In August of 2014, I hit rock bottom in my life. My trading card game review website that I sunk countless hours into was getting pitiful returns. With my almost total lack of sustainable freelance work, my college loan bills were on the verge of going in default. Also, a very stressful relationship with someone I hoped would be my long-term creative partner came to a sad and frustrating end later that same month. With that, there was nothing I had to look forward to anymore. I had a goal when I left my old job in January 2013 that I would be out of my parent's house by age 28 - May 8th, 2015. But that now looked to be completely impossible.
In late August, some dear friends that I had made on a social blogging site were close to being homeless. While discussing preparations to get funding for my friends’ move, I was introduced to someone through a group chat that my friends started. It turned out that she was also in a dire situation. She'd just lost her lucrative job as a Community Manager for a major online venue, and needed to make sure her kids would still have a place to live. We were working on GoFundMe fundraisers which were going nowhere. By the middle of the month, though, it appeared that my friends were able to get a new place. So as their situation bettered, they turned to a major book project. That left me with the other new friend that I'd made, whose situation was only getting worse.
This special friend that I met has an incredible social network. But as soon as that fundraiser went up online, many of her online friends just suddenly abandoned her. It got to the point that this very well-known web writer and creative, tech-savvy mom was losing hope on ever having her own website projects work. She didn't know what to do. But I came along and told her there's no way she could give up. She still has other supplemental income to pay the bills for now. I let her know she had someone to help her with her sites. It wasn't because I had nothing better to do. I really admired her dedication to her family and her passion for her work. We also talked for hours upon hours and discovered that we pretty much agree on 99.9 percent of everything and have so many things in common.
Without actually admitting it to each other, we were falling in love. We tirelessly worked on her network (what would become our websites), even while she was working with an extremely old laptop, since her good one was in the pawn shop. Long story short, she had money to pay the bills, but it wasn't available for when she would need it due to payment cycles. So not only was she dealing with limited technology, but until very recently she was working off of Cricket 3G wireless on her phone's hot-spot. You can imagine how frustrating that was. But I stayed around for her the whole time. I wasn't giving up on someone who had enjoyed her level of success and was just going through a hard time. Things were pretty horrible for both of us financially, but we had each other.
Then we found out that we, in fact, have the same birthday, May 8th. Even though we were born nine years apart, it was then obvious why we were so much alike and so ridiculously compatible. We are both highly compassionate and generous individuals to a fault, who have been screwed over and used far more than we should be. But now we had found the perfect match. The problem was, she wasn't going to be unfaithful to the guy she was with. Fortunately, that wouldn't matter.
Finally, the guy she had gone so far out of her way for proved to be unfaithful and walked out on her. But by that point, she and I had already developed such a strong bond. Our feelings were already there, so by the time he wanted out, we'd both made up our minds anyway, even though we hadn't said so until then. He walked out at the perfect time. Soon after that, we decided that it was finally about time that we pursue the romantic feelings that had bottled up over the past couple of months and turn it into a real relationship. It was a risk, being so sudden after such a bitter end to her past relationship, but we decided to give it a go. We both wanted it.
That woman, of course, is none other than Lyn Lomasi.
Now that we joined forces online and in life, we’ve started to focus on sustainability, for ourselves and our friends through the Write W.A.V.E Media network. If we just can find a way to make it all work, and also bring in supplemental freelance work, then we'll be happy. Then Lyn and I can really start helping people the way that we've always wanted to. Since we've met, my depression, social anxiety, and "manic attacks" have become a lot easier to deal with. Now I'll always have the greatest medicine of all: true love.
Also, while the fundraiser was nominally a failure, it did cover some rent and some other expenses. Plus, the father of her four children, who lives nearby, now has a place big enough that the kids can all stay with him together. While there are some logistical issues involved, the kids will have a place and be able to be with their father, at least. Now that the kids are in a good new place, the only real trick now is for us to be able to get a consistent enough income for Lyn and me to be able to move in together, along with at least two of the kids. To take them all back wouldn’t be fair to their father. With our combined effort, we should have no problem maintaining a place wherever we decide to go. Originally, our goal was to be moved in together by our birthday, May 8th of next year, which was, strangely enough, my original goal of being on my own. But that timetable appeared to be moving up quickly.
