I found out from Facebook that he died.
I was sitting on our couch in the living room, iPad perched on my lap, drinking my morning breakfast smoothie. Brett walked past on the way to the kitchen. My face said it all.
What’s wrong? Is everything OK?, Brett asked.
It’s my friend…
All I have to do these days is have tears in my eyes and mutter something about a friend, and Brett knows that someone with brain cancer has died.
His name was Eric Arons.
I met him through my blog about a year into my own diagnosis. But Eric’s diagnosis was more malignant–he had a glioblastoma.
Eric also had a blog and we followed each other. We found out we had the same doctor (at Kaiser and UCSF), and in 2011 he sent me a message about meeting up at the Bay Area Brain Tumor Walk.
We met in San Francisco’s Golden Gate Park. He was young… maybe late 30s. Good looking guy. He lived in San Francisco. I said my best friend lived in San Francisco. In my mind I imagined hooking them up for a blind date. He was her type.
We hugged, we said goodbye. Later we became friends on Facebook. He invited me to one of his Huck Cancer disc golf fundraiser events for Livestrong. I never made it out.
We messaged a number of times over the past two years. In 2012 he donated $100 to my Brain Tumor Walk team.
I don’t know why he popped up in my mind this week, but he did. I checked out his Facebook page and noticed all the recent posts were of friends posting well-wishes on his page. He wasn’t writing anything. Photos appeared of him with friends… except instead of him playing disc golf, he was in a wheelchair.
A couple days later I checked his Facebook page again. His friends were still posting messages but this time they were for an Eric they missed, who died.
It’s my friend…
That’s all I need to say anymore. Brett knows I make connections and friendships with brain tumor patients all the time.
I met Eric in person. We supported one another. I know his face and his smile. He was so young…
Fuck this shit.
Attention! I highly encourage people to read the last few posts on Eric’s blog if you are curious about the end of life experience for someone with brain cancer: 42 Staples. Warning: Don’t read the blog if the experience hits too close to home for you right now.