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What the heck is going on with Dear Hank and John for the next four to six months? Hank and John Green have answers!

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 (00:00) to (02:00)

Hank Green: Hello and welcome to Dear Hank and John!!

John Green: [laughs] It's very weird to do the intro.

H: That's right!

J: Or as I prefer to think of it, Dear John and Hank.

H: It's a podcast where two brothers answer your questions, give you dubious advice, and bring you all the week's news from both Mars and AFC Wimbledon. John, did you know that you can get rid of most cancers with just a water gun?

J: Oh. Is that so.

H: Yeah, it works on Libras and Capricorns as well.

J: [laughs] Wait, what? Oh, you mean, like... Okay. First off, I'm not gonna workshop your joke because you have cancer.

H: [laughs]

J: And it wouldn't be appropriate.

H: Mmmhmm.

J: Secondly, I do have some notes.

H: [laughs] What?? I think think it works. I tried this on someone else and it also failed, but to me it's a good joke.

J: It's the "get rid of." Because that implies, like, a level of elimination. Or, like, complete killing. And then I've gotta reimagine this as just like... force them to depart from within 50 feet of me.

H: Yeah.

J: As the definition of "get rid of." So I think the place to look--

H: [overlapping] It's the "get rid of," is the problem?

J: It's the "get rid of." Like, do you know that you can.... something else... most cancers with just a water gun. Annoy? Frustrate? Discourage?

H: Yeah, but that's tricky. It's tricky. It's tricky.

J: Yeah. So this is a different episode from usual.

H: That's right.

J: Hank...

H: Do you want me to go through the whole thing?

J: I know that you're the main character of your cancer diagnosis... but can I tell you what it was like for me?

H: [laughs] Yeah, sure. Let's do that.

J: Then you can tell your story.

H: Okay.

J: So Sarah and I went to Sierra Leone and before we left for Sierra Leone there were a few-- Hank and I had a few conversations where he would just mention his health, which is very unusual.

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H: Uhhuh. Yeah.

J: Like, I'm the one who mentions my health in our conversations. I'm the one who worries about health. And I was really quite worried about this because it was so-- it was unusual. And I thought maybe it was just, like, a symptom of you being overextended and overworked.

H: Sure. That makes sense.

J: And then we went to Sierra Leone and when we were-- you seemed weird when we were in Sierra Leone. Like, I would call you and I would be like, "You cannot believe how amazing this 48,000 square foot hospital is. All the good it's gonna do. It's just incredible." And you would be like, "That is incredible." But you just seemed off. And like you were struggling to get to the level of excitement that I was feeling. And then we had a long trip home and when we were in the car on the way home-- Dad picked us up. Our dad. Picked Sarah and I up. And he basically immediately told us that you'd just had a biopsy and that you'd had an MRI earlier in the week, and there was a lot of suspicion that you might have some kind of cancer in your lymph nodes. And that was scary but I think for the first few days also we were all able to tell ourselves, like, "Well, maybe it's nothing." And even doctors were like, "It could very well be nothing." And then you heard from the surgeon that it was definitely not nothing. And then I think everybody who loves you and who knew was really really scared for a while. And I was with Mom and Dad a lot. And then we found out that you have Hodgkin's lymphoma. Which is a very treatable, very curable form of lymphoma. 

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J: There's a lot known about it. There's been good treatments for a while now. And that made it easier for all of us, I think. A little less scary. A little more known. But man. You know, the main thing that I've been thinking about the last ten days, and I know that you don't want me or the last two weeks or whatever, three weeks, I dunno how long it's been. [laugh] But I know that you don't want me to be sentimental and everything. And I know that we have a lot to talk about. So I don't wanna front load the emotion part of it. But, y'know, you're my oldest friend. You're my brother. You're the person I trust most in the world other than my spouse. Everything I've made in my professional life I've made either with you or to impress you.

H: [laughs]

J: I can't imagine life without both of us. Like, the thing that is-- Like, when I imagine myself dying, which I do, I dunno. Six or seven hundred times a day. The thing that is most unbearable is not to think about dying, it's to think about my kids and Sarah and you. And so it just. Here's the thing. The basic thing I wanna say is that, like, the great joy of my-- or one of the biggest joys of my life has been the fact that in adulthood we've been able to be in it together. In all kinds of things together. In making stuff together, in hard times together, in frustration together, in, like. Struggling to fathom the political environment in which we find ourselves together. All of that we've been able to be in it together. And I know we can't be all the way in it together with this. But I'm with you. And I wanna be as together as we can be, I guess.

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H: Yeah. [sighs] I mean, it's... I feel like I've already learned about how to be in this situation even though I've only been in this situation for, like... Oh. ...So as you're you hearing this the vlogbrothers video would've come out a few days ago.

J: Yeah, maybe we should back up and you tell your part of the story.

H: Okay. Just start. Okay. Yeah, sure. So I had shingles a while back. A bunch over the summer. Which can be coincident with lymphoma in both ways. Where, like, you can get it because you have lymphoma. But you can kinda have lymphoma-like stuff going on and then it can get triggered by shingles. So just because you have that long-term intense infection. So anyway. But it could also have nothing to do with it. So I had this three bouts of shingles, which is very weird. But I was on Humira at the time for my colitis and they figured it's probably because of the Humira. And in fairness, when I stopped taking the Humira I stopped having shingles. But the last bout I had was a cross the top of my chest and into my armpit. And shingles, if you don't know, it's an infection of the nerves that is the same virus as chicken pox. So chicken pox hangs out in your nervous system and then if your immune system gets lowered you can get shingles. So it's a terribly painful rash, basically, where your nerves are infected with this virus.

J: Oh god, that sounds so painful.

H: It hurts a lot!

J: Just the phrase "your nerves are infected with this virus" is very evocative of physical pain.

H: Yeah. And after that my armpit remained swollen. And then I went to see the doctor and they were like, "It's probably nothing." And then it remained swollen and I went to the doctor and they were like, "Okay, well, let's get a scan." 

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