Good morning everyone! It has been awhile, but I assure you we are still doing well, all things considered. I hope this letter finds you doing very well, enjoying the holidays, and, most importantly, enjoying life and those you chose to share it with. Embrace life. Be kind to strangers. Hug your families and friends as often as you can handle as tomorrow is no guarantee, but, if you are reading this, you have been given the gift of today as have I. Do not let it go to waste.
It is very hard to live life in six week increments. Between scans, I can almost live a normal life with my family and friends. Without the scan, we do not know what is going inside of my body in regards to the disease, but at least I can focus on living, on loving, and on learning as much as I can while I still have strength. We have been through 10 rounds of chemo together. It still doesn’t seem real, and, at the very least, it seems too horrid to be true.
Who would have thought when we were graduating high school I would be fighting for my life at the age of 30? Not me, but it is how life is panning out. However, it brings with it many miraculous things. It brings with it hope, strength, perseverance, and love. It brings people together and gives them a new outlook on life. It truly is a blessing in disguise if you can endure the hardships, setbacks, and statistics. Like anything in life, you have to take the good with the bad. You have to learn to adjust your mindset in order to get through because so many people are relying on you to stay strong, be positive, and fight! And fight we are.
Once I get to the realization that tomorrow will come, and I will not die today, life begins to fall back into place. Rather, life begins to take root in the new norm. It begins to make sense with a newfound purpose and light, and I am able to gain new meaning. We are able to adjust, adapt, and move forward. God has blessed us so much thus far, and we have so many people to thank for giving us strength, for lifting us up in prayer, and protecting us when we are discouraged. The outreach for our fight is tremendous, and we are never alone. It’s amazing!
This journey is not easy or a walk in the park, but I promise you we have many more good days than bad. The symptoms of chemo are there, but you learn how to cope, prevent, and manage. You do not have a choice. I strongly believe God and life build our strength and courage throughout our past in the odd chance we encounter something like this. We have been told by some that they would not be able to endure what we are going through. I strongly and vehemently disagree. I assure you, you can. You have lived this long through many trials and tribulations.
When you realize you do not have a choice but to fight, it all becomes clear. Life builds your strength through the years. Through every loss of a loved one, through every break up, through every happy, sad, and emotional memory you have, and every time you endured physical or emotional pain, you learned to get through it. You learned to push forward in life knowing that it does not stop for a setback. You realized you had so many loving and caring people surrounding you that your mind and body found a way to survive and become stronger. All of the little things are stored inside of you to help you get through the harder times. I promise you are stronger than I am, but I pray you never have to find out I am right.
We are undoubtedly praying for a miracle on my life. While we fight for cancer free, I hope you do not miss the miracles going on around us on a daily basis. If you hug or kiss your loved ones an extra time for me, I believe that to be a miracle. If you help out a stranger because you learned how much your support has meant to me, that too is a miracle. Prayers are answered in so many ways, and time will tell what God has in store for me. In the meantime, I have been given time. Time to express my thoughts on life to all of you; time to share my passion and love with my family and friends; and time to actually live. It is a miracle to wake up each morning to see my beautiful wife, to see my boys playing together and laughing, and to see messages from all of you. It is not always easy to share our story, but I never regret it.
As I write this, our lives are in limbo again. I have my re-staging scan on Wednesday at 9pm in Houston to determine the nature and state of this disease. The following morning at 830am we have our consultation with Dr. Ravi at MD Anderson in Houston to discuss the results and plan of action. I do not think we will ever get use to this part of the journey. In fact, I think it gets worse over time because of the statistics and how this disease progresses. However, it will not all end tomorrow despite which way the scans go. I will still have the gift of time and the ability to advocate for others. As we go through this week, please continue to keep us in your prayers. It does more than you will ever know! It will be a long two days of traveling, but I will update you all as soon as possible.
As each day comes and goes, the most important thing for me in all of this is for my boys to look back one day, especially if I am not with them, and see that life is worth living no matter the circumstance. I want them to realize that no matter what you are dealt, you can still do good, help others, and smile. They need to know life is not always easy, but you can make the best of any situation. I want them to realize it is important to cry when things get difficult, but it’s equally important to laugh, learn, and fight in the face of adversity. I do believe in miracles, but what the miracle will look like is unknown to all of us.
Thank you, from the bottom of our hearts, for being a part of our family. Through your advocacy, prayer, and love, our support group is greater than we could have ever imagined or even deserve. Furthermore, it gives a husband and father great joy and comfort to know that whichever route this disease takes us, my family will be cared for and supported in every extent possible. Words cannot express how great that makes me feel. Words cannot portray the warmth and joy that gives me. Thank you. Thank you for everything. We truly love you all so much!