I have cancer.
Thursday December 13th 2007, 1:26 pm
Filed under: Leukemia


One week ago today, I was diagnosed with pre-B cell acute lymphoblastic leukemia, a cancer of the white blood cells. For a week, I have been trying to compose my thoughts on exactly how to explain this to you, and to build up the strength to type this message. But ultimately, there will be time for my feelings on the matter, explanations of how I got to where I am, and all of the rest.

Know that I am home in Denver with my family and have been undergoing intense chemotherapy since last week. Although it has been very physically and emotionally difficult, and will continue to be for quite sometime, all indicators point to the fact that the treatments are doing what they’re supposed to. I have undergone some surgery, and will continue to undergo surgeries at regular intervals to make sure everything is going well.

I know many of you have already heard about my diagnosis, as evidenced by the overwhelming deluge of calls, emails, and care packages. Your love has given me a tremendous amount of strength, but please understand that I may not feel up to responding on an individual basis for some time. If you call my phone, one of my family members may answer, and would be happy to discuss what is going on. It might also ring through to voicemail–I assure you that even if you don’t hear back from me, I know that you’ve called and it means a great deal to me.

Both David Reiman and Jason Shwartz have also availed themselves to try to help coordinate information, and have very generously offered to allow people to contact them for broader updates. Reiman’s email is david.reiman@yale.edu and Jason’s is jasonshwartz@hotmail.com.

I have been in the hospital for a week, and there is talk that if tomorrow’s surgery goes well, I might able to go home to my parent’s house this weekend. I will be in and out of the hospital for a while, especially during the first month of intense chemo. During this first month, I will for sure not be leaving Denver. After that, if things go well, there is a seven month period of continued chemo that, while intense, might allow me to travel a bit more. Following this, there will be ongoing chemotherapy for three years. Honestly, I don’t know what that means for coming back to New York City, or for any other life plans. It is going to be a long road to recovery, and part of keeping my head on straight will be taking the process one day at a time.

For specific concerns relating to Better Than The Machine, please contact Paul Syracuse at paul.syracuse@gmail.com. We will be trying to update contact information uniformly for that stuff soon.

Feel free to send this on to anyone you want to. I’m bad at keeping track of people’s emails, and don’t want want to imply that be not sending it on to someone specific, I don’t want people to know about my condition.

I love you all and appreciate all of your love and support,


18 Comments so far
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[…] just wrote up a lengthy post at Reid Levin Dot Net about being diagnosed with leukemia last week. Feel free to read it if you like. I appreciate all […]

Pingback by Better Than The Machine » Reid vs. Cancer 12.13.07 @ 1:37 pm


I am so sorry. Please know that you will be in my daily prayers.

Rachael Jones

Comment by Rachael Jones 12.13.07 @ 2:17 pm

[…] Look, there’s some really intense stuff going on right now. […]

Pingback by OK. · Dave Burdick 12.13.07 @ 3:30 pm

Wow man, just wow. Anything you need lemme know. –Kelvin

Comment by Kelvin 12.13.07 @ 4:05 pm


I’m Christina’s Aunt Kathleen and just want you to know I’m praying and cheering for you. From your sketches at PACE to the videos I’ve seen every week, I know you’ve got the stamina, creativity and humor to get you through – always with a little help from your friends. I hate to say it, but I think a creative mind finds constant material in the worst of times. If you share my view of life as theater of the absurd, the next few months will give you constant reinforcement. Hang in there and know we’re all sending you positive thought waves.

Kathleen Buse

Comment by Kathleen Buse 12.13.07 @ 4:13 pm

Hey. I know you said you might not respond this, but that is okay.
You started talking to me about a week ago when you broke your arm on YouTube and about how you were [not] upset that I was writing to Paul and not you. Today when I came across this I broke into tears. I want you to know that even though you don’t know me, and even though I live in the other hemisphere, you are in my prayers. My mother had cancer and she’s all better now, and I’m hoping that it’s the same for you too – that you will get better soon. Keep strong, and if you ever need anything (seriously, anything, even if I’m not close to you at all) please let me know, and I will try my best to give you what you need.

Take care.
Much love,

Comment by Mickie Duarte 12.13.07 @ 6:00 pm

Reid… so we meet again. You are in my thoughts and my heart. Stay strong and know that you have a huge community of friends, family…and even BTTM Fans that love you…

Comment by Ashley Platz 12.14.07 @ 1:44 pm

Reid, I just heard about this through the grapevine and was directed to your website. I know we haven’t seen each other in forever – but please know I send you all the good luck in the world and please know that if you need anything at all, a fellow Pace-er is totally in your corner. Hang in there, get well, and fight your ass off.


Comment by Kari Bentley-Quinn 12.15.07 @ 4:44 pm

Hey Reid,

It’s Dave’s buddy Phil from Columbia. Just wanted to say that you are in my prayers back here in NYC — Stay strong

Comment by Phil 12.15.07 @ 6:19 pm


Elisha here. While we’ve only met once or twice, you have never been anything but genuine and downright wonderful. I want you to know that you are in my thoughts and prayers. Get better. Keep laughing.

Comment by Elisha 12.16.07 @ 10:53 pm

Hey man, Francesca, Raquel and I just want you to know
that your in our hearts and prayers. Seemed like yesterday
that you were in Miami with us. We miss you and get
better soon.
Ben, Francesca and little Raquel

Comment by Ben 12.21.07 @ 9:52 pm


You don’t know me, like everyone else that has commented. But it’s not always who you know, but who knows you. I want you to know that you have influenced the lives of more people than you know, and that you are loved and though about daily. In fact, every time I get in my car, I see my BTTM sticker on my back window, and every time my phone rings, you sing ‘Give a Shit’ to me. You are so funny and so wonderful, and you are loved and missed!! Let us know how things are going!!

Comment by Emily 02.26.08 @ 11:33 pm

Hey Reid,

I heard the news from Kevin (Cross) about your condition. You’re one amazing person who really made me feel welcome to the club several years back. You’ve been quite a motivation for me while I composed my stories. Thanks for that. Now, I hope you’ll stay strong, get better and be resilient. You’ll be in my prayers for sure.

*salutes* Get well soon!



Comment by Moses D.C. Kong a.k.a. Astacus "Scarlet" Laconius 02.27.08 @ 9:38 am


I just heard through the good ol’ SV-grapevine. I’m really very sorry to hear about this. Be strong, and I’ll be praying for you.

-James “Bullseye” Prather

Comment by James 02.27.08 @ 9:59 am


Your an amazing and talented human being man. Glad to hear your in the process kicking some cancer ass. Get well and get back to making some vids!


Comment by Kelvin Harper 03.06.08 @ 8:55 pm

mdyayayaya ….. * Many people think *…. the author thanks for the post!

Comment by Jaroslav 11.05.08 @ 5:47 pm

interesting things!

Comment by Bittersweet 02.23.09 @ 3:57 pm

Stunning blog and good article. High 5 for u man !

Comment by adamoerikom 09.19.09 @ 2:32 pm

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