A LOT Can Happen In 16 Years!

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I have a unique fascination with dates…I think it all started because the day I was born, October 6th, 1981 was a momentous occasion…both due to my entry into this beautiful world and on a more somber note the day Anwar Sadat, the President of Egypt was assassinated. I remember the birthdays of my childhood friends… April 25th, May 12th, July 11th and July 19th to name a few. I certainly remember October 12th, 1998…the day I hurt my knee at hockey practice and my own personal Pearl Harbor, December 4th, 1998, the day I was diagnosed with Osteogenic Sarcoma.

In some respects it seems like it just happened yesterday, and in other ways I feel like my cancer journey, at least during my active disease, happened to someone else…someone who I was very close to, and someone who was a very vivid storyteller. And while I somehow have remembered the fun times I had while I was sick…the great days like getting my first porta cath out, or the date of my actual Stem Cell Transpalnt (October 20th, 2001), or the date I went from Hospital bed to Prom dance floor in a little less than 4 hours…and the days that I remember as being good for some weird reason even though they were actually terrible (The night the Diamondbacks won the 2001 World Series and I also had some strange, gooey, bloody mess pulled from my throat…or the last day of school my Senior Year when I just remember feeling so sick I prayed to wake up the next morning. And when I awoke that morning not only was I alive, but I accomplished a goal I had made to myself and was going to graduate from High School with my friends.

As life has moved on and I have moved from being a cancer patient to a 13 year cancer survivor a LOT of life has happened along the way. Births, deaths, marriages and divorces…good days and bad days…that stuff happens in everyone’s life…I guess that is what I am most proud of if I step back and think about it. Sure, life stopped working out as I had planned it the day I made those plans at the age of 17, and yes, there are a lot of experiences and trials I wish I never would have had to endure. BUT, I am here…I am happy and healthy…I am surrounded by people that love me and that I love equally. I still dream big, and I hope that will never change…but it’s the small stuff…driving my kiddo to school…a long kiss with my girlfriend…a Sunday watching football with my brother and father…texting my Mom just to say hello…these things make me happy and thankful that 16 years after being diagnosed with cancer I am still alive and kicking!

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