|Artwork by Frank Germano|
The last 12 months have been a crazy, crazy time for me. As some of you may know, I was diagnosed with Stage 4 breast cancer (aka Metastatic breast cancer) in January of 2016. While this has been a year of growth, struggle, strength, and change, one thing has stayed constant, one thing has been there for me every step of the way: The Outlaw Roadshow.
|Artwork by Frank Germano|
Cancer is a scary diagnosis. Very few people understand what it fully entails. This is where Dan Nicklin comes in. Now, it's no secret that Dan Nicklin, of Boston's Oldjack, is up there as my favorite Outlaw (but he'll tell you that Adam will always be number one.) The months following my diagnosis cemented him as such. Nicklin's family had also been touched by breast cancer, his mother is a survivor. There were many times I was feeling very down, and scared about what was happening to me. Dan would call, usually late nights after band practice, just to check in, to see how I was doing. If I had posted a vaguebook status on Facebook about how I was struggling with life, I could count of Dan Nicklin calling to check in. Most of the time it was him talking, and me on the other end crying, but I'm so glad he was there. He knew all the right things to say, he had been through this before. His words got me though some really hard nights.
More than just the amazing musicians I've befriended over the years, I've become friends with some beautiful people all around the world. From great friends in San Antonio, to Indiana, to Boston, to New Jersey. I thank the Outlaw Roadshow for making the last five years of my life so much better.
That's what the Outlaw Roadshow does. That's what the Outlaw Roadshow is. It's a community of music lovers who over the last several years have become a spread out, long distance extended family. On Oldjack's last album, the title track poses the question, "What is Home to You?," my answer is, and always will be, The Outlaw Roadshow.
Due to my cancer treatments I was unable to attend the Outlaw Roadshow in Austin this year, missing my first one in 3 years. One of my biggest goals this year was to be healthy enough to attend the Outlaw Roadshow in New York City in October. This was the big one, the NYC Outlaw is my favorite time of year. I hadn't missed one in 4 years, and I wasn't going to let cancer get in the way of not attending in 2016. Lucky for me, I had finished my chemo treatments in April, and my oncologist gave me the go ahead to have the best time ever is NYC. This is precisely what happened.
I'm sure my diagnosis played some part in the amazing weekend that was the 2016 NYC Outlaw Roadshow. People always seem friendlier when you're sick. Sometimes it was a little overwhelming, I'm not a big fan of attention. All three days brought the most sincere "How are you's" I've ever had in my life, some of the biggest hugs I've ever received; Outlaws truly care about one another. This year brought multiple invitations to The Garden, Thai food with favorite guitarists, tacos with favorite people, song dedications that made me cry from the greatest of outlaws. Late nights spent in New York City are the best late nights. I am so grateful to have these people in my life.
I'm cautiously hopeful of where the next 12 months will take me. I have three goals for 2017: don't die of cancer, get married to the love of my life, Jonathan, and to attend the Outlaw Roadshow in NYC next October. I hope that Ryan and Adam know just how much the Outlaw Roadshow means to me, and to my life. I can not thank these people enough for all they have done for me, directly and indirectly, over the last five years.
Thank you, all the Outlaws, for all the things.