StoryCorps at SHC: Kevin and Jason Moss
Suddenly it was like we were just two human beings in this room, going through this crazy thing together
Jason Moss (JM): One of the things that I've realized over the past few years as I've kind of emerged from my own journey with going through treatment was that there were all these people around me, my family, my friends who were all having these parallel journeys of their own and going through these situations that were traumatic and difficult in so many different ways. And so I guess I'm curious, what was it like for you when I was first diagnosed?
Kevin Moss (KM): I think...as a parent when you watch your child go through this, it's very hard because as a parent you always wanna fix things. You always wanna take care of things. But this is a tough one because your emotions are so strong and so it clouds how you think about things. But I knew the best thing that you can do is help make the right decisions. And privately I cried a lot. I stayed up a lot of nights thinking about what you could do, but when we were around you we tried to be positive and supportive and really focused on you and what you needed along the way.
But, you know, there are a few memories that I have like when you were going through your stem cell replacement therapy, seeing you for the first time without eyebrows.
KM: I never thought about eyebrows, like what they mean, as a person, because I'd never seen anybody without them. And I remember thinking that this treatment has gone so deep and so long, looking at you, it was like a different person. So it was hard but it was nothing compared to what you went through.
JM: Yeah, I remember when I was going through treatment it was like I tried to do whatever I possibly could to make a human connection with every single person I met because I was so resistant against the idea of being seen as like a set of vitals and like a chart. Then it's so easy to feel like you just lose your humanity when you're going through it. And so I, I tried to remember like what are the names of their kids and like when you go back in my phone, there like all these notes and they're all like the names of like the nurses' kids and what they like to do as like hobbies or something.
And that was like a way of like getting through that wall. But this one woman, we were talking one night, this is while I was going through my transplant, and she told me that her brother had just been diagnosed with cancer. And there was one night and we were just there and she was taking care of me. We were just talking about her and then suddenly it was like we were just two human beings in this room going through this crazy thing together. I think those moments of where the like playing field is kind of leveled and it's not like there's a doctor and there's a nurse and there's a patient, it's just like we're all just kind of trying to deal with whatever this is together. I think those were the moments I, I cherished the most.
KM: So I think we all took something away from this. For me, it reminded me that, you know, how important family is and I don't take anything for granted whether it's your health, whether it's your happiness. And I think your experience helped teach me that. And you know what Jason, I don't tell you a lot, but I'm really proud of you. Everything you went through, the person that you've grown up to be, the values that you have and how through that challenging experience, you've been able to take it and try and turn it into something that is more positive in a way that you can help other people.
JM: Thank you. I'm super grateful that we can have this conversation.
KM: Me too.
JM: And I'm grateful for you, dad. I really am.
KM: Thank you.
Sound Editor: Carolina Correa
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