Monday, December 21, 2009
My Journey through cancer..
Note: 12/24 is the 11th anniversary of my final cancer treatment.
I will never forget that morning. I woke up just like any other day and started my normal routine. Little did I know that my life was about to change forever. I was in the shower enjoying a steamy start to another exciting day. Life was good. New job, new house, wonderful wife and a beautiful nine month old son peacefully sleeping in his room. At 31 years old, the world of possibilities was finally opening a door for me.
Then as I washed under my arm I felt it—I pressed hard to confirm it was there and when doing so found a second one. I immediately and without a shadow of doubt in my mind knew what I had discovered--Cancer
I was no stranger to the possibility. It was five years earlier when a mole had been removed from my back and declared melanoma. However, after such a long length of time I had become confident I would not have to deal with this again. Suddenly, and without any forewarning that confidence was gone.
I went on to work without saying anything to my wife and immediately contacted the Dr. for a same day appointment. The look on his face as he felt the lump was all the confirmation I needed. Next he said, “feels like you have three lumps here.” “What about the ones on your neck?” What! Turns out I had three tumors under my arm and two smaller but obvious ones on my neck.
I held it together pretty good until leaving the dr. office. Next stop was the little prayer chapel at church. Here alone and on my knees I asked the obvious why questions. Through the death of my mother just a couple of years earlier I had seen firsthand the slow dying process for those with cancer. Also, through the death of my dad when I was a young child I knew what it was like to grow up without a father. I cared very little for myself even in these first moments. I mostly worried that my son would now have to live the childhood I had lived. It was a childhood with no memories of an earthly father and filled with anger, pain and blame as a result.
More to the story with my next post….