Today I celebrate life as a father and a husband. It was 9 years ago today I was told I had cancer . Recovering from two surgeries made the summer of 2003 an extremely tough summer I’ll never forget.
I’m not looking for sympathy today or even high-fives, but I am simply reminding myself of some things that I learned from that hard summer. Simple things that I try and remind myself of every year on this date. Things I learned things like…
- I learned I’m not indestructible. I’m not guaranteed 30 more years … 3 more years or 3 more minutes. Each and every day is a gift so make the most of every day.
- I learned it’s impossible to have any sort of self-dignity in a hospital gown.
- I learned that it was okay to be scared and even ask God, “Why?”
- I learned that I’m blessed to have friends and family that surround me with support and love.
- I learned I have an amazing care-giver in my wife, and that the care-givers of cancer patients don’t get near the credit they deserve. I remember asking Lea as I lay in the hospital, “Aren’t you heading back to Childress today to take care of the boys?” and I still remember her response, “No sir, the boys are taken care of. You are my husband, and I’m not going anywhere!”
- I learned about real love, not the stuff you see in the movies or on soap operas. Real love is my wife telling me I looked “great” to her, even when I was pale, skinny, sick, throwing up and too weak to do anything.
- I learned that I hate cancer. I hate everything about it … what it does to families, how it steals loved ones from our lives and how it is no respecter of persons.
- I learned my God is bigger than cancer.
Today I celebrate 9 years … and I’m reminded once again just how blessed I am.