Archive for March, 2011


Posted in cancer, Cancer Life with tags , , , , on March 27, 2011 by lawler

Not too long ago I was putting together a work sample for an artist residency I hope to do this summer in order to work on a play I am writing and in the process listened back to some of the podcasts Talish Barrow and I put together for Wisconsin Story Project. One of them contained a long intro by the hapless hosts (Talish and I) and at one point I say, “cancer is like Christmas,” and go into a fairly articulate explanation of that somewhat crass phrase of mine.

And so, here we are, one thousand three hundred and five days from the day my doctor told me I had cancer — many of them the most difficult of my life — and cancer has, in a way, given me another gift.

His name is Jack — Jack Abebe Lawler to be exact. We began the adoption process about a year and a half ago after deciding to not use the sperm I had banked just days before my first chemotherapy treatments in the Fall of 2007 (we’re still paying for its storage though, which reminds me…). In November 2010, just a week after adopting a pit bull from the Dane County Humane Society (see below), we got a call, the call, known as a referral. Moments later we were staring at a picture of Jack on my computer. We were in shock. The call had come about three months before we had been told to expect it, and here was this four month old little boy staring back at us from half way around the world in Ethiopia. Were we ready? Could we really do this? Yes.

After four months of waiting and traveling — two trips to Ethiopia in the span of two months, in fact — he is now home with us in Madison. He has brought such joy to Dawn and I that, cliche or no, it is beyond words. He is a happy, healthy, fascinating little guy. And, as I said, in some ways we have cancer to thank for bringing him into our lives.