Brain tumors suck. Hi, I'm Patrick btw. This is my cancer blog. My "normal" stuff is over here.
I just learned that someone I barely knew died from his brain tumor. And I’m totally shocked. The reason is not so much that I don’t expect people to die from this disease, although it is no less horrible if you expect it to happen. I just literally cried my eyes out not only because I learned about his death (which apparently already happened in August) but because we were in contact and I made plans to visit him already months ago, but never came around to write to him again. Because apparently, I’m really good at telling people to do things now and not tomorrow and that time can be precious and all that stuff, but I fail to follow my own advice. And now the chance of ever meeting Johannes is gone. Forever.
Let me give you the full backstory as a word of caution and to remind myself to never let this happen again: When I did the (German) WRINT podcast with Holgi back in 2013, someone calling himself “Nilquader” commented that he had thought about doing the same podcast with Holgi, but just waited too long to ask. Over the following months, we exchanged emails and some DMs on Twitter and we made plans that I would come and visit him. The really sad part is that we talked on and off for about two years (the last time was in the beginning of this year, he had just been to Heidelberg for radiation treatment and I had started to evaluate where I would like to do mine), but never managed to meet, although he was living in Wuppertal, which is only about a 1:30h drive away from Aachen! So we practically lived very close together and I told him we would come to visit him someday, but I never followed up, and now that I finally wanted to write him again, I’m three months late.
So now I’m sitting here, wondering how we would have gotten along in real life (he was a computer nerd, too, so I guess we would have hit it off quite fine). And I’m thinking about lost opportunities. And that I recently read Liz’s blog post about how she managed to do a 36h trip to meet a friend who started hospice and I couldn’t even manage a 1:30h drive. Granted, we weren’t friends (yet), but still, this should have taken priority over so many other, less important things that happened in the two years(!) I had time to visit him. And yes, Johannes also wasn’t someone who insisted on finally meeting, but that’s not the point. Ok, I guess I quit rambling now and instead get my priorities straight. I have to contact someone I want to meet until the end of the year…