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An Open Letter To My Boyfriend

Hi Noodles,

You’re currently sleeping on the couch next to me because you’re too stubborn to go to sleep and I’m not tired yet. My psychologist told me that I can’t go to bed until I’m tired, so you thought you’d wait it out with me. You do this cute thing where you try to convince me you’re awake but then you quickly drift back to sleep.

I think about writing something like this a lot. I’m afraid it’ll come across as cheesy, but I’m fully embracing it. Sometimes I don’t feel like I appropriately communicate my appreciation for you. You do so much for me, and sometimes “thank you” doesn’t seem to do it justice. For starters, I am so damn lucky to have you in my life. You support me in ways I never knew possible and in ways I never knew I needed. I know we’re both very independent people, but this past year has forced me to find people to lean on. I’m so, so glad you were (and continue to be) one of those people for me.

I remember when when I told you I had cancer. You had been there as my story sort of unfolded, so it wasn’t really a surprise or any sort of “big” moment. I wasn’t really afraid to tell you, as far as I was concerned, this was very large obstacle that I now had to figure out a way to overcome. It was probably the third time I had told the story (when I went to the radiation oncologist) so I was weirdly calm for someone who was just diagnosed with stage IV cancer. We had been casually dating for the better part of last year and we just recently starting to get a little more serious. I remember you having this look of sadness in your eyes when I told you what the doctor said. When I asked if you were okay, you told me you’re the son of a marine and you don’t cry. And you didn’t. And then we went out for some pizza to get our minds off things.

There was one time in the very beginning of all this that I was afraid this was going to be too much for you. Not because of anything you said or did, but because I was projecting my own insecurities onto our relationship. Dating someone with stage IV cancer is not what you signed up for. It’s a lot for anyone to handle, and I didn’t want to be a burden. But, because you’re so wonderful, you didn’t see leaving me as an option (btw, that still amazes me). We hadn’t been together that long, but you made it very clear that you’d be there no matter what. I knew when you told me that it wasn’t just words — but you really meant it.

I remember when I was hospitalized and I didn’t want you to see me in the state I was in. I was so sick and felt totally awful and you hadn’t even met my parents yet. Well, you didn’t really give me a choice and came down to the hospital and immediately went to dinner with my mom while I was in an MRI tube. I wasn’t even in the room to introduce the two of you! You then proceeded to come every night and slept in the most uncomfortable recliner so I didn’t have to sleep alone. You even brought your own pillow! I’ll never forget the one night you came in, said “hello gorgeous!” and kissed me on the forehead. I still remember how loved I felt in that moment. Here I was feeling (and probably looking) like absolute shit and you were still so happy to see me. I knew I somehow I snagged a good one 😉

You’ve seen me at my worst (multiple) times and you never even flinched. You’ve seen me puke my guts out, cry more times than I can remember, lifted me out of bed when I couldn’t do it myself, and listened to me when I irrationally cried about things that didn’t make any sense at all. Hah, remember when I had a breakdown because you went to bed before me?! Maybe this is why you’re trying to stay awake on the couch...

Our relationship feels so one-sided at times (aka most of the time) and somehow you’re STILL so patient with me. I often question what I did to deserve you someone like you. It sounds so cliché to say, but it’s the honest truth.

I think one of my favorite things about you is that you whole-heartedly believed things would get better for me (and us). You truly, never believed anything different. You weren’t even surprised when my scans showed things were working because you expected that to happen.

Noodles — you’ve been my rock.

I am forever grateful for you.


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