Friday, June 15, 2007

NHL Anniversary

This is me, thirteen years ago, on father's day 1994. In a couple of days, I would learn that I had an incurable and fatal form of non-Hodgkin's Lymphoma. Yesterday, I had another round of chemotherapy - a form of treatment that has kept me alive far longer than I thought possible those thirteen years ago.

Every year on this date, I try to remember how scared and numb I was upon receiving the news. How I moved through life as one who is asleep and merely going through the motions to get through the day. How I didn't tell those at work what was going on because I didn't know what to say. How tired I got of people bitching in the lunch room over insignificant elements of their lives when I was looking Death in the face. How I would break into tears driving down the freeway on my way to pick up my two children, ages 1 and 4, from daycare at their aunt's house, thinking that I would be gone from their lives before they would be able to know, and remember me.

I also try to remember all of the hugs that people blessed me with, the frozen lasagnas that appeared on the doorstep, the tears shared and shed. I saw new sides of life and of loving as those around me tried to let me know of their care and concern. I learned to lean on my wife in ways I never expected. She was my rock and my foundation as I learned to live with cancer.

And live I have done. My motto in this is this - I have cancer, but cancer does not have me. Every day, I get to choose which one of us is on top. There are days, when it's not me, but those are few and far between.

A lot has happened in the last thirteen years. The reason this blog exists covers the most significant event. This was never in the plans. It was I who was to go and my wonderful, talented, and loving wife would remain to raise the family and sit on the porch late in life, blessed by her family. Somethings, we don't get to choose.

On this day, I will sit on the porch and think about all of the good things I have - my two children, now 14 and 17, a house in a beautiful setting surrounded by the sounds of birds and frogs, a faithful and smelly old dog who thinks I make all of the good things in her life happen, friends and family, near and far who share with me their love, their joys, and their sadnesses. This is what life is, and that is what I think about and give thanks for on this day.


Blogger The Chick said...

Your children are blessed to have had you and your wife in their lives for as long as they have. I cannot imagine having to go through the things the two of you have had to endure, and you alone are now facing. Just realize that you are NOT alone. You have family that loves you, and people you don't even know who regularly read your blog, who care about you as well. You are in our thoughts and prayers daily.

12:55 PM, June 15, 2007  
Blogger lime said...

my friend, i am inclined to want to gush over you right now and tell you what an amazing person i think you are and how blessed i have been to come across you and know you in the limited way this format permits. i suspect you'd perhaps squirm uncomfortably at that.

thank you for once again reminding me of what is most important and helping us all to focus on what really matters.

you and your family are, as ever, in my thoughts and prayers. raising a glass to you and to the gift of much more time than you ever imagined, with much hope for even more.

1:17 PM, June 15, 2007  
Blogger Cheesy said...

I too get to be blessed by being surrounded by my kids this coming week.. Thank you for reminding how lucky I truely am.

8:33 PM, June 15, 2007  
Blogger Sister Spikey Mace said...

What Lime said.

9:42 PM, June 15, 2007  
Blogger Beth said...

Sometimes, we're supposed to lean on each other to make our lives more fulfilling. Somehow, it works out that way, no matter what happens.

9:39 PM, June 17, 2007  
Blogger Tiffanie said...

What a beautiful entry

10:24 AM, June 18, 2007  

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