I didn’t make a proper announcement when she was born, so I apologize for the late news:

Introducing Satori Deva Roney. Born 12 March at 1:07 am. 5 lbs 11 oz, 20.5 inches long. We’ve decided to keep her. Now a little info on the name:

As most of you know, Juanique and I are into unique names. We also like names that are aspirational, sort of like built in role models for our children. Satori perfectly meets both criteria. It is a Zen Buddhist word meaning “enlightenment,” “awakening,” or “seeing one’s true nature.” With any luck it will serve Satori as a continuing call back to her true nature, which is basic goodness.
Deva is a Buddhist and Hindu word meaning “a god or divine being,” once again intended to keep Satori’s divine nature at the forefront of her self-image. It’s fair to say that she is living up to her name perfectly so far.
One of the benefits of her birth so far has been the halo of calm it has created in our lives. We even came close to forgetting about the cancer a few times. Preparing for tomorrow’s surgery has been like being awoken from the best dream. It’s a little bit painful, but we’ve got the advantage of bringing the best part of the dream with us into the next chapter of our lives. I guess I’m ready now.

I took a sort of social media break for a while when Satori was born, but I’m once again craving some form of community, so I’m back. In less than 12 hours I’ll be in surgery getting my rectum removed (hopefully along with the tumor), so please consider setting aside some good feels for me and my family over the next 24 hours. I’ll be taking up donations in the form of prayers, thoughts, vibes, and long-distance high fives if you are feeling so generous. In return you get to gaze at my loving mustachioed face for as long as you want.

Round 3 of chemo today–maybe. I had an MRI yesterday morning and we may move up the surgery to remove the tumor, depending on the results. My oncologist is reviewing the scan as we speak. I’ll be honest, I’m a bit more scared than usual. It’s not a relaxing experience to be waiting for news of this sort.
There are two things keeping me sane and breathing right now: amazing people and amazing music. So if anyone is around online right now, I would love to hear from you about your favorite music and why you love it. Inspire me, comfort me, distract me! Thanks, friends.

This picture from Tennyson’s birthday perfectly captures how I feel about my family. In the early days after being diagnosed, I found myself contemplating death quite a bit. As frightening as the thought was, I couldn’t ignore that death might be calling to me and there is nothing I can do about it.
I was in the middle of one of these dark ponderings during a failed attempt at a nap when my thoughts drifted to Tennyson. I imagined him growing up without me and what that would be like for him. I thought of all the milestones and moments I would miss out on, and the darkness in my mind was growing even darker.

But in that moment, when self-pity was about to consume me, something profound happened: I decided that I want to live. It might seem like an obvious conclusion to reach, but it was a conclusion that I had to come to consciously. It was much deeper than a simple desire to survive. It was an empowering decision to take on this experience as an active and willful participant rather than a helpless passenger. It was a will to live surging from my core. It was a spiritual experience.

That moment marked the beginning of a shift away from relying on the confidence and faith of others toward becoming more self-reliant in the mental-emotional-spiritual aspect of my journey. Looking back, I don’t know how or if I would have made such a breakthrough without having this great kid in my life. I genuinely believe that the decision I made in that moment–to choose life–is the reason that I will beat cancer, and it is all thanks to his existence and my love for him. And for that reason he really is a superhero. Must be from his mom’s genes.

I came home from Dallas to these extraordinarily thoughtful gifts from some very generous friends. I already feel an obligation to spend the rest of my life paying forward the kindness I have received, but it keeps piling on far too quickly for me to keep up.
In addition to physical gifts, I have been so fortunate to have a number of people share their thoughts, feelings, and experiences with me. People from all corners of my life have reached out to me in gestures of compassion, vulnerability, and lovingkindness. They’ve taken real risks by sharing aspects of their life that are heartbreaking and often difficult to understand from the outside. And as a result of their bravery we’ve had incredible moments of connection and mutual understanding of our shared human experience.
When I first posted about my cancer diagnosis on Facebook my goal was to be honest and open about what I was going through, because I didn’t want shame and secrecy to make the experience even more harrowing. I was blown away by how quickly and how powerfully people responded with comments, private messages, texts, phone calls, packages, visits, etc. People who are facing challenges that would bring me to my knees are able to see beyond their own worlds and find a place for me in their hearts. The unanimous message has been one of love, encouragement, and solidarity. I feel as if my inner circle has expanded tenfold and I consider it the highest honor to be given even a moment of your time.

Thank you all so much for giving to me. I’ll never be able to say or do enough to show how much it has meant to me. I am inspired and I know that the rest of my life will be spent building on the moments I have shared with each of you in the last few months. But most of all I hope that these moments never stop.

Time won’t allow me to personally reach out to everyone that will read this, but I want to make it clear that I welcome and look forward to your messages and calls. Even if all you want to do is talk about the struggles you’ve had, I want to hear it. Our struggles are the bridges that help us find common ground, as long as we take advantage of them by opening our inner worlds to others. Here’s

Round 2 of chemo, rocking my new #skullcandy headphones from the awesome @autumnhindman. Preparing for the next dip on the world’s most slow-motion roller coaster.
I’ve been told my positive attitude while going through cancer is unique. While I think most people just don’t know enough cancer survivors, I do have a secret that enables me to keep things in perspective: there is a mystery spot on my lung.
The spot is too close to my heart to risk doing a biopsy, too close to my heart to get a definitive image of what it is. So it remains a mystery and a constant reminder that nothing can be taken for granted. I’m one aggressive lung tumor away from incurable cancer, and living in this uncertainty enables me to live more authentically.
Regardless of your beliefs about what happens after death, there is no denying the preciousness of what we have right now while we breathe. All guarantees of our ability to act on our own behalf are off the table when our breath becomes air. My inability to ignore my mortality drives me to inhale life deeply, to suck the beauty and the meaning from each experience, to ride the intensity of life with both hands in the air.
So in short, my secret is Death. I don’t know when she’ll pull my card from her deck, but I know there are a few extra cards in there with my face on them. This knowledge powers my efforts to live a beautiful life while I still have a choice.
Question: What is the most beautiful, but simple, thing in your life that you would recommend I try or pay more attention to? Thanks in advance for your advice.
PS- Pardon the nip slip.

Love… is a cold and broken hallelujah. I’ve always loved Leonard Cohen’s poetry in this song, which originally had 80 verses and currently has even more interpretations. Recently I’ve come to hear my own interpretation, which is that the divine is found in the darkest and loneliest of places. When we find ourselves face down on the rock bottom of life, when our only companion seems to be shame, we are suddenly open to the beautiful, raw truth of our holiness. Even the last stone piled upon our shattered bodies cannot suppress the whispered hallelujah that glorifies the divinity of this moment, this existence, this being. ⠀

As I anticipate my next chemotherapy treatment in a couple of days, bringing with it an infusion of poison that will break my body even as it saves my life, I recognize this experience as my hallelujah–my acknowledgment of the sacredness of this journey through the dark valley of cancer. Not because of where it came from, and not because of where it might lead me, but because of where it has placed me in this moment. In the midst of discomfort and fear I find a love that cannot be replicated through triumph, ecstasy, or joyous proclamation. Call it God, call it satori, call it neuronal friction, call it whatever makes sense to you. To me it is the pinnacle of sentient existence and it is what makes this life worth living. ⠀

I continue to be flooded with feelings of gratitude every day. I never could have guessed getting cancer would make me feel so lucky and so privileged. Bring on the poison, my cup is ready to be filled. Hallelujah.