Now I didn’t have to go out into the world alone. I gained such an amazing partner. We can be independent together. Her family has been as accepting of me as Lyn has been. Our eventual hope is that Lyn and I's income will become such that her and I and all of her four children are under one roof, plus any children that we have together (which we plan to!) We all want to be one big happy family. It seems her kids are open to accepting me, and they will be definitely accepted by me with open arms. They’re really good kids, and Lyn has raised them well.
However, when I told my parents about Lyn, they were understandably skeptical, especially with how my other past online relationships had gone. The most recent one before had drained me very badly, but that’s because I tried to make things work with someone who was clearly wrong for me. Lyn was clearly right. But it created a very awkward situation where I felt like they were never going to accept Lyn because I met her through Facebook Messenger, despite having talked to her for endless hours on the phone and on Google Hangouts video.
With nothing but Write W.A.V.E. Media showing any promise for me and Lyn and I’s rapidly growing connection, I decided to make the best decision I have ever made in my life. I asked Lyn to marry me. She said “hell yes.”
That’s when disaster struck.
I had been inexplicably chronically ill since about June with a chronic cough and a seemingly endless string of sinus infections. When I went to the doctor, however, he seemed unconcerned. When the coughs became worse, my doctor diagnosed me with asthma. But by December, my health had deteriorated to the point that my “asthma” became so severe that no meds helped it. Plus I was getting fevers. Lyn kept urging me to go to the emergency room, but my stubborn ass didn’t want to go.
I finally realized that my doctor had clearly missed something and that if I was going to spend the rest of my life with Lyn, I had to take care of myself. Both Lyn and I knew something was terribly wrong. By this point, we’d arranged for Lyn to fly out to Boston. I was going to go pick her up and surprise my parents. They knew about Lyn, of course, but I wanted her appearance to be a surprise.
With Lyn’s flight due into Boston on the 16th of December, I went into Brockton Hospital’s emergency room at around 9:30 on Friday, December 12th. It was there that I discovered I didn’t have asthma at all. My primary care doctor had never bothered to do a chest x-ray when he diagnosed me with asthma. The Brockton Hospital ER nurse noticed something strange when listening to my heart and the attending physician ordered an x-ray. This seemed logical to me.
While I won’t go into all the details now, long story short, they saw something very strange on the X-ray and ordered a CAT scan. That afternoon, the doctor came in very upset and informed me that I had a huge mass inside of the left side of my chest. I was admitted to Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center in Boston that night, and went from the ER to the ICU. On the 14th, I was diagnosed with cancer. I would not leave the hospital until the 24th.
The good news is, Lyn still arrived on the 16th and stayed with me the rest of the time that I was in the hospital. By that point, I was moved to the oncology ward on the Beth Israel East Campus, so she was able to stay with me. It’s a very long and involved story that I will be chronicling in more detail very soon, but long story short, I would not have made it through those twelve days without having Lyn by my side.
Those were three of the most difficult months of my life. But with the support of my amazing partner, I was able to pull through. We ended up staying in Massachusetts for six months, three for the chemo and three for recovery. At one point, surgery to remove the remaining dead tumor was on the table. But we decided that the risks were too great and that subsequent three-month follow-up appointments to check for any new growth were the better option. We finally drove cross-country in mid-May to rejoin her kids. It's been a roller-coaster ride since then, but somehow, we have found ways to make things work.
Lyn and I really wanted to have a baby together. But after the type of cancer that I had, and the chemotherapy, chances that I would still be fertile were slim. We decided to forgo fertility testing for me and simply try the old-fashioned way. On October 8th 2015, Lyn wasn't feeling so well. Sure enough, when we went to urgent care, it turned out she was pregnant. We made an appointment with her old OB/GYN, Dr. Johnson, soon afterward and had an ultrasound. The baby was healthy and tentatively due June 4th.
Upon sharing this news, the outpouring of support was incredible. This is my first child, and Lyn's 5th,. I'm proud to be a new father and I never could have imagined a year ago having this miracle ever come to be. To celebrate her and chronicle the events leading up to her birth, Lyn and I created a dedicated blog page just for her right after we had decided on her name. It's called The Nova Skye Story.
I hope our story helps you realize that you just need to really look at the good things in life. That's where you draw your positive energy from. That's what you need to focus on. The ability to make positive things come out of negative situations is what makes us human. Overcome the evil, embrace the positive, and be part of the change our society needs. You never know who you will meet that will help you change the world.