Tuesday, April 22, 2008

74 degrees and a deck chair

This is one of those evening where I can sit back and relax on the deck my dad and I built last summer. I am enjoying 74 degree weather, the sun set, the neighborhood kids playing on the tree swing, birds singing, dogs barking, and my daughter doing homework beside me. Hearing the kids play makes me reminisce about my childhood…all the games of kick the can, freeze tag, kick ball, hide and seek…the nights when I had to be in by the time the street light turned on, riding bikes with no hands, sleeping until noon, staying awake until a time way past 10… boy scouts, family vacations, Zarda ice cream, life was good…but then again, life is good now…a wonderful wife, two wonderful daughters, a rewarding job, a loving family, and some great friends. I am just taking a moment to say a word of thanks… At moments like this, I am reminded that I cannot forget to say thank you and enjoy the moment. I really cannot ask for much more in life during this small moment in time.

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Where to begin - I guess at the end

I really don’t know where to start this message other than right here at the end of another chapter and step in this journey.  For those of you who have not been along for the entire ride, my dad was diagnosed with squamous cancer on January 20th and confirmed on January 24th.  What followed was a series of 35 radiation treatments, 7 chemo treatments, somewhere around 5500 miles driven, numerous doctor visits, a life of living a normal life even at the beginning of the treatments to one that came to being feed by a feeding tube because it was to difficult to take very much through the mouth.  In short, this was a disruption in the life of an amazing man, and a disruption in the life of an amazing mom who was along for this entire ride.

As I reminisced about this journey the past couple of days, I thought about how I have raised money for cancer research and clinical care, yet I did not truly understand the impact this dreaded disease has on the lives of those living it until I actually lived it (at least in my own little way).  My mom and dad LIVED this life for seven weeks - day in and day out – 24/7 as they say, and they will continue to live it for years to come.  The past seven weeks encompassed times when they were feeling physically worn out, emotionally worn out, and yes even financially worn out.   At times - they were feeling every possible thing you could feel all at once. Yet, they made it through.

So I am happy to report that on Tuesday, we had the opportunity to celebrate another step in this journey.  Dad climbed his mountain (as a side note - with very little pain medicine to boot) and made it back down again.  The treatments are done.  It was an extremely grueling journey.  Painful eating, feeding tube problems, physically being worn down, weight loss – you name it my Dad dealt with it, but he made it through.  Near the end he was willing to step aside and ask for help – whether that request was of God, the prayer chains and prayer warriors that never stopped, or the family and friends who were present throughout. Each played a critical piece in this journey.  

As I conclude this email, a few final thoughts come to mind - Now the recovery begins, now the waiting begins, and now the next round of prayers begin.

Please take care, and accept our special word of thanks for your help in this journey.