
He's travelled from wherever it is he and his family live their lives to the Mayo Clinic, in Minnesota, so that his son can get the best treatment that modern medicine can provide. Of course it comes at great cost, and I'm not talking monetary. His life is on hold, his son is likely exhausted from being poked and prodded, and over everything is a paralyzing, consuming fear of the future, and what it portends.
Because lightning36, being a poker player, knows all about odds. And he knows, like we all know, that even though your pocket aces are a 93-6 favorite over A2, there will come a time when those odds just won't hold up, and you'll end up sending all your chips across the table.
And even should things go the way they're currently talking about, and the play stays with the odds, there's a hard road ahead of them, with all the stuff that cancer brings to a family: treatment that is almost as bad as the illness, a constant vigil over a recurrence of the cancer, and a fundamental shift in the way time is measured. Instead of the mile markers of life being events, like graduation, marriage, children, and the like, life will now be measured in terms of five-year survival rate, ten-year survival rate, etc. Cancer is the gift that keeps on kneecapping you.
Despite the enormity of what he and his family is up against, he's writing about it over at his blog, Lightning Strikes. To me that is a stunning act of bravery, of faith in the face of everything, and of an optimism about the future that brings a lump in my throat, despite me not even knowing this guy's name.
You should go to his site and read all about it. And for the love of God, put him and his family in your thoughts. If ever there was a guy who deserved some good karma, it's him.
Whatever his name is